Send this article by email What is your name? Please indicate below the emails to which you want to send this article: Professor explores role of evil in video games Enter one email per line. No more than 5 emails. Send Close It’s become a popular debate in contemporary society: Are video games causing young people to become more violent? Or are they just another form of entertainment?
Just last week, a new study emerged that ties video games to physical aggression. Yet according to an article in the Scientific American, the debate “is by no means over,” with researchers still disagreeing on the findings and their significance.
UNC Greensboro religious studies professor Dr. Gregory Grieve is taking a different approach to the subject of video games and evil. Grieve thinks the arguments of both sides may be too simplistic, so he’s looking beyond the current controversy to understand how evil works in video games.
“Evil plays a large part not only in how video games are read by audiences, but also how they are designed,” Grieve explains. “There’s this good versus bad struggle that is a common theme.”
Grieve started this new project over the summer, thanks to a UNCG Faculty First Grant that allowed him to spend time at the Game Research Lab and Centre of Excellence in Game Studies at the University of Tampere in Finland. Last week, as part of a three-year working group on Public Theologies of Technology and Presence, he gave his first public talk on the subject in Berkley, California.
In order to explore the role of evil in video games, Grieve starts with a close reading of a game – the same way that an English professor would do a close reading of a novel. He then talks to designers and players, and conducts an analysis of the paratextual materials, such …