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Study Says Violent Video Games Help Relieve Stress and Anger

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A study conducted by Texas A&M International University has found that both male and female young adults who played violent games following a stressful task exhibited diminished levels of depression, hostility, and stress.

“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.

Those who played the violent game, said Dr. Ferguson, had produced lower levels of “depression and hostile feelings in players through mood management”.

“It probably won’t come to a surprise to gamers that playing games may reduce stress,” Ferguson said, “although others have been sceptical 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.”

Of course, to gamers this really enforces what we believe anyway; We’re mostly level-headed people, and use games – violent or otherwise – as a bit of escapism, and to alleviate stress. The sane of us, anyway. violent loonies are prone to exhibiting violent behaviour whether they play violent games or not.

Admittedly, the research is correlational and requires further research – but it’s nice to know that there’s at least one study that shows we’re not all ticking time-bomb sociopaths, just one in-game kill away from going on a murderous rampage.

Source : EscapistMagazine

Last Updated: July 15, 2010

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