Fielding Graduate University News

Fielding faculty Dr. Karen Dill keeping busy in media psychology news

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, Sep 14, 2012

describe the imageFielding Graduate University media psychology faculty member Karen Dill, PhD, is making the news.

Karen recently completed an interview with Time magazine covering her research on race in video games. The article reviews the research for the game Assassin’s Creed III based on the concept for a half-Mohawk, half-British assassin.

Read the Time article here: 

Regarding the her research and analysis of the Mohawk culture, Karen writes about what the game developers did right:

“This game might teach some realistic aspects of Mohawk culture, and the game developersMohawk iron worker strove to be realistic and accurate about Mohawk culture. What would be positive is if the game caused players to learn more about the Mohawk culture, specifically aspects that do not involve aggression. For example, game players might find out that Mohawks were key ironworkers that helped build the city of New York.

What makes a character a stereotype or not, for me, depends on several things, all of which have to do with good narrative and character development in general. Of course, game developers should stay away from stereotypes, negative or positive. Characters should be complicated and nuanced. The fact of their race should inform who they are and yet they should still be allowed to be a unique individual."

Along with this article, Karen also recently published an article in Sage titled: Simulation & Gaming: An International Journal  demonstrating how minorities are presented in the media makes a difference in how others feel about and react to other members of that minority.  For more than four decades, Simulation & Gaming: An International Journal of Theory, Practice and Research has served as a leading international forum for the exploration and development of simulation/gaming methodologies used in education, training, consultation, and research. It appraises academic and applied issues in the expanding fields of simulation, computer- and internet-mediated simulation, virtual reality, educational games, video games, industrial simulators, active and experiential learning, case studies, and related methodologies.

Not slowing down, Karen recently worked with the International Society for Research on Aggression to complete a statement regarding media violence intended for general audiences to summarize what experts believe about media violence effects. The International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA) is a society of scholars and scientists interested in the scientific study of aggression and violence. The Society is both international and interdisciplinary and meets every other year on alternating continents. There are over 250 members from several dozen countries with specialties in psychology, psychiatry, physiology, sociology, anthropology, animal behavior, criminology, political science, pharmacology, and education. For more information on the ISRA media violence statement, click here:

Based on her expertise, Karen was also recently invited by the chair of the division on information systems of the ICA (International Communication Association), to be part of a panel promoting promote the upcoming Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology, of which she is the editor, next summer at their London conference.

Last but not least, Fielding Graduate University is pleased to announce the Media & Social Psychology course that Karen teaches draws praise in this article posted recently for being on the forefront of thought in its field, and is among other courses offered by top Universities including Harvard.

Click here for the article 10 College Courses That Didn’t Exist 20 Years  Ago:

To keep up with Karen and her work:

Psychology Today Blog:

Tags: Media psychology, diversity, research