(Aug. 12, 2013) -- In November 2010, the online gaming company ActiVision released "Call of Duty: Black Ops," a violent, first-person shooter game compatible with a variety of gaming devices. The video game sold 5.6 million copies within 24 hours of its release, and it earned a record-breaking $650 million in its first five days. Six weeks later, the game had exceeded $1 billion in sales.
Today, a growing number of children, teens and adults purchase and play video games, supporting an industry that is valued at nearly $80 billion worldwide.
Scholars estimate that more than 85 percent of video games contain some form of violent imagery, and half include what they coin "serious violent actions." They also warn that violent video games such as "Call of Duty: Black Ops" have desensitizing effects on the body's physiology.
But are some people desensitized by video games more than others? How does a video game player's home environment factor in?
UTSA researchers Alberto Cordova and Gabriel Acevedo, as well as their research team, have received $14,000 in funding to study whether demographic, socioeconomic and ecological factors offer a buffer to the desensitizing effects of violent video games.
Using a trio of violent video games and a trio of non-violent video games, Cordova will identify causes that may be linked to physiological distress. Additionally, he will gauge physiological and psychological outcomes associated with exposure to violent video games. Lastly, he will measure whether demographics and socioeconomics are significant factors in a person's physiological response to violent video games.
"It is generally accepted within the scientific community that violent video games lead to desensitization, negatively impact psychological functioning and contribute to aggressive behavior. However, very few studies have taken environmental factors into account," said Cordova. "I am interested in determining whether someone's neighborhood environment could potentially offer a buffer to the physiological desensitization we see among people who play violent video games."
Cordova's six-month study will begin in the fall and conclude in February 2014. Initially it will include 50 college students ages 18-24. Once baseline data is collected, Cordova will widen the study with support from an external agency.
>> Learn more about the UTSA Department of Health and Kinesiology.
Lisa Carrington Firmin, UTSA associate provost for veteran and military affairs, will deliver the keynote at this summit where veterans and professional leaders will share best practices regarding veteran-related opportunities.
The Club at Sonterra, 901 Sonterra Blvd., San Antnio
Conversations on Science and Art is hosted by UTSA Art Collection and UT Health San Antonio Research. It features an interview with artist, remarks by VP for Research Dr. Andrea Giuffrida, followed by a roundtable QA with curator Arturo Almeida.
South Texas Research Facility, Lobby 8403 Floyd Curl Dr. San Antonio
Campers in 9th grade through college will receive instruction and coaching on agility testing and position specific drills to refine and improve his skillset as a football player.
Recreational Field Complex, Main Campus
Inspired by UTSA's renowned Mexican Cookbook Collection, the evening features cuisine and spirits of celebrated chefs from San Antonio and Mexico.
Hotel Emma, 136 E. Grayson St., San Antonio
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.
Various locations, Main Campus
Campers 6-12 years old will enjoy the summer learning to read, write and speak the Chinese language. They also will learn about the Chinese culture such as martial arts, painting and drawing, arts and crafts and more.
Confucius Institute at UTSA (MB 1.208), Main Campus
Campers 7th grade and up will focus on individual development with emphasis on simplifying and teaching the specific skills and movements associated with the game. Serving, passing, setting, attacking and individual defense will all be covered. In addition, team concepts will be emphasized.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
Celebrate Texas' diversity with authentic ethnic cuisine, music, dance, arts and crafts from the many countries that make up the rich heritage of Texas.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.