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Study Finds Gamers Prefer Control, Competence Over Violence 219

Science News reports on a new study which found that the violence in video games was not a significant contributing factor to players' enjoyment. Instead, the feelings of control and competence the games engendered were closely linked to how fun the players found it. Quoting: "... the researchers extensively modified a popular first-person shooter video game called Half-Life 2 to have less gore. Half the people in a group of 36 male and 65 female college students were instructed to dispatch adversaries as the original game intended, 'in a thoroughly bloody manner,' says Ryan. The other half was instructed to tag enemies with a marker. 'Instead of exploding in blood and dismemberment, they floated gently into the air and went back to base,' Ryan describes. An extensive survey of the two groups showed that the exclusion of violence didn't diminish players' enjoyment of the game."

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"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead