Research Project Sandbox

Synthesis: When it comes to the topic of morality in video games, most readily agree that gaming is shaping players’ ethics and moral codes. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of the degree to which gaming is affecting people’s morality and whether or not the effects are positive or negative. While some are convinced that gaming is currently negatively shaping people’s perception of justice or simply not having any genuine impact at all, others believe that gaming has increased moral sensitivity and is pushing society to be more cooperate and creative as a result.

Topic to Significance: I am trying to better understand in what ways gaming affects our own set of morals because I want to find out how gaming is shaping this upcoming generation of people. In doing so, I hope to stir up more conversations about the psychological impacts of gaming and to bring about awareness to both casual and avid gamers to be mindful about what they are intaking through the ethics set forth in virtual worlds.

Research question: Is gaming hindering the moral development of this upcoming generation?

Reflection: The activities, specifically the brainstorming activity with my table partners, has shed immense light on the difficulties of tackling this specific research topic and also stretched me to think critically about the various components of research, in general. Going forward, I believe I need to investigate what age range, if any are in fact morally affected, are subject most intensely to the ideals of gaming worlds. What exact component of gaming is the primary facilitator of such development? Is it also limited to a specific genre of gaming?
A challenge for this topic will be finding concrete studies and evidence to support the various sides of the argument. What if the player already has “corrupted morals”? How do studies account for that, if it can be accounted for that?

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5 Responses to Research Project Sandbox

  1. Christine Alfano says:

    It looks like your time playing with your topic has been really productive. In your reflection, you have listed out some great questions that will be really important for you to consider moving forward. Each one helps you sharpen your approach and consider ways to make this topic more manageable. Right now, you could write a book on this! Now that you’re finishing up your TiC, it’s time to really start thinking what’s most interesting about this topic and how to move forward productively in a way that allows you to do focused research.

  2. nikinnguyen says:

    Gaming is greatly impacting the way in which people develop their moral codes and subsequent in-life actions.
    -Use case studies that deals with a wide range of players
    -Understand how gaming molds people’s already formed morals
    -Investigate specific genres

  3. nikinnguyen says:

    Research update:
    Last week, I had an extra conference with Christine and we were able to find an article that talks about the effects of gaming (prosocial, neutral, and violent) on children’s behavior. Using that article and a technique taught by Christine, I was able to find some more articles on Google Scholar that related to childhood moral development and how it is affected by gaming. When researching though, I did notice that sample demographics were very limited and little to practically none had studies that dealt with long-term effects of gaming on people’s own sets of moral codes or understanding of justice.

    At this point in time, I believe I want to cultivate my paper around a more positive outlook on gaming and its effects on moral development. Studies show that gaming for children generally promoted some prosocial and helpful behaviors, however, depending on the game, say if it were violent, the opposite seems to be true. Moving forward, I think I would like to conduct surveys from younger audiences to gain a better understanding of this topic because of lot of the research published is a couple years old.

  4. Christine Alfano says:

    Thanks for this update, Niki. I’m not sure if this source will be helpful (or even up to date enough), but I just remembered a book from the library called “Don’t Bother Me, Mom, I’m Learning” ( It might be worth a look.

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