Walking in another’s Virtual Shoes – Can Gaming increase Understanding and Empathy?

Alice Louise Wadsworth

Originally written for Just Gushing

Gaming has gone through its years of being feared, like records, cinema, T.V, arcade games, gin and most good things, and researchers are beginning to find video games can increase feelings of empathy. At Innsbruck University 4 years ago, psychologist Tobias Greitemeyer decided to see if videogames can turn schadenfreude (enjoyment/amusement at another’s misfortune) into empathy. They asked half the participants to play Tetris – a neutral game – and the other half to play a version of Lemmings in which you saved other lemmings from their doom. After gaming for 10 minutes, they were asked their opinion on Paris Hilton’s arrest (yes, I don’t really know why they chose that case either). Those who played the lemming game felt lower levels of shadenfreude at Hilton after reading the story. The also were read other stories about every day misfortune (heartbreak, physical accidents) and they…

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By mumbleee

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