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Investigating the Effects of Computer Games on the

Unit 6 LO3 - Critical Approaches to Creative Media Products

Reception theory is an understanding of the texts in media and how they are absorbed by the
audience, and focuses on the concerns of media perception developing through experience. The
theory focuses on spectating contextual factors which influence observations by the viewers, this
often involve contextual factors such as demographic elements of the viewer and how these effect
the circumstances of demonstration through media sources. This theory inspects the social issues
concerning the effect of video games and the correlation to violence in society, it places context all
possible factors of how the context will be interpreted and how this will convey in the media.
The interpretations are analysed through three main methods, these methods are preferred,
negotiated and oppositional. Preferred suggests that the audience connects to the meaning of the
advertisement without any protest and completely absorbs the contextual connotation. This would
suggest that video games have a direct link to violence and the viewers. On the other hand,
negotiated connotes that the audience does not fully accept the statements but rather will obtain an
agreement of the ideas presented and to subconsciously settle the beliefs to a mutual agreement.
Oppositional is the act of resisting the concept and placing the views in contrast with the suggestions
of the media advertiser, it states that the viewer or audience does not conform to the depicted
subject but instead completely disagree with a notion that is being represented.
When the audience is influenced by the audience, it is called Uses and Gratification Theory. This
approach mainly focuses on the methods of media the audience uses as appose to the content, and
the responses towards media. It theorises the use of media terms of the gratification of social and
psychological needs of an individual. This can be obtained by a general exposure to the medium of
playing video games, and the theory explains how people use the media for their personal need.
Because of this, the theory focuses on what the people do with the media rather than what the
media does to them. Exposing the audience to constant video games and applying it to the culture
will desensitise the audience as the will get used to seeing images included in the video games. This
means they would have seen so much violence in video games that violence in real life seems less
The active audience will not be dictated by the medias concepts. They are more likely to understand
the video game is only based on reality, it states that they are fully aware of the difference in video
games and real life actions. In most cases the video games can prevent violence as they supress the
need for violence in the real world, video games can act as an escapism tool for the people playing
to release any stress preventing any actions in the real world. This contrasts the hypodermic needle
theory witch suggests that the audience absorb all the information given to them and accept the
violent actions as a real thing to repeat. Nevertheless this theory is an older theory that may be
irrelevant today as most of the audience that play the video games are more active. This theory
would connote that the audience viewing will be easily influenced by the activity present on the
video games.