A study to be published in the January 16th edition of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin indicates that violence and gore do not make games more attractive to players.
The report, produced by investigators at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. and Immersyve, a “player-experience” research firm, found that gore in games actually detracts from a game’s “fun-factor,” reducing player’s interest and desire to purchase it.
The study was compiled from the results of two online surveys involving 2,670 self-described frequent video game players. More than 300 undergraduates were studied under controlled conditions, where they were allowed to play violent and non-violent versions of the same game. One study used Half-Life 2; another one used House of the Dead III.
Across the studies and through both surveys, added violent content did little or in some cases detracted from the enjoyment players reported. Violent content was preferred by a small subgroup of people who scored high in aggression traits.