Strategic Communication Professor Publishes in ‘Journal of Media Psychology’

High Point University professor Sojung Kim

High Point University professor Sojung KimHIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 30, 2013 – Dr. Sojung Claire Kim, assistant professor of strategic communication at High Point University, recently published an article in the “Journal of Media Psychology.”

The article, titled “Killing is Positive: Intra-Game Responses Meet the Necessary (But Not Sufficient) Theoretical Conditions for Influencing Aggressive Behavior,” details a study that was designed to investigate whether playing violent video games elicits the psychological conditions theoretically required for media use – desensitization, facilitation, and disinhibition – to cause aggressive behavior.

“Violent video games are a frequent topic of concern. Reflected on this, a great deal of research has looked at who plays video games, why they play, and how video game playing affects aggressive behavior. Instead of adding another paper to the body of use/behavior studies, this paper seeks to investigate the emotional, motivation, and physiological reactions of video game players while they are playing a first-person shooter video game,” Kim explains. “To do that, we designed an experiment, which measured study participants’ self-reported survey and physiological responses. The study found that, in fact, playing first-person shooters did elicit these requisite patterns of cognitive, physiological, and emotional states.”

Kim notes that violent game play is a positive, arousing, present, dominant experience (as required for disinhibition and facilitation). Experienced game players are less aroused than less experienced game players (as required for desensitization). Further, during a game-playing session, exploring and searching for enemies become less arousing, while fighting and killing become more arousing over time (as required by desensitization and facilitation).

This scholarly work, which was built in a collaborative effort, will allow undergraduates at HPU to better understand potential effects of interactive game play, Kim says.

“To be a good game designer, students should not only be technologically adept and artistically inclined but also carefully consider the consequences of those games they would develop on other players,” she says.

The paper was co-authored by communication colleagues from prestigious institutions such as Indiana University-Bloomington, Texas Tech University, and University of South Florida.

To view Kim’s article, visit

Dr. Kim welcomes any collaboration opportunities with other scholars who are also interested in investigating the effects of interactive communication technologies.

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