Many psychologists and educators are familiar with Carol Dweck’s seminal ‘Growth Mindset’ philosophy which posits that persistence and continual effort are key to success (Dweck & Molden, 2005). The finding by Ventura and colleagues (2013) links to the ideas purported by Dweck and is particularly interesting in light of the popularity of the recently released videogame, Fornite.
In Fortnite, success involves outlasting other players. With the likelihood of winning being small, a substantial amount of persistence and determination is required for players who seek to win. Some researchers speculate that players of video games, such as Fortnite, can develop a ‘persistent motivational style’ which may have beneficial generalized effects in school or work contexts. Though this relationship is merely correlational and needs further empirical evidence.
The critical dimension that seems to determine whether video games are associated with helping and prosocial behaviour is the extent to which they are played cooperatively versus competitively.
One such research body is the American Psychological Association who has recently released a major review of research into the impact of violent video games. To conduct their review, the APA contacted approximately 130 of the most frequently published researchers and experts in the field of gaming and requested nominations of the 10 strongest empirically based studies on this topic. This process yielded four meta-analyses which took into account more than 150 individual studies.
- Increased social connection
- Gaming being a ‘modern form of play’
- Enhanced attentional and spatial abilities
- Potentially enhanced motivation and persistence on other tasks
- Prosocial skills if games are cooperative
- Increased aggressive thoughts and behaviour
- Decreased empathy
- Desensitization to violence
- The above outcomes are more likely to develop if gamers have pre-existing aggressive traits, live in low SES status, have experienced bullying or harsh discipline from parents
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Jesse Diggins is a Hopscotch & Harmony psychologist who works closely with children, teens and parents to make sense of emotions and challenging behaviour. He has been recognised at local and state levels for his counselling work and his passion to empower young people and enable them to flourish. You can make an appointment with Jesse at Hopscotch & Harmony's Belmont practice by clicking here.