The aim of this study was to see if there is an effect of violence and actively playing on recognition of in-game advertisements. Previous research has shown that violence leads to worse memory of brands in video games (Lull et. al., 2018). Violence has also shown to lead to worse memory of advertisements in television shows with violence (Gunter et. al., 2005) (Bushman, 1998). Participants were randomly assigned one of four conditions. Participants were instructed to complete a race in Grand Theft Auto 5 while engaging in violent or non-violent behavior, or asked to watch gameplay of GTA 5 that was either violent or non-violent. After playing GTA 5 or watching GTA 5, participants completed a recognition task on billboards in the game. A 2 x 2 analysis of variance and two independent sample t-tests were conducted to analyze the results. The only significant data found was a significant difference in recognition for the active groups between the violent and the non-violent participants. The non-violent participants performed significantly better on the recognition task than the non-violent participants. This goes along with Lull et. al.’s (2018) findings on violence’s effect on memory in games. Future research might look into the significant effect found here as well as exploring the passive condition and attempt to find significant data there.


Foster, Nathaniel




Video games, memory, advertising

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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