Pro-Social Gaming

Effects of Pro-Social Gaming

Not the same old topic of gaming… Researchers have been referring to gaming as the cause of aggressive behavior in children and young adults for the past few years. However, Greitemeyer and Osswald (2009) argued that gaming does not cause aggression when one is playing a pro-social game. 

The typical gamer today is 29 years old. He/she is not living at home or displaying aggressive behavior. On the contrary, he/she is in most cases a productive, successful, and outgoing individual.  Pro-social gamers play solo games, online games, and multiplayer games. Each type of game engages the player in pro-socialization while promoting goal-oriented content. 

However, exposure to violent video games at an early age was explained by the researchers to be less helpful in promoting pro-social behavior (Greitemeyer and Osswald, 2009). Excessive exposure to violent and aggressive video games such as Call of Duty or Medal of Honor decreased positive response. 

Researchers explained that by playing a prosocial game such as Lemmings. Lemmings allow the player to control a group of creatures while working towards a goal. The primary objective is to save all the Lemmings before time runs out. Researchers discovered that players display social tendencies, value another's help and support, and are more apt to continue the gameplay. 

Pro-social games are available for kids, teens, and young adults. Today's market provides and an array of games on consoles, tablets, and computers. Kids can benefit from these games, and these skills can be seen in school, sports, and at home during family events or outings.  Skills from prosocial gaming can differ by age group however here is a short list of what to expect when your child plays a pro-social game for 10 minutes a day over an extended amount of time. 

Pro-Social Skills 

  • Collaboration
  • Teamwork
  • Appreciation
  • Pro-Social tendencies 
  • Pro-social cognitions 

Here are some games to try when considering pro-social gaming habits! 

Although the last one is for Game Cube, it is now available on Wii U as a download. 

Greitemeyer, T., & Osswald, S. (2009). Prosocial video games reduce aggressive cognitions. Journal of experimental social psychology, 45(4), 896-900

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