The Effect of Intergroup Contact in Gaming on Improving Empathetic Feelings and Reducing Stereotypes Toward Immigrants

Date
2022-01-04
Authors
Chen, Vivian Hsueh Hua
Koek , Wei Jie Dominic
Ibasco, Gabrielle C.
Beatrice, Fidelia
Chib, Arul
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Video games have been designed and studied in the context of intergroup relations. Past studies have shown that overall gaming experience may induce empathy and reduce prejudice, however, the mechanism that leads to such an effect is not fully understood. The current study utilizes intergroup contact theory as a foundation to design a 2D game that allows mediated contact to occur through hiring and dialogue choices. It examines how perceived positive vs. negative contact valence with outgroup immigrant workers influences empathetic feelings and stereotypes toward immigrants. A user study of 81 adult players was conducted. Results showed that overall gameplay reduced negative stereotypes. Perceived positive contact predicts increased empathetic feelings and reduced negative stereotypes toward immigrants. However, there is no significant finding with regards to the influence of negative contact in the game. Implications and directions for further research are discussed
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Games and Gaming, empathy, intergroup contact, serious game, simulated contact, stereotypes
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9 pages
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Proceedings of the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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