Research often conflates video game players and “gamers,” defining gamers by time spent playing or by type of game played. Such operationalization may be a matter of convention or, more problematically, based on stereotypical beliefs about gamers. With a survey of nearly 900 young adults, this study compared self-identified gamers to other video game players and people who do not play video games. There were behavioral differences in terms of time played, but few attitudinal differences across the groups with regards perceptions of media violence. Non-players, compared to players and gamers, tended to hold more negative attitudes about video games and their effects. Non-players also tended to be more socially engaged and have more social support, but gamers were not socially isolated. Notably, hours played did not consistently correlate with beliefs and behaviors. Results demonstrate the importance of recognizing the theoretical, empirical, and practical distinctions among hours played, gamer stereotypes, and gamer identity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science