The Potential Persuasive Nature of Video Games
Aaron Delwiche's From The Green Beret to America's Army: Video Games as a Vehicle for Political Propaganda examined the persuasive nature of several video games in terms of their immersion, intense engagement, identification, and interactivity. The video game medium offers an increased level of these four I's than other mediums. For example, Delwiche states that video games make it possible for communicators to influence more senses, which leads to better immersion. Intense engagement in video games is created by greater motivation and engagement. Personal identification with the character is more pronounced in video games, and video games are simply more interactive than other mediums.
Delwiche examined the four I's for not only a typical first and third shooter game but also for games created by scholars. In all cases, Delwiche determined that these games failed in more than one of the I's and thus were not persuasive as one might have guessed. It was interesting to examine September 12 in this manner, since the class had previously played it and drew conclusions based on our player experiences. Even though it evokes critical thinking about the War on Terror's global and cultural implications, Delwiche states that is unlikely to alter the views of Americans who endorse the War of Terror.
I enjoyed that Delwiche's conclusion emulated other class articles in that game researches should take moral and political responsibility for this medium, as should developers. Delwiche's paper took it one step further and offered some ways to actually accomplish this. It would be interesting to see if any current games have mastered this persuasive nature and to examine other games based on these criteria.
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