Lee, K., Peng, W., & Klein, J. (2010). Will the experience of playing a violent role in a video game influence people’s judgments of violent crimes?. Computers In Human Behavior, 26(5), 1019-1023. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2010.03.002

The present study investigates the impact of the experience of role playing a violent character in a video game on attitudes towards violent crimes and criminals. People who played the violent game were found to be more acceptable of crimes and criminals compared to people who did not play the violent game. More importantly, interaction effects were found such that people were more acceptable of crimes and criminals outside the game if the criminals were matched with the role they played in the game and the criminal actions were similar to the activities they perpetrated during the game. The results indicate that people’s virtual experience through role-playing games can influence their attitudes and judgments of similar real-life crimes, especially if the crimes are similar to what they conducted while playing games. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)