Justin Williams Laser
Justin Williams

Justin C. Williams Laser Enthusiast Explores the Role of Occupational Psychology in Reducing the Negative Aspects of Online Gaming

Occupational psychology is the study of how to keep people happy in the workplace, Justin C. Williams laser enthusiast says.  It’s the correlation between positivity in the workplace and the increased output of production and less absenteeism by the workers.  The concepts of occupational psychology can also be applied to instances of teamwork where players play and compete as a team in online gaming.  Here, Justin C. Williams laser enthusiast talks about how a study involving the concepts of occupational psychology is helping at least one video game become less negative. 

According to an article by Boyle, Connolly and Hainey, Justin says, interest in serious games as been growing.  Early studies were focused on violence, gender stereotypes, and the addictive properties of gaming.  These studies looked at some of the benefits of online gaming and showed that “serious games can help in learning, skill acquisition, and behavior change.”  It also showed how psychological theories can help design and influence games.

Justin C. Williams laser enthusiast says one of those psychological theories was explored in a 2016 article entitled Can a Video Game Company Tame Toxic Behaviour?  In this article, Brendan Maher talks about how online gamers have a reputation for hostility. He says, “In a largely consequence-free environment inhabited mostly by anonymous and competitive young men, the antics can be downright nasty. Players harass one another for not performing well and can cheat, sabotage games and do any number of things to intentionally ruin the experience for others.” 

Justin C. Williams laser enthusiast references an article on PlatinumParagon which describes how Dr. Jeffrey Lin, a cognitive neuroscientist, created a study called The Optimus Experiment.  This experiment studied the effects of reducing negative behavior online by “priming,” which he defines as “a psychological technique that attempts to influence behavioral outcomes based on what is presented to the person beforehand.”  The League of Legends, what many consider the most popular video game of the time, was used as the game in the experiment.  It showed when players were “primed” ahead of game time with messages about how online harassment would create a negative effect on their team members’ game results, the negativity lessened.  Justin says the research seemed to indicate that negative behavior could be reduced if decreasing or eliminating the negativity was presented as a cost-benefit analysis ahead of time.

Justin C. Williams adds that Maher chronicled his own harassment when playing League of Legends.  Maher’s harassment included name-calling and homophobic slurs.  He also described how the parent company of League of Legends recognized harassment as a potential problem for attracting and retaining gamers and hired a team of researchers to study the social and anti-social interactions between its users. 

“The role of occupational psychology in online gaming is something that is still being studied,” Justin C.  Williams laser enthusiast, says. “Reducing the negativity inside games like this will help with both retention and the enjoyment players get out of gaming.”

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