A violent video game with a role as black avatar may influence racism in white players as per new research.
A new study suggests that it makes the white players act more aggressively after the game is over, have stronger explicit negative attitudes toward blacks and display stronger implicit attitudes linking blacks to weapons.
These results are the first to link avatar race in violent video games to later aggression, Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University, said.
And it raises another troubling impact that violent video games can have on players, he said.
Bushman said that playing a violent video game as a black character reinforces harmful stereotypes that blacks are violent and the findings showed that there are real consequences to having these stereotypes - it can lead to more aggressive behavior.
Bushman noted that this study shows that it doesn't always help white people to take the perspective of a black person.
He said that usually, taking the perspective of a minority person is seen as a good thing, as a way to evoke empathy.
"But if white people are fed a media diet that shows blacks as violent, they don't have a realistic view of black people. It isn't good to put yourself in the shoes of a murderer, as you do in many of these violent games," Bushman said.
The study is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.