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I am a Visiting Professor in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University.

Most broadly, I am interested in how communication affects cooperation and conflict. One branch of my research focuses on theory construction in moral psychology by investigating how individuals and groups form and maintain their systems of morality via communication. The other branch investigates how individual differences and message characteristics affect how people process interactive violence. Theories from communication, moral psychology, metaethics, evolutionary psychology, and social psychology inform both branches. My investigations rely on experimental, content analytic, and survey methodologies. I also build virtual environments to investigate various social scientific phenomena.

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Video games, violence, and common sense

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Below is the introduction to a blog post I wrote on video game violence. Both Gamasutra and Motivate Play published it earlier this year.

Media violence research waxes and wanes like many other research topics. Focusing events train the collective gaze of the world on single point. When Facebook changes how it shares our information, we discuss our tenuous grip on privacy. When Twitter aids in the coordination of a revolution, we discuss the awesome power of social networking. Similarly, when violent tragedies occur involving youth, many look toward the research surrounding violent media—video games in particular. Unfortunately, this body of research often elicits more confusion than clarity.

One of the central questions at hand is if violent video games cause elevated levels of aggression. A great deal of research suggests that…

Read the full article at Gamasutra or Motivate Play!