Video games help us to reduce stress levels study showsPublish date: 14 July 2010 by Tom Manners
In response to numerous studies which indicate that video games increase users’ propensity towards violence and aggression, a recent test conducted by Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson, who is based at Texas A&M International University, has shown that the opposite may be true.
According to Dr. Ferguson young adults—male and female—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.
“In this study, 103 young adults were given a frustration task and then randomized to play no game, a non-violent game, a violent game with good versus evil theme, or a violent game in which they played ‘the bad guy.’ The results suggest that violent games reduce depression and hostile feelings in players through mood management,” Dr. Ferguson explained.
Ferguson said that the results of this study may help provide others with ways to come up with a mood-management activity that provides individuals with ways to tolerate or reduce stress.
“It probably won’t come to a surprise to gamers that playing games may reduce stress,”
Ferguson said, “although others have been skeptical of this idea. This is the first study that explores this idea, however. It does seem that playing violent games may help reduce stress and make people less depressed and hostile.”
This turns commonly held beliefs that video games increase aggression on their head, giving us all the more reason to spend some quality time with our favourite console.