Document Type



I am looking at parents to see if video games caused a moral panic as comic books and heavy metal had in the past. A comparison of these media with video games begs the question: has gaming as a medium been treated by parents, religious figures, legislators, and others in the same way as comic books and heavy metal in the past? A driving force in this buildup of moral panic is due to video games being a more interactive form of entertainment compared to reading comic books or listening to heavy metal. There are many who believe that the participatory factor in gaming is a critical part of what generates real life violence from pixels and data moving around a screen. This interactivity is what makes gaming so unique, especially as graphical quality became better in a short period of time, going from two-dimensional sprites that required an active imagination to fill in the details, to the high-definition three-dimensional models that inhabit the world of games during the first few years of 2000. This leap in graphics and direct input from the player both contribute to what made adults take a stand against for the sake of their children. It is also important to understand that this research is not about whether the moral panic experienced by the public is legitimate or justified, rather, it is about what reaction the public had and how they interpreted video games and their content.



Thesis Comittee

Dr. Paul Rubinson, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Ann M. Brunjes, Committee Member
Dr. Leonid Heretz, Committee Member