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+ - FPS Gaming and the 'Just World Hypothesis' 1

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Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Jamie Madigan writes that when people witness someone subjected to some misfortune, they’re susceptible to suggestions that the person deserved it and thus see the misfortune as evidence of karma or justice –hence the “Just” in “Just World Hypothesis”. Now consider the controversial new first-person shooter Homefront, which has you play as an freedom fighter in an America occupied by a North Korean superpower where the introduction to the game goes to great lengths to relieve you of any moral misgivings you might have about plugging away at the enemies it’s getting ready to throw at you. "You see enemy soldiers not only brutalizing American civilians, but outright murdering a mother in front of her children and callously tossing corpses around," writes Madigan, a gamer with a Ph.D. in psychology, who writes on the psychology of successful games. "The message is clear: Hey, these guys are evil. When we give you a gun, SHOOT THEM and FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT." Madigan says that the interesting thing about Homefront is that it’s not leaving any blanks to be filled in which robs the game of some narrative depth. "Some of my favorite gaming moments over the years have been born of difficult decisions about who to let live and who to gun down. Let me decide, act, and ruminate on those actions once the smoke clears; that will keep the game with me for longer.""
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FPS Gaming and the 'Just World Hypothesis'

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  • Shooters are rooted in well, shooting. Whatever moral conflict you may have about the taking of a life is quickly resolved and cast aside as you blast your way through hundreds, even thousands of enemies over the course of the game. Any hesitation must necessarily have been overcome in the first few minutes in these games.

    This is largely due to the power fantasies that accompany the shooter genre. Players are powerful, and their "shooting" ability must be sufficient to overcome all obstacles thrown at them.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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