Violent games "may help reduce stress"

Jaz McDougall

According to the Texas A&M International University's news feed , "Young adults who play violent video games long-term handle stress better than non-playing adults and become less depressed and less hostile following a stressful task."

Dr. Chris Ferguson took 103 young adults of both sexes and gave them a "frustrating task" - which I will now entertain myself by trying to imagine - before dividing them into groups and having them wind down by playing either a non-violent game (like Bejeweled, although the gems do EXPLODE), a violent game where you fight evil (like Red Faction: Guerilla), or a violent game where you are the COMING STORM with no moral obligations (like Red Faction: Guerilla).

Dr. Ferguson found that those who played violent games just chilled out more, and had less trouble dealing with stress. He underlined that the results were 'correlational', which sounds suspiciously like science to me, and that further research was needed. That said, we all know it's true, right? The ability to go home after a bad day and run over virtual pedestrians might not look good on the front page of a tabloid, but it's a lot better than punching holes in walls or building a doomsday device. What do you think?

Update: Dr. Ferguson has pointed me at his website , where he's made his study available in PDF format . A quick scan reveals that the games used were Madden 2007, Call of Duty 2, and Hitman: Blood Money, so that all checks out. The 'frustrating task' was actually a form of high speed annoying maths.

[ TAMIU via CVG ]

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