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    Are videogames represented as violent in the press? Hypothesis testing using MD-CADS and corpora from UK newspapers in 2000 and 2020

    Heritage, Frazer ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2788-3208 and Humphreys, Chloe (2023) Are videogames represented as violent in the press? Hypothesis testing using MD-CADS and corpora from UK newspapers in 2000 and 2020. Corpora, 19 (2). ISSN 1749-5032 (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Previous academic research has argued that videogames are represented as violent in the media, and that these representations provide a justification to study videogames as a social object. However, little systematic research has been done to confirm whether such representations occur frequently, or whether this is a non-representative assumption based on a small number of news stories. Through using methods associated with Modern-Diachronic Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (MD-CADS), we explore two corpora of newspaper articles from the British press containing references to videogames: one contains data from 2000 and the other from 2020. We find that while newspapers do represent videogames as promoting violence, these representations occur much more frequently in 2000 than in 2020, and that in 2020 this idea is more regularly challenged. Furthermore, in 2020 there is a greater focus on the benefit of videogames for the economy compared to 2000. The research highlights the need to critically revaluate assumptions about how the media represents not only videogames, but also comparable topics.

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