Study Links Violent Video Games And The 'Macbeth Effect'
from the is-this-a-study-i-see-before-me? dept
So it's a bit interesting to see a study on violent video games produce some more nuanced results, such as a recent study from the University of Luxembourg that showed what researchers are referring to as "the Macbeth Effect" in the average gamer:
The researchers had 76 people play violent video games for 15 minutes, after which they were told to select gift items for others. Those who were "inexperienced" with violent video games were more likely to select "hygienic products" like shower gel, deodorant, and toothpaste than those who played violent video games on a regular basisThe reference is from Shakespear's Macbeth, in which Lady Macbeth obsessively washes her hands after participating in a murder plot. And, yes, I know that some of you will say that this effect primarily showed up in those that were "inexperienced with violent video games", but that's the whole point. Those that are inexperienced with violent games are so because they aren't the kind of people those games appeal to. The games themselves aren't corrupting the minds of these people, nor are they likely corrupting the minds of those that actually seek them out. There are simply some people who like those kinds of games and some who don't.
"The need to cleanse to keep moral purity intact, the 'Macbeth effect,' is a psychological phenomenon in which a person attempts to purify oneself in order to cope with feelings of moral distress," said lead researcher Dr. Andre Melzer. "We find that the Macbeth effect can result from playing violent videogames, especially when the game involves violence against humans."