Cultivating Virtual Stereotypes?: The Impact of Video Game Play on Racial/Ethnic Stereotypes

Behm-Morawitz, Elizabeth; Ta, David
Howard Journal of Communications

This study demonstrates broad-based, second-order cultivation effects from video game play and provides a significant contribution to our understanding of how virtual representations of race and ethnicity may impact real-world racial and ethnic beliefs. This research used a survey design to assess the relationship between White college students’ frequency of video game play and attitudes toward Blacks and Asians. Results suggest that video game play cultivates real-world beliefs about Blacks, such that individuals who spend more time playing video games have less egalitarian views of Blacks. Interracial contact was explored as a moderator but had no influence on the relationship between game play and stereotyping. Results are discussed from a cultivation theory as well as a social identity theory perspective.