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Thursday, 22 September, 2005
By JAIME HOLGUIN
NEW YORK

It seems more video gamers are getting misty-eyed these days, and it's not because they're lonely.

A study by Bowen Research, a firm that studies consumer attitudes and behavior regarding high tech products, found that more than two-thirds of 535 gamers surveyed felt their games delivered as much emotional impact, if not more, than movies, music or books. Role-playing games, in particular, evoked the most powerful emotional response.

The results didn't surprise Michael Meyers, who heads a public relations firm for the video game industry.

"Of course they're going to have an emotional impact, that's the way they're designed," says Meyers, "They're being put together much the way a good novel would be put together except with graphics."

Hugh Bowen, who led the study, says there's a depth to these games that suggests it's an art form that will continue to evolve.

"In role-playing games you're associating with a character, you're building it up and you might be playing this character for many months," says Bowen. "You can see how, in a way, you can really start to identify with these characters, and so when something bad happens to them or they die, you have a really strong reaction."

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Here are some of the study's findings:

Feelings that videogames most strongly inspire:

Competitiveness

Violence/Excitement

Accomplishment

Hate

Sadness

Love

Spirituality
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Genres that pack the most emotional punch:

Role playing games

First-person shooters

Action

Adventure

Fighting

Sports
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Individual titles with most emotional impact:

Final Fantasy

Resident Evil

Halo

Silent Hill

Metal Gear Solid

Madden (football)
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Jaime Holguin is an ASAP staff writer.
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Want to comment? Sound off at soundoffasap@ap.org.

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