Playing their game: Changing stereotypes of Palestinians and Israelis through videogame play

Saleem Alhabash, Kevin Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This experiment explores the effects of a role-playing videogame on participants’ attitudes toward Israelis and Palestinians. Participants (N = 172) were randomly assigned to the role of either an Israeli or a Palestinian leader in PeaceMaker, a videogame simulation of the Palestinian–Israeli conflict. Participants’ explicit and implicit attitudes toward both groups were assessed before and after a 20-minute gameplay experience. Results showed that gameplay changed participants’ explicit stereotypes of the two national groups in a role-congruent fashion. Participants assigned to play the role of the Palestinian President or the Israeli Prime Minister negatively changed their evaluations of the opposing national group. Moreover, implicit bias moderated stereotype change. Results are discussed within the framework of self-persuasion and an associative-proposition evaluation model of attitude change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1358-1376
Number of pages19
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 7 2015


  • Attitude change
  • Israelis
  • Palestinians
  • PeaceMaker
  • explicit measures
  • implicit measures
  • motivational reactivity
  • self-persuasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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