Title

The Relationship Between Artificial Social Environments and Deviance

Presenter Information

Tyler Cummings

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 201

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

The purpose of the current study is to investigate the relationship between artificial social environments and an individual’s likelihood to engage in deviant or criminal behaviors and actions. The need for this study was highlighted by research findings that suggest that individuals who play video games often play them to experience deviant behavior and actions that they don’t consider socially viable otherwise. The sample consisted of seven students from Central Gaming Initiative, the Central Washington University video gaming club. Qualitative data was gathered through individual face-to-face interviews. The students were asked questions pertaining to the nature of their media consumption, with the topics ranging from social media consumption to film consumption to video game consumption, and whether or not their behaviors and actions differ between social environments. Participants were also asked if the perceived gender of the video game, tabletop role-playing game, or virtual community character they are playing as influences the behavior and actions they engage in within that environment. Preliminary analysis demonstrates slight differences between participants’ perceived behavior in the real world compared to their perceived behavior in artificial environments. Preliminary analysis also suggests that participants were more likely to engage in deviant and criminal behavior and actions within a video game or tabletop role-playing game settings because they interpret those actions as being without consequences within those particular environments. It is anticipated that further analysis will reveal additional relationships between the relationships between artificial social environments and deviance.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Michael Harrod

Additional Mentoring Department

Sociology

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May 16th, 12:20 PM May 16th, 12:40 PM

The Relationship Between Artificial Social Environments and Deviance

SURC 201

The purpose of the current study is to investigate the relationship between artificial social environments and an individual’s likelihood to engage in deviant or criminal behaviors and actions. The need for this study was highlighted by research findings that suggest that individuals who play video games often play them to experience deviant behavior and actions that they don’t consider socially viable otherwise. The sample consisted of seven students from Central Gaming Initiative, the Central Washington University video gaming club. Qualitative data was gathered through individual face-to-face interviews. The students were asked questions pertaining to the nature of their media consumption, with the topics ranging from social media consumption to film consumption to video game consumption, and whether or not their behaviors and actions differ between social environments. Participants were also asked if the perceived gender of the video game, tabletop role-playing game, or virtual community character they are playing as influences the behavior and actions they engage in within that environment. Preliminary analysis demonstrates slight differences between participants’ perceived behavior in the real world compared to their perceived behavior in artificial environments. Preliminary analysis also suggests that participants were more likely to engage in deviant and criminal behavior and actions within a video game or tabletop role-playing game settings because they interpret those actions as being without consequences within those particular environments. It is anticipated that further analysis will reveal additional relationships between the relationships between artificial social environments and deviance.