Game On: The Relationship Between Media Exposure, Demographics, and Perceptions of Campus Safety

(Pages: 10-21)

Cullen T. O‘Donnell*, Leilani B. Goodmon and Lisa M. Carter 

Department of Psychology, Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801-5698. 


Concealed carry supporters tend to be male, white, conservative, southern, and own guns (Cavanaugh, Bouffard, Wells, & Nobles, 2012). Furthermore, their perceptions of campus safety are not as affected by exposure to fictional or non-fictional (news) media depicting gun violence in academic settings compared to those without such ―pro-carry‖ demographics (O‘Donnell, Carter, Goodmon, Zunic, Smith, & Parisi, 2018). The current purpose was to determine if the relationship between media type exposure, demographics, and perceptions of campus safety generalized to video game exposure as another fictional depiction of campus shootings. Results indicated support for media influence on perceptions of college campus safety. Specifically, news or video game exposure resulted in greater campus safety concern. Results are discussed in terms of how the effect of media type was related to prior levels of pro or anti-carry demographics. 


Video games, fictional media, non-fictional media, concealed carry, gun violence.