Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal


2018 Vol 11 Issue 62

Nestik T.A. The attitudes toward global risks among gamers playing different computer games

Full text in Russian: Нестик Т.А. Отношение к глобальным рискам у геймеров с разным предпочитаемым типом компьютерных игр

Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

About author
Suggested citation

Based on a review of studies on the effects of cinematographic images of global catastrophes on individual attitudes to climate change, it is concluded that they raise concerns about global risks, but may reduce the assessment of their likelihood. The psychological characteristics of computer games, the action of which takes place after a global catastrophe, are analyzed. It was supposed that the computer game culture maintains belief in the possibility of survival after a nuclear war, leads to an underestimation of the imaginary catastrophic consequences, the true reality of which is not available to the experience of living humanity. The results of three exploratory studies of gamers’ attitudes toward global risks (N = 547, N = 503, N = 291) are presented. It is shown that the experience of playing computer games is negatively related with anxiety about global risks and the value of humanity survival. Nevertheless, a comparison of the types of game preferences, we have identified, shows, that gamers playing post-apocalyptic games are characterized by higher concerns about global risks and social pessimism. They are more willing to participate in the prevention of global risks, but at the same time they are more inclined to believe that a global catastrophe can be survived if you prepare for it in advance. Respondents who do not play computer games, as well as gamers who prefer shooters and arcades, were most inclined to fatalistic ignoring global risks. At the same time, the same two groups had the highest fear of personal death. On the contrary, gamers, who prefer multiplayer online role-playing games, are more optimistic about the future of humanity, less inclined to ignore global risks and less prone to the fear of personal death, which may be due to their experience in creating successful alliances to solve complex task in games. Promising areas of research on the impact of computer games on the attitudes to global risks and prosocial attitudes are outlined.

Keywords: computer games, gamers, post-apocalyptic games, global risks, social trust, attitudes to personal death


The study was supported by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation, project 18-18-00439.


Avetisova A.A. Psikhologiya. Zhurnal Vysshei shkoly ekonomiki, 2011, 8(4), 35–58. (in Russian)

Baeva L.V. Informatsionnoe obshchestvo, 2014, Vol. 2, 27–34. (in Russian)

Beattie G., Sale L., McGuire L. Aninconvenienttruth? Can a film really affect psychological mood and our explicit attitudes towards climate change? Semiotica, 2011, Vol. 187, 105–125.

Bianco K. What if video games could help fight climate change? No, really. Wired, 2018.

Bogacheva N.V., Voiskunskii A.E. Psikhologiya. Zhurnal Vysshei shkoly ekonomiki, 2015, 12(1), 29–53. (in Russian)

Bogacheva N.V., Voiskunskii A.E. Sovremennaya zarubezhnaya psikhologiya, 2017, 6(4), 29–40. (in Russian)

Carter M., Gibbs M., Wadley G. Death and Dying in Day Z. Proceedings of The 9th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment: Matters of Life and Death, Melbourne, 2013, 22, 1–6.

Chistopol'skaya K.A., Mitina O.V., Enikolopov S.N., Nikolaev E.L., Semikin G.I., Ozol S.N., Chubina S.A. Suitsidologiya, 2017, 8(4), 43–55. (in Russian)

D'Olimpio L., Beard M., Stokes P. Philosophy and Fallout 4: what’s the appeal of the post-apocalypse? The Conversation, 2015.

Flynn-Jones E. Don't Forget to Die: A Software Update is Available for the Death Drive. In: T. Mortensen, J. Linderoth, A. Brown (Eds.), The Dark Side of Game Play. London: Routledge, 2015. pp. 50–66.

Hornsey M.J., Harris E.A., Bain P.G., Fielding K.S. Meta-analyses of the determinants and outcomes of belief in climate change. Nature Climate Change, 2016, 6 (6), 622–626.

Kellstedt P., Zahran S.M., Vedlitz A. Personal efficacy, the information environment, and attitudes toward global warming and climate change in the United States. Risk Analysis, 2008, Vol. 28, 113–126.

Klastrup L. Why Death Matters: Understanding Gameworld Experience. Journal of Virtual Reality and Broadcasting, 2007, 4(3).

Klopotova E.E., Kuznetsova T.Yu. Ispol'zovanie «ser'eznykh» komp'yuternykh igr v obrazovatel'noi rabote s det'mi. Sovremennaya zarubezhnaya psikhologiya, 2017, 6(4), 41–45. (in Russian)

Kulagina I.Yu., Senkevich L.V. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya, 2013, Vol. 4, 58–65. (in Russian)

Logvinov I.N., Sarychev S.V., Logvinova M.I., Logvinova T.I. Uchenye zapiski, 2013, 3(27), 262–269. (in Russian)

Lowe T., Brown K., Dessai S., de França Doria M., Haynes L., Vincent K. Does tomorrow ever come? Disaster narrative and public perceptions of climate change. Public Understanding of Science, 2006, 15 (4), 435–457.

McGreavy B., Lindenfeld L. Entertaining our way to engagement? Climate change films and sustainable development values. International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2014, 17(2), 123–136.

Meya J.N., Eisenack K. Effectiveness of gaming for communicating and teaching climate change. THESys Discussion Paper, 2017, Vol. 3, 1–31.

Moon H.-J. The Post-Apocalyptic Turn: A Study of Contemporary Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Narrative. Theses and Dissertations. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2014.

Nestik T.A. PhD dissertation (Psychology). Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 2015. (in Russian)

Nestik T.A., Zhuravlev A.L. Psikhologicheskii zhurnal, 2018, 39(1), 127–138. (in Russian)

Pichlmair M. Assembling a Mosaic of the Future: The Post-Nuclear World of Fallout 3. Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture, 2009, 3(1), 107–113.

Poole S. Why video games are obsessed with the apocalypse. BBC Future, 2017.

Rubtsova O.V., Panfilova A.S., Artemenkov S.L. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie, 2018, 23(1), 137–148. (in Russian)

Schmid U. Post-Apocalypse, Intermediality and Social Distrust in Russian Pop Culture. Russian analytical digest, 2013, Vol. 126.

Shafer D.M. Moral Choice in Video Games: An Exploratory Study. Media Psychology Review, 2012, 5(1).

Shafer D.M., Janicke S., Seibert J. Judgment and Choice: Moral Judgment, Enjoyment and Meaningfulness in Interactive and Non-Interactive Narratives. IOSR. Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2016, 21(8), 97–106.

Soldatova G.U., Rasskazova E.I., Nestik T.A. Tsifrovoe pokolenie Rossii: kompetentnost' i bezopasnost' [Digital generation of Russia: competence and security]. Moscow: Smysl, 2017. (in Russian)

Steinemann S.T., Iten G.H., Opwis K., Forde S.F., Frasseck L., Mekler E.D. Interactive Narratives Affecting Social Change. A Closer Look at the Relationship Between Interactivity and Prosocial Behavior. Journal of Media Psychology, 2017, 29(1), 54–66.

Zhuravlev A.L., Nestik T.A., Sosnin V.A. Sotsial'no-psikhologicheskie aspekty geopoliticheskoi stabil'nosti i yadernogo sderzhivaniya v KhKhI veke [Socio-psychological aspects of geopolitical stability and nuclear deterrence in the twenty-first century]. Moscow: Institut psikhologii RAN, 2016. (in Russian)

Received 14 September 2018. Date of publication: 9 December 2018.

About author

Nestik Timofei A. Ph.D., Head of the Laboratory of Social and Economic Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Yaroslavskaya, 13, 129366 Moscow, Russia.
E-mail: Этот адрес электронной почты защищен от спам-ботов. У вас должен быть включен JavaScript для просмотра.

Suggested citation

Nestik T.A. The attitudes toward global risks among gamers playing different computer games. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 2018, Vol. 11, No. 62, p. 1. (in Russian, abstr. in English).

Permanent URL:

Back to top >>

Related Articles