Kim, O. (2010). The effects of violent content, controller realism, gender, and previous exposure to violent video games on game player arousal, emotion, presence, attitudes toward violence and social judgment. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, 70,

While media researchers agree on the impact of exposure to violent media on desensitization, support for this claim is based on a relatively small number of studies, mainly conducted in the context of television and film violence decades ago. The possible impact of violent videogames on desensitization also has often been discussed, but rarely explored empirically. This dissertation focused on the effects of violent content, game controller, gender, and previous exposure to violent video games on player desensitization. One week before a lab experiment, participants completed an online questionnaire assessing previous exposure to violent video games, attitudes toward violence and judgments of newspaper crime stories. In the lab, participants were randomly assigned to play a violent game with a realistic gun controller, a violent game with a traditional gamepad controller, or a non-violent game with a gamepad controller. This dissertation’s overall findings suggest the significant effects of long-term desensitization such that those with high previous exposure show different reactions during and after playing a video game than those with low previous exposure to such games. In addition, violent content and controller realism were directly and indirectly related to desensitization outcomes. Finally, males appeared to be more vulnerable to desensitization than were females. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)