Last updated on: 4/28/2016 | Author:

Kirstie M. Farrar, PhD Biography

Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Connecticut
Pro to the question "Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?"

“In the context of a violent video game using a gun controller, not only do people see guns on screen paired with violence (the double whammy), they are also holding and firing a realistic looking firearm (the triple whammy)…

[W]e conclude that violent video games are a risk factor capable of contributing to aggression. Additionally, this research suggests that playing a realistic first-person shooter game with a firearm controller may be quite worthy of concern as a possible triple whammy risk factor for developing aggressive knowledge structures and, potentially, subsequent aggressive behavior…

This finding is of concern, given that guns play a leading role in the majority of today’s most popular videogames and the industry has introduced hundreds of control devices that mimic the look, feel, and action of real-life firearms.”

Cowritten with Rory McGloin and Joshua Fishlock, “Triple Whammy! Violent Games and Violent Controllers: Investigating the Use of Realistic Gun Controllers on Perceptions of Realism, Immersion, and Outcome Aggression,” Journal of Communication, Apr. 2015

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Individuals with PhDs, MDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to violence and video games. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to media violence and related issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Associate Professor of Communication, University of Connecticut
  • Head, Mass Communication Hire Search Committee, 2014
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Communication, University of Connecticut, 2011-2012
  • Ad hoc reviewer, William T. Grant Foundation, Communication Reports, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media,, Journal of Sex Research, Mass Communication & Society, Media Psychology, Sex Roles, Western Journal of Communication, Journal of Media Psychology, Communication Monographs
  • Education:
  • PhD, Communication, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2001
  • MA, Communication, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1998
  • BA, cum laude, Communication, Santa Clara University, 1995
  • Other:
  • PhD thesis was titled “Sexual Intercourse on Television: Do Risk and Responsibility Messages Matter?”
  • MA thesis was titled “Sexually-Related Talk and Behavior in Adolescents’ Favorite TV Shows”
  • Quoted in:
    Pro & Con Quotes: Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?