ClinicalTrials.gov
ClinicalTrials.gov Menu

Effect of Violent First-Person Shooter (FPS) Video Games on Shooting Accuracy

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03445156
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 26, 2018
Last Update Posted : February 27, 2018
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Brad Bushman, Ohio State University

Brief Summary:
The present research tests the effects of violent shooting games on behavior within the game (Pilot Study) and on behavior after the game is turned off (Experiment Proper). The Experiment Proper is an exact replication of a previous study conducted in our lab that was retracted (see citation), but with a larger sample to get more reliable results (N=287 rather than N=151).

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Gun Shot Wound Behavioral: Video game Behavioral: Controller Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
Violent shooting games are used to train soldiers and police officers. This research tests whether violent shooting can train people to shoot targets in the head, both during gameplay (Pilot Study) and after the game is turned off (Experiment Proper). Participants in both studies played a violent shooting game with humanoid targets that rewarded headshots, or a nonviolent shooting game that punished shots to bull's-eye targets with faces. The experiment proper also included a nonviolent non-shooting game. In the pilot study, gameplay was recorded. In the experiment proper, participants shot 16 "bullets" from a realistic gun at a mannequin following gameplay. Consistent with operant conditioning theory, participants who played a violent shooting game that rewarded headshots had the most hits to targets' heads. Preferential exposure to violent shooting games was also positively correlated with hits to the mannequin's head. Nonviolent shooting games influenced in-game behavior, but did not influence behavior outside the game.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 287 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Intervention Model Description: Two studies (i.e., pilot study, experiment proper).
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: "Boom, Headshot!": Violent First-Person Shooter (FPS) Video Games That Reward Headshots Train Individuals to Aim for the Head When Shooting a Realistic Firearm
Actual Study Start Date : February 1, 2016
Actual Primary Completion Date : April 25, 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : April 25, 2016

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Pilot Study
After giving their consent, participants completed a survey. Next, they were randomly assigned to play either a violent First-Person-Shooter video game or a nonviolent shooting video game for 20 minutes. Video game play was recorded. A debriefing followed.
Behavioral: Video game
Participants played either a violent shooting game or nonviolent shooting game in the pilot study, and either either a violent shooting game, nonviolent shooting game, or nonviolent non-shooting game in the experiment proper.

Behavioral: Controller
Participants used either a gun-shaped or regular controller to play the violent and nonviolent shooting video games.

Experimental: Experiment Proper
After giving their consent, participants completed a survey. Next, they were randomly assigned to play either a violent First-Person-Shooter video game, a nonviolent shooting video game, or a nonviolent non-shooting video game for 20 minutes. Next, they shot a training pistol at a mannequin 20 feet (6.1 meters) away using 16 Velcro "bullets." A debriefing followed.
Behavioral: Video game
Participants played either a violent shooting game or nonviolent shooting game in the pilot study, and either either a violent shooting game, nonviolent shooting game, or nonviolent non-shooting game in the experiment proper.

Behavioral: Controller
Participants used either a gun-shaped or regular controller to play the violent and nonviolent shooting video games.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Hits to head and face [ Time Frame: Up to one hour ]
    In the Pilot Study, we counted hits to the head and face for targets within the game. In the Experiment Proper, we counted hits to the head and face of the mannequin.

  2. Other hits [ Time Frame: Up to one hour ]
    In the Pilot Study, we counted other hits to targets within the game. In the Experiment Proper, we counted other hits to the mannequin (i.e., torso).



Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 46 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18 and older
  • Ohio State participant pool

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Under age 18

Publications:
Whitaker, J. L., & Bushman, B. J. (2014). "Boom, Headshot!": Effect of violent video game play and controller type on firing aim and accuracy. Communication Research, 41(7), 879-891. doi:10.1177/0093650212446622

Responsible Party: Brad Bushman, Professor, Ohio State University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03445156     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2010B0261
First Posted: February 26, 2018    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 27, 2018
Last Verified: February 2018
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Yes
Plan Description: After the manuscript is accepted, data will be uploaded to Figshare.com
Time Frame: Following acceptance of manuscript.
Access Criteria: Open to public domain.

Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No

Keywords provided by Brad Bushman, Ohio State University:
First-person shooter (FPS)
Violent video game
Headshot
Gun
Operant conditioning theory

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Wounds, Gunshot
Wounds, Penetrating
Wounds and Injuries