Digital Media Concepts/Video Game Aggression

Introduction edit

Video Game Aggression, informally known as tilting, is the phenomenon of getting frustrated due to unsuccessful or negative video game experience. Raging depends upon the individual's social, psychological and emotional status at the time of starting the video game. It stimulates a sudden surge of anger that affects the person's well-being, both physically and mentally [1]. The consequences of raging include smashing of the consoles and equipment, verbal abuse and losing intentionally in the game.

Types of Raging edit

Shows a player about to leave a game that has started about a minute ago. A type of rage quit, popularly known as AFK or "away from keyboard.

Raging takes many consequential forms and affects both, the aggressive player and the victim, drastically. Usually, raging causes immense anger inside a person that surges out in the form of uncontrollable actions, like breaking or shattering of nearby objects. If not, the consoles, television or Laptops used to play are broken into pieces[2]. Some people prefer to rage in-game by infuriating others or verbal abuse. Thia causes stress to all the players, negatively affecting the in-game experience. Other players adopt the "griefing" strategy, where players intentionally cause trouble to other players in the games by not following the rules of the game or by not listening to other players, leading to an intentional loss a game [3].

Causes edit

Popular MMO's and MOBA's (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) like League Of Legends, World Of Warcraft and Dota have players with unusual raging and hate speech in-game. The primary reason for this kind of behavior in video games is the competitiveness between the individual players[4]. No player likes to lose, and repeatedly losing in the same game, especially due to similar reasons, causes a player to quit in-between or refuse communication for the rest of the game. During a rage, the levels of adrenaline are drastically increased, which reduces memory and cognitive thinking, resulting in an impulsive action [1].

Psychology edit

Psychological aspects have a deep connection with aggression if one thinks from the rager's perspective. Losing in a video game or not making any progress arouses hostile behavior i.e., the anger and frustration that causes a person to infuriate. A psychological response can also be triggered by some players that stimulate anger and irritation for not able to play the game, perhaps better than some other player. At this point, the egoistic[5] viewpoint begins, where the person believes the other player should be inferior in the game mechanics. To release all the negativity built in, players begin to assert aggression on other players in the game. Some aggressive people are a direct result of being the constant victim of raging.
In other words, anger turns into video game aggression by repeated loss of a game, probably to a player or in an objective in the game, multiple times. At some point, the player reaches a limit where the anger cannot be contained. Therefore, even the minor things cause an outburst of anger.

Psychologists called the phenomenon a case of the fight-or-flight Response [6]

Effects of Raging edit

Game aggression is a serious issue that can incur a loss for the game developers, ragers, and victims. Apart from the loss of consoles and televisions, raging can have serious personal, social and emotional breakdown on people. During aggression, a person can release anger on family, friends or peers who are not at fault, which causes some serious misconceptions. Also, aggression imparts unwanted stress and limits the player's ability to think critically, causing a decline in productivity. At some point, these bad experiences will lead to permanent temper issues that can cause people to become frustrated at minor issues. Game aggression, to some extent, becomes contagious as players exposed to raging in the form of verbal abuse, intentional losing, or griefing get frustrated and start to be negatively affected. This could lead to a decline of players playing the game or could increase the potential number of ragers.

Potential Solutions edit

The raging phenomenon is not something that can be controlled or immediately stopped. But they are few minor strategies that can be adopted by gamers to reduce their raging issues: For consoles[7]-

  • Taking breaks between sessions. This helps to keep the anger levels under control
  • Reduce difficulty of the game if it is frustrating.
  • Change perspectives: To think of playing video games as a learning process, where learning controls and practicing makes a better player, which takes time and dedication.

For Multiplayer Online games (MOBA, MMORPG etc)[8] -

  • Change perspectives: Try to think the process of playing video games as the learning process, which involves practicing, time and dedication to show improvement.
  • Do not get triggered by other raging acts online. Don't take them personally because, in the end, they all are strangers. Most video games have options like "muting the player" or "blocking" that allows the self-control on these acts.
  • Playing with a friend helps in controlling raging habits. This is true for offline games as well.
  • Leave the game and take a break. This does not mean leaving the game in-session, when other players need the help to win the game.

References edit