I am doing a paper for my Sociology class. I am trying to determine why there is a gender gap in the playing of violent video games such as the Battlefield series, Call of Duty series, and Grand Theft Auto series.
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There has been mountains of university-level research on these kinds of topics. There should be papers all over the net about them. And reports from industry analysis presentations from GDC and things like that as well.
vgresearcher.wordpress.com/.../ this one in particular outlines a lot of it.
"The interpretation is that men play violent videogames more frequently than women as they anticipate more enjoyment and less guilt from playing Bad Company 2 (see blue lines). Indirect paths from gender to the anticipated emotions are also significant factors for violent videogame play (see green lines). Men are less empathetic which in turn led to less anticipated guilt. Men are more likely to morally justify violence which in turn led to greater anticipated enjoyment. When it comes to gratifications in game play (see red lines), men are more gratified with the need for aggression and thrills, but the need for aggression is a significant factor in one’s anticipated enjoyment which in turn led to violent videogame use."
It's kind of a solved problem.
comm.stanford.edu/.../nicholas-maisonave-1112.pdf has some interesting stuff on cultivation.
www.psychologytoday.com/.../examining-the-performance-gender-link-in-video-games has an interesting point about the reproductive benefit to competition being different between genders, which leads to different expressions of competitive behaviour.
usabilitynews.org/.../ looks at gender preferences amongst gamers
https://www.msu.edu/~jsherry/Site/Orientations.pdf has some gender and age analysis.
There is nothing particularly 'magical' about video games. The people that play violent video games are generally the same type of people that enjoy violent movies, or that play violent sports.
As an aside, I both play and make video games, and my playing preferences include a wide variety of genres. Grand Theft Auto falls into that, so I definitely do play some violent games, though not exclusively.