Does a Wii make you meaner than an Xbox?

Posted by Ken Kola

Playing a video game on a Wii could make you play more aggressively than if you were using an Xbox for the same game.

According to a study from Mississippi State University, people using the Wii remote and nunchuck are more likely to feel hostile after playing a video game than those who used a more traditional controller.

The additional feeling of immersion in the game, says Dr. Kevin D. Williams, increases the potential for an aggressive response.

"My research also says that while motion controls can enhance your connection to the game, we aren't necessarily to the point where home gaming technology makes the player feel immersed and surrounded by the game," he says.

"That feeling is still very much a subjective human-driven process rather than an objective technology driven process."

Over 70 men were assigned to play Punchout, with half using each type of controller. And, Williams found, those using the Wii remote and numchuck were more likely to identify with the video game character, and feel as if they were actually moving with it.

The increase in hostility showed up immediately after a single ten-minute exposure to the game.

"That small increase in hostility could be short lived," says Williams. "My concern as a parent would be where the industry is heading.

"If these controls impact hostility, even in a small sense now, what safeguards or ethical policies will the industry enact to make sure that as technology advances smaller impressionable children are protected?"