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FPS Gaming and the ‘Just-World Hypothesis’

April 18th, 2011 04:55 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

First Person Shooters (Games)

Hugh Pickens writes “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 a freedom fighter in an America occupied by a North Korean superpower. 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 James Madigan, a gamer with a Ph.D. in psychology. ‘The message is clear: Hey, these guys are evil. When we give you a gun, shoot them and feel good about it.’ Madigan says the interesting thing about Homefront is that it’s not leaving any blanks to be filled, which robs the game of some narrative depth.”

Source: FPS Gaming and the ‘Just-World Hypothesis’

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