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nic_long

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

My research interests are twofold. One program investigates morality using mass communication phenomena. The other program investigates the relationship between mediated violence and aggression using communication technology phenomena. My work uses (online) experiments, surveys, content analyses, and virtual simulations to extend and challenge existing moral psychological and aggression theories.

My current research in morality investigates how moral considerations influence media entertainment. My studies test how character dispositions form, evolve, and bias moral judgment. My work on aggression investigates how individual differences (e.g., skill) and emergent experiential states (e.g., flow) bias people’s perceptions of violent content.

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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!