Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Scott Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jameson Hayes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kelly Werder, Ph.D.


Desensitization, Emotion, Empathy, External Validity, Focus Groups, Internal Validity


This qualitative focus groups analysis examines the harmful effects of violent video games on emotions and behavior by comparing violent video game player's responses to that of non-violent video game players of the same age group. Research on the effects of video games has been done since the 70s, yet more research is needed to better understand the potentially harmful emotional and behavioral effects of playing violent games, especially from the gamers' perspectives. This thesis presents a qualitative analysis of data obtained from focus group sessions among undergraduate college students. Results of the analysis supports the presence as well as absence of violent video game effects, according to violent and non-violent video gamers' personal experiences and in their own words.

Included in

Communication Commons