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Advancing hypotheses derived from social identity theory, we investigated the influence of gamer identity affiliation on affective responses to identity threats and enhancements. Participants viewed a message that either devalued (i.e., threatened) or elevated (i.e., enhanced) the status of gamers when associating them with a mass shooting event. Relative to a control condition that neither threatened nor enhanced identity, our data demonstrated that gamer identity affiliation moderated affect. Specifically, greater gamer affiliation increased negative affect experienced after a threatening message. By contrast, greater gamer affiliation increased positive affect and reduced negative affect experienced after an enhancement message. Analyses of participants’ emotional reactions to the messages revealed that individuals with stronger gamer identity affiliation reported relatively more homogeneous emotions relative to individuals less affiliated with gamer identity. We discuss these response patterns with respect to how emotions may shape intergroup interaction in online communication. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

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Journal of Media Psychology: Theories, Methods, and Applications, in press

©American Psychological Association, 2023. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: