Video Rules: The impact of parental income levels and gender on playing violent video games, and academic aptitude among juveniles

TitleVideo Rules: The impact of parental income levels and gender on playing violent video games, and academic aptitude among juveniles
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Rajasakran, T., A. Wong, S. Sinnappan, M. V. Kumarasuriar, G. Pangiras, and S. Koran
Affiliation (1st Author)PhD Candidate/Senior Lecturer, Hong Kong
Section or WGVisual Culture Working Group
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodeVISW2a
Slot Code (Keyword)VISW2a
Time of Session11:00-12:30
RoomHelix - The Gallery
Session TitleTechnological development and Visual culture
Submission ID4925
Abstract

For some time now it has been hotly debated that violent video games have been linked to increased aggressive behavior and juvenile crimes in many developed and developing societies globally. However the startling news on recent school shooting cases in the United States has ignited the call for tougher actions to be taken in the United States with regards to the influence of violent video games. This being so emerging Southeast Asia is no different, where playing video games are increasingly gaining popularity in these economies. In turn the video games industry contributes to a hefty portion in profits for many video gaming companies. If this trend is left unchecked amongst adolescents in these countries, this could ruin the socio-economic balance of these countries. All things considered, what then influences juveniles to play violent video games, which aggravates aggression, and results in juvenile crimes in many countries? This includes newly emerging middle income countries in Southeast Asia? The reasons are plenty. From boredom, lack of love, dysfunctional families, and low income family backgrounds, juveniles look for attention, sensory rewards or arousals elsewhere – which they cannot find at home. So as an easy alternative they turn to violent video games – as one option. What is more, with the cheaper cost of technology, easy availability of new media, and the idea of media convergence in many middle income societies, it has led many juveniles to experience temporary bouts of escapism from their realities of despair on the home front. Focusing on school going adolescents Malaysia, the present study examines the effects of family income levels on violent video game exposure, which leads to poor academic performance and increased aggression. As far as the authors’ knowledge, studies on this type of interaction between income and gender have not been looked into in Southeast Asia. This study investigates the effects of income and gender on playing violent video games in Malaysia, and how it results in poor academic performance amongst secondary school children. This is a case study for other middle income nations in Southeast Asia, which also have strong Eastern cultural and religious beliefs. Contrary to earlier findings, the results indicated boys from higher income backgrounds had a higher propensity for playing violent video games than adolescents from lower income backgrounds. The same effect though, is not manifested on adolescent girls. Nevertheless, playing violent video games was positively related to trait aggressive and negatively to academic performance in both sexes. Our findings indeed sheds new light on socio-economic and demographic factors influencing violent video gaming, offering insights to both policy-makers and theoreticians in researching gaming effects, especially for developing countries in Southeast Asia.

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