The influence of competitive and cooperative video games on behavior during play and friendship quality in adolescence
SourceComputers in Human Behavior, 91, (2019), pp. 297-304
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI ON
Computers in Human Behavior
Many adolescents play video games together with their friends for multiple hours per week. The way in which peers play games may influence their interactions and relationship. Research has shown distinct effects of competitive and cooperative play on aggression, prosocial behavior, and feelings of empathy and trust. The current study investigated the effect of the mode of gaming on adolescents' behavior during gaming, as well as their friendship quality and prosocial behavior afterwards, in a field study with experimental design and naturalistic observations. Adolescent friend dyads played a racing video game either solitary, competitively, or cooperatively. Observers coded participants’ behavior during the gaming sessions, while friendship quality and prosocial behavior towards the friend were measured afterwards. Results showed that playing a game competitively lowered friendship quality. Furthermore, the mode of play changed the participants' behavior during game play, with more positive, negative, and hierarchical behavior observed in the cooperative condition. Additionally, positive and prosocial behavior displayed during the gaming session predicted higher friendship quality afterwards. There were no effects on the subsequent prosocial behavior task. This study illustrates that both the mode in which friends play a video game and the behavior displayed during gaming influence friendship quality.
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