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Gamers Not So Violent

Jan. 20 2009, Published 12:30 p.m. ET

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A new study by the University of Rochester suggests that graphic violence is not a requisite for most does videogamers.

Lead author and social psychology grad student Andrew Przybylski said they started the project after noticing the appeal of games like World of Warcraft, Team Fortress 2, and Halo 3, all of which have a "good deal of violent content."

"We found that, on average, violent content didn't add to motivation for play," said Przybylski.

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Substituting "tag" for "killing" created no less interest in the games.

"People like video games because they introduce them to worlds where they can feel freedom and where they can feel a sense of accomplishment and competence," added researcher Richard Ryan. "It just happens that a lot of games that have those elements are also combat or war type games and include violence."

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