The virtual environment has been the centre of interest in several areas of research, such as information science, management, marketing and leisure. Virtual games, in particular, have deserved special attention from leisure researchers, as they can be considered one of the favourite leisure options in contemporary societies. This study aims to investigate subjective aspects of the relationship between humans and the virtual environment, particularly as they relate to risk, violence, competitiveness and emotions felt during the game experiences. An internet survey was developed and administered to 250 players of virtual games in Brazil, aged between 18 and 30 years. Data were descriptively analyzed and the results indicate the presence of addictive behaviour in some participants. Participants have evidenced feelings of higher competitiveness in virtual environment games due to the possibility of easily violating ethical and moral principles to supplant a virtual adversary. Risk did not seem to be a worrying factor for the players, whom during the games tended to exacerbate risk behaviours, such as aggressiveness and competitiveness. Findings suggest that virtual games, per se, are not linked to an increase of violence and aggressive behaviour. To participants, personality traits are responsible for the aggressiveness expressed when virtual games are played. However, risk-taking behaviour can increase because players are protected by virtual anonymity. Further research is still needed to better understand the virtual environments used in the context of leisure experiences and their subjective elements.
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||Recreation and Society in Africa, Asia and Latin America|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2011|