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Computer Games Make Players Less Violent

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the obviously-never-been-ganked-in-the-arathi-highlands dept.

PC Games (Games) 192

Stony Stevenson writes "A new study of computer gamers has found that a session in front of World of Warcraft can make players less stressed and more calm. The study questioned 292 male and female online gamers aged between 12 and 83 about anger and stress. They then played the game for two hours and were retested. "There were actually higher levels of relaxation before and after playing the game as opposed to experiencing anger, but this very much depended on personality type," said team leader Jane Barnett from Middlesex University."

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192 comments

That may not be true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22987426)

But you will be MORE stressed if the Horde kept killing you during your whole session, or you kept dying while you were trying to reach level 43 on the beach by Booty Bay!!

Paul

Re:That may not be true (2, Interesting)

Arivia (783328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988094)

Something is very wrong if you're *trying* to reach level 43 on those beaches - they're bad spots for you to grind at that level, and if you're questing, there isn't really much trying involved.

Re:That may not be true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988196)

Well, those level 40-41 mages around there are so easy to kill. They don't have much health. And, if you cast a spell to abosorb fire damage, you don't even get hurt. It was other things that used to kill me there.

Re:That may not be true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988790)

Are you a rogue dammit?!

From the no shit sherlock school of thought (4, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987432)


"The thinking in the field is that there is a scale along which people, even those considered to be 'normal', can be placed on," said Dr Charlton.


Well, Dr Charlton is a bright spark isn't he.

This just in... (5, Funny)

genesus (1049556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987434)

This just in...leisure reduces stress!

Re:This just in... (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987478)

This just in...leisure reduces stress!

Incredible! What else can they do with this? Maybe through this experiment they've found the link between the "fun" and "happy" genes among gamers!

Re:This just in... (2, Informative)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987728)

no, it appears that they found the link to show that if you are an avid gamer, you are probably autistic. This is explained in the end of the article.

Re:This just in... (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987774)

Fighting creates relaxation in the aftermath.

So do video games.

So does fucking.

The first is the act of destroying society.

The second is the act of withdrawing from society.

The third is the act of creating society.

The third is what you aim for.

The first is where you go after the human rights activists have killed your potential.

The second is where you end up once you're completely broken, if you're not already in jail or dead.

Re:This just in... (2, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987488)

Unpossible!

Who'd really thunk it? Most people who play games, do crosswords, go out to their garage for a
few hours and tinker, take up gardening or do other activities surprise are able to relax.

Re:This just in... (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987664)

This just in...leisure reduces stress!
While this is true, there have been many criticisms of World of Warcraft. Even on Slashdot, we have seen people writing purple prose [slashdot.org] about the game destroying their lives worse than a heroin addiction. This study may present evidence that stories like the above are inherent problems with that person's ability to prioritize what is most important to them in their lives. They're free to pick Warcraft as #1 but I question why they wrote that piece if they did.

My friends have often commented that Warcraft is their second job and jokingly hate it for its 'grind.' Why do they play? Because it's still stress reduction, in my opinion.

So while you may find it obvious, there are caveats that make this interesting to some readers. I found it interesting and wonder now if people will compare it to cigarettes even though there's no chemical exchange (people love terrible analogies). You know, my parents and grandparents that live in the middle of nowhere used to waste hours playing cards with each other. Why? Because it reduced stress, I'm sure. I don't think Warcraft is any different.

Re:This just in... (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988340)

Warcraft is addictive, but that's different from objections some people have to other games, such as Grand Theft Auto. The headline of this article is (intentionally?) over-broad, wanting it to be a counterpoint to arguments against graphic violence in games, which it isn't.

Re:This just in... (5, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987932)

Actually no.

In a game you can vent build up stress. This is especially valid for games played in a group.

I used to run a small company with two people - a husband and a wife. They were shouting at each other constantly, quarreling, slammed doors and so on. Stress to the roof. I sold my share to them and left.

A year later I came to see them. Nice, quiet, tranquil. I could not understand what was going on until I found out that they play Doom, deathmatch, no monsters every day for at least half an hour... Ahh... The joy of creeping on your best beloved with a double barrel shotgun and blowing his head off... Aaaa.... Wonderful...

By the way, cooperative play does not do it. We tried later on to play Tie-Fighter vs X-Wing and it did not work out.

Re:This just in... (5, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988276)

Ahh... The joy of creeping on your best beloved with a double barrel shotgun and blowing his head off... Aaaa.... Wonderful...
Agreed. So much more cheaper than a divorce lawyer.

Re:This just in... (4, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988172)

This just in...leisure reduces stress!
Never been on a family vacation, evidently...

Heroin reduces Jonesing (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988180)

Getting a dose of drugs reduces the craving...for a while. Addicts are more relaxed than I am after their dose of heroin

Re:Heroin reduces Jonesing (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988640)

You get it.. Smokes, booze, junk, WOW.. etc..

Re:This just in... (1)

Farakin (1101889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988412)

They obviously have never raided with a bunch of NOOBS!

Re:This just in... (2, Insightful)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988816)

Except when it's a daily grind... the original article didn't state whether or not these were new players, casual players or diehard players. I've smashed many keyboards and mice, angry because my mob was stolen, or a raid was blown, or various other reasons. The first month or so of WoW'ing was an enjoyable romp, exploring a new world. After settling in and learning the game, I often became stressed and frustrated and less happier than I was prior to playing.

This just in...leisure reduces stress!

Middlesex University (5, Informative)

QX-Mat (460729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987440)

For the those unaware of the British University system, you need to automatically take a popularist study from a poly-technical University with plenty of salt.

Surprise! (1)

Tiberius_Fel (770739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987442)

Providing a safe outlet for urges results in less spilling over of these urges and less damage caused by this spilling over. Oh yeah. Big surprise.

Cue the picture of the US murder rate plotted against video games, like Doom, etc...

Ticking time bombs.... (3, Funny)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987448)

Just add spam and lag then watch the fireworks

Re:Ticking time bombs.... (2, Informative)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988414)

I've been using games as a way to relax at the end of a days coding for years. I started off by firing up Elite (on the bcc model B), and pirate hunting, or hunting down jiucy freighters and getting them to drop their cargo.

In later years this turned into an evenings doom, or CnC.

Nowadays it's X3, that's beside the point though The one constant theme has been that I play games to go from stressed to unstressed, or just to wind down if there's no stress.

I wouldn't pick an online game for that though, like a mmorpeger or somesuch, because you aren't god of your own little universe, and if you get the lags, or some asshat messing you about, you get stressed again.

Finally. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22987450)

I've been saying this for ages. With most people video games are a way to vent their anger instead of taking it out on others. If you're crazy enough to go kill 20+ people you really don't need a video game to encourage you.

Re:Finally. (4, Insightful)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987702)

I liken it to visiting a shooting range or taking martial arts lessons. Neither make a person more violent, and both can be great outlets for stress or aggression. I don't see what makes video games any different, aside from the fact that you don't use up much physical energy playing them.

The parents who are campaigning against video game violence are likely the same parents who threaten to sue their school when their kid comes home with a few bruises after a fun game of football in gym class. Not that I was ever any good at sports (this is /. after all), but no-contact football is their handywork.

Re:Finally. (4, Interesting)

boris111 (837756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988338)

Yes I grew up on the cusp of Americans becoming pussified. In the 7th grade 15 yrs ago.. we had a brilliant gym teacher that made up a game called Q-Soccer (his last name was Quedenfeld). The game was a cross between football (American), soccer, rugby, and basketball. This was when gym class was still fun. The game involved little bit of contact, though not as much as football game with pads. Well incidentally some kid was running and twisted and broke his ankle. No contact was involved. His parents turned around and sued the school to have the game banned. Gym class was no longer fun after that.

Re:Finally. (1)

sillyxone (955341) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988628)

it's not only about violence. When I have something bothering in mind, it's hard to see as it needs the appropriate environment to show. However, when I play PES, I can easily see that my strategy and my moves reflected clearly in the game, thus I can adjust and calm myself. The downside is I'm utilizing it too much to the point that I switched to an easier level (from 4 stars to 2 stars) to use the game as a relaxing therapy.

Re:Finally. (1)

tbyte_s_user_on_slas (969373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988292)

I can't agree more with You.

Alpha Bits (1)

mfh (56) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988606)

If you're crazy enough, Alpha Bits can be challenging, also.

Cigarettes can too... (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987452)

Not that I 100% disagree with this, just remember that anyone is likely to be calmed by the effects of an outside influence on their brain. It's when they are away from that "fix" for a prolonged time that they may become agitated.

Twofo Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22987562)

Goatse. [twofo.co.uk] [goatse.ch]

You nerds love it.

Re:Cigarettes can too... (2, Insightful)

mkettler (6309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987700)

Aye, this is the first thing that came to my mind. Particularly since the test subjects were gamers. The article didn't specify if the gamers were WoW players, non-WoW players, or a mix. If you've got WoW players in there, essentially all you're testing is if addicts have stress level goes down when you give them some of what they're addicted to.

Re:Cigarettes can too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22987780)

Cigarettes can too...
While this is true, we don't need to do a study on cigarettes because we know that they are a vehicle for putting nicotine into the blood. In fact, why do you even say cigarettes? Why not cigars or chaw or an IV drip with nicotine? Or cocaine or heroin? These are all addictive substances.

Games aren't a substance, they're an experience. A better comparison would be bowling with your friends, playing cards or jogging with your neighbor. Yeah, you may become agitated because you don't have your 'fix' but I think it's more just that you enjoy doing those things so they calm you.

And don't give me that "addictive personality" shit. That's just an excuse for people who don't want to control themselves ...

Re:Cigarettes can too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988074)

Right. The druggy relaxes when he gets his fix. Oh wait, this is suppose to prove violent video games == good, hurrah! PROof FTW!

Re:Cigarettes can too... (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988146)

Sure, this would be like arguing that murderers should be encouraged to commit small, regular slayings of unimportant people in order to avoid building up the urge to go on a real rampage.

(Not really, I just wanted to give Jack Thompson some easy quotes).

Re:Cigarettes can too... (2, Interesting)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988374)

Actually, I think that having murderers kill randomly selected politicians (ie: unimportant people) with low approval ratings sounds like a great way to keep the government efficient and trustworthy.

You mean addiction? (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988406)

That's OffTopic. That was not what this research was about. It was about stresslevels before and after playing WoW.

No, that isn't even research into agression, that is still another thing.

Shocking results (1)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987454)

So, in other words: if you use the game as a tool to relax, it relaxes you; while if you use the game as an outlet for your violent urges, it makes you more violent.

Shocking that a tool could be used in multifarious ways.

Re:Shocking results (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987652)

Shocking that a tool could be used in multifarious ways.
You know what they say - "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a skull".

Re:Shocking results (0, Redundant)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987866)

I think in this case it should be "when al you have is the sniper rifle, everything looks like a skull"

WoW is fine, but what about shooters? (3, Interesting)

mikkl666 (1264656) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987456)

I can see the way that a RPG can calm you down, but I don't think this is a general rule for games. I've seen people all fired up from FPS so that they actually had to stop playing for a while to cool down again.

Re:WoW is fine, but what about shooters? (0, Redundant)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987746)

Yes, I'm personally a normally calm guy, but I too have adrenaline rushes that haven't left my body for a while, even after having stopped playing.

Re:WoW is fine, but what about shooters? (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987904)

I have seen many online and offline players throw a mouse, controller, or keyboard. I've also see people get into fights over a card game. FPS, MMOG, RTS, or Euchre can been seen as a game to relax or as competition that causes stress.

Re:WoW is fine, but what about shooters? (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988710)

... to be fair, that was when I was being pwned. Where I the pwnx0r you'd have seen a very different reaction.

Try Again Researchers (1)

Excen (686416) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987460)

If that actually were the case, Id be in a coma by now.

Re:Try Again Researchers (0, Offtopic)

Excen (686416) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987494)

Hot Damn! I got my first Advertisement Opportunity for the Alternative-Lifestyle Guerrila (or is it Gorilla) Movement! Baba Booey Baba Booey RuPaulÂs Penis!

I've always wanted to do that study (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987474)

I've always wanted to do that study since the mainstream press started rattling out 'studies' saying that videogamees make people violent, but lacking formal training in psychology, a degree in psychology or psychiatry and so forth has prevented me from performing or publishing such studies. The reason is that this is usually pretty much how I feel after playing almost any games -- online or not, even first-person shooters.

Maybe I'm the crazy one, who knows, but games seem to be a good way to relieve stress for me.

Warcrack/Gaming Addiction (2, Insightful)

sonnejw0 (1114901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987520)

Very often it is the case that acquiring one's next 'fix' results in a dopaminergic neuron activation, resulting in a calming and pleasurable feeling. Did the study discriminate between its subjects who are or are not gamers? I assume using such an advanced game as WoW that they chose players familiar with the game. Perhaps a control group unfamiliar with it and forced to learn it for the same two hour sessions would not have been so at ease afterward... Or changing the gaming activity to bejeweled or card games.

In other news, heroin is good for stress. :) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22987532)

Of course, the poor junkie is less tensed after a dose. Yet, I would not stay around for long, because he will get tensed again.

Headline (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987546)

I'm glad this headline specified "World of Warcraft", because I've seen some headlines that said "violent video games". And that just isn't true.

Re:Headline (1)

word munger (550251) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987592)

Actually the headline to the Slashdot article didn't specify "World of Warcraft." But it was specified in the link.

See? I was right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22987550)

Told those "rating" bastards all the way! Think of the children my ass!

Arrgh, makes me wanna crush their silly skullz! Gotta play some GTA to cool my nerve, or something.

Junk Science (4, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987556)

Every day now, and I really mean every single day, I read another news story about some psychological/biometric/neurological/... study from which some spurious result is obtained. These "studies" are often done on first year university student volunteers, under dubious conditions with little controls. The results are apparently "statistically significant", a quality which, nowadays, is not itself very statistically significant. Very often, a precisely conflicting "study" will be seen a few weeks later.

I'm concerned that these junk studies are doing real harm to science as a whole. It's becoming increasingly difficult to see quality studies amid all the noise, and even when you do, you may be too jaded to investigate further. This effect is I suspect, magnified enormously in the public at large, which may explain the modern public cynicism and even dismissal of scientists as a whole.

It's easy to blame the media, and in fact I do. But part of the blame lies with the scientific community. There are a lot of people running around calling themselves scientists, and their investigations experiments, when neither are anything of the kind. Scientists, and others, need to tackle theses people. Politeness be damned.

To conclude, I link once again to the Cargo Cult Science [pd.infn.it] speech.

Re:Junk Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988194)

Well you certainly won't find any 'quality studies' coming out of Middlesex University!

*cough* Polytechnic *cough*

Desperate grad students + deadlines = junk science (2, Interesting)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988736)

I agree with you, and I'll take it one step further. In my humble opinion, there are a LOT of grad students out there desperate to produce a decent graduate thesis that will impress their peers. Perhaps a lot of the junk science in terms of 'studies' as described are due to either desperation to produce 'something' of note in order to pass the degree program, or to get one's name noticed. Not only do you, as an academic, have to 'publish or perish', but you also have to make sure that what you publish gets noticed. So there's a positive incentive at play to produce something that gets attention, and a big negative incentive against putting in the time and resources necessary to produce a thoughtful, insightful and balanced research project that isn't very exciting. I'd also believe that this plays a factor in the post-graduate research world as well.

Interesting study (4, Interesting)

word munger (550251) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987564)

It's an interesting study. I emailed Barnett for a copy of her poster and it's the real deal (though it hasn't yet been peer-reviewed). There has actually been similar work [scienceblogs.com] (which Barnett cites in her poster) previously. RPGs are definitely different from shooters or games like Carmageddon where the whole point is to take out innocent people.

The take home point is that all "violent" games are not equal. Some games fire us up and some cool us down.

Re:Interesting study (2)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988604)

"RPGs are definitely different from shooters or games like Carmageddon where the whole point is to take out innocent people."

Eeeehm, no. First of all, there are no innocent people living in your computer, and there are no computer games that I know of whose point is to kill innocent people. Representations thereof, maybe, real people, no.

Moreover, very little shooters involve innocent characters. Most are just plain adversaries, you know, soldiers from the other side, the other gang, monsters, aliens, etc.etc.

Actually, wtf is an innocent person in this light? How could you possibly know if they were innocent or not? Take carmaggedon: the 'innocent' bystander you just ripped to pieces might have just raped your (fictional) mother or killed a whole hord of children. You don't know, it's a fictional character.

What is innocent anyway? It's so meaningless, this expression, without specification. Innocent of murder? Check. Innocent of rape? Check. Innocent of other crimes as specified by law? Check.

Innocent? Dunno? Innocent of what?

Innocent, is that like some of those weird moral constucts heard of only in America, like good people and evil people? Are good people innocent and evil people guilty, is that it?

Needed more subjects (0, Flamebait)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987572)

They obviously didn't test some one killing and skinning rabid wolves for days at a time trying to get enough experience to move to the next section of the land. After that you're ready to kill the real thing barehanded.

Choice of games (3, Interesting)

cpricejones (950353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987574)

I'm sure it's difficult, costly, time-consuming to do these surveys, but I imagine the type of game is key. They chose a relatively benign game for their study. If they had chosen a more stressful game, the results surely would be different. (F.E.A.R., Doom 3, etc.)

First-person shooters vs. RPG vs. strategy ... they'll all have slightly different effects on average, and they'll all affect different personality types differently ...

The point is that by choosing different types of games, it would show that not all games induce violent behavior even if they have some degree of violence.

Try Analtron (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22987576)

An excellent free, gay man editor. You can find it here:

http://analtron.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

It completely replaces WoMen for me. And unlike some other gaymen, it is a native Blackman ass that performs great.

White Willy

I'm Jane's flatmate (2, Funny)

silasthehobbit (626391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987590)

And I can only agree with her findings. Since living in the same house as me, she's been playing WoW. In that time, she's not stabbed me once.

Proof positive there I think!

Seriously though, while there's plenty of comments already about this being obvious, it does contradict some of the findings of the much vaunted Byron Report in the UK. And as the UK Government seem to be planning an entire series of laws based on the Byron Report, we badly need research like this to avoid unnecessary regulations being placed on games.

YMMV. You'd be wrong, but it may vary.

Response to games is personality dependent (1, Insightful)

callistra.moonshadow (956717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987596)

On one hand I can agree that gaming IS can be a stress relief. However, if a person is easily agitated and prone to violence it may actually contribute to desensitizing a person to violence. In the past some studies show violent games and tv viewing lead to more aggressive behavior in kids. My daughter, husband, and I play Guild Wars. I can say that I've never witnessed my daughter showing an increase in aggressive behavior, but asking people how they feel is very qualitative and not a good study. It would be better to give some type of test AFTER playing an MMO that measures aggression and/or stress attributes. Otherwise the results are based on opinions of the test subjects. Hmmm...

that pesky bell curve.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22987608)

Results at both ends of the bell curve were tossed out.

Such as Ivana Beanoob who spent her online time attempting to pick earthroot near Grom Gol only to be ganked 14 times in 2 hours. Her final quote was, "f-this. I'm gonna get my Chinese friends to power level me and then you'll all be ownt."

The study ended early the next day as Blizzard banned the test account for suspicious activity.

Stress reduced by gaming or by doing something els (2, Interesting)

ZorroXXX (610877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987618)

This test was as far as I can see performed in the following way: after the participants comes directly from whatever stressful or stress less daily life they have, start by asking some questions. Then let them play for two hours and then re-ask the questions.

My guess is that just letting someone sit down and do something shutting off the "outer world" for two hours will reduce stress. I would have found this study much more interesting if they had split the participants and compared with for instance reading a book for two hours.

(Aargh, why are headings limited to 50 chars?)

Yeah right (4, Funny)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987626)

Computer Games Make Players Less Violent
My keyboard strongly disagrees with this statement.

examples set by 'adults' decreases violence (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22987630)

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dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Re:examples set by 'adults' decreases violence (1)

rochi (930552) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987816)

This guy makes me more violent

I will have to disagree.. (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987632)

Especially when you sit in front of high end dungeon X waiting for 2 hours for everyone to assemble, spending hundreds of gold on all sorts of misc things to prepare.. step into the zone.. and wipe out...

Then you want to go outside and randomly shoot people...

ps to the person above complaining about the horde... we liked killing you :)

Re:I will have to disagree.. (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987722)

I think we've all heard the recorded Vent sessions that show they are some pretty stressed WoW players out there.

Of course. They just got their fix (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987644)

I bet a heroin user is less stressed right after shooting up too.

Tell me about it (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987648)

There's nothing like a good healthy session of rampant whore bashing and unadulterated cop mashing in GTA to dampen my desires to do it for real.

Thank god we have games; they're the only thing keeping me out of jail.

*twitches*

debate rages on (4, Informative)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987684)

I once heard a "scientist" on a local NPR show claim to have definitively linked violent games to violent behavior. There were two problems with his claim:

1. His research only investigated the immediate effect of viewing violent or non-violent images and a single measure of aggression immediately following the treatment. His "link" was grossly exaggerated.

The research in the TFA seems to have measured only immediately following the session. Hey, heavy drinkers are often less stressed after their first shot too.

2. More apropos, the debate as to whether vicariously living an experience increases the participants' desire to engage in that experience (contagion), or it purges them of the desire to engage in that experience (catharsis) has been raging for more than two millennia.

While the research in TFA informs the debate, it still assumes that contagion is the case.

"This will help us develop an emotion and gaming questionnaire to distinguish the type of gamer who is likely to transfer their online aggression into everyday life."

We should be just as skeptical of research that appears to support gaming as we are of research with contrary findings.

The game? Ok... (1)

icyslush (1162497) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987692)

Sure, the game is fine, doesn't affect me at all. It's those dipsticks from my last Magister's Terrace PUG that I want to kill!

Two things from the article (4, Interesting)

borkus (179118) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987706)

The study questioned 292 male and female online gamers aged between 12 and 83 about anger and stress. They then played the game for two hours and were retested. ... "This will help us develop an emotion and gaming questionnaire to distinguish the type of gamer who is likely to transfer their online aggression into everyday life."
I'm pretty skeptical of whether a questionnaire can accurately measure stress and relaxation better than physical measures (heart rate, blood pressure, etc). It'd also be good to know if playing in the game was actually relaxing. In the end, it seems like the study was more about developing a measurement tool than the actual results.

The conference also heard that people who play computer games obsessively display similar characteristics to those suffering from Asperger syndrome. ... This is typically characterised by neuroticism, and lack of extraversion and agreeableness.
Which makes me wonder what the first study tested in the game. Did they have players simply go out and grind daily quests (which are a simple, repetitive tasks done individually) or was it something truly multi-player such as running an instance or engaging in PvP? I'd assume that stress and relaxation responses are different when playing solo versus playing cooperatively versus playing competitively. A few instance groups that I've been in come to mind when I think about the second study.

Re:Two things from the article (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988186)

Besides, I was wondering if, besides those 83 yo, the rest of them were young and hot teens that want to chat with you.

WTF? (1)

Vexor (947598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987730)

The game has over 10 million players and they could only find 292 for this study? Pick a bigger sampling before you write these "f'ing duh" reports.

i don't know... (1)

PhiloBeddoe (1191205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987766)

Last night we wiped to Archimonde about 15 times to the tune of 60g in repairs... not sure how this lowered my blood pressure!?

Misleading headline (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987936)

The headline should state that one specific computer game relieves stress. I'm not arguing that WOW turns people into serial killers, but this study is only looking at immediate effects, only looking at one specific game, and using a pretty subjective means of determining stress level.

I can't help but wonder how the study would be different if they were instead looking at first person shooters, and using a more reliable method of measuring stress...

There are no WOW riots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22987976)

The connection between any activity and violence is far from simple.

Soccer is a civilized game. Its fans are goons. Soccer riots are commonplace.

Hockey is a game of goons. Its fans have rioted once, a very long time ago.

All the people I know who do martial arts are pretty civilized. Mostly they never get into fights. My teacher got into a fight once when some idiot tried to steal his pet Porsche. There is only so much provocation anyone can take after all. ;-)

People, psychologists included, who try to show causality between violence and recreational activities are really just showing shallow thinking processes. AFAICT, there has never been a totally convincing study to prove the case one way or the other.

Other things that calm (2, Interesting)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22987990)

Two hours of running a marathon will also make a person calm and less stressful. The question is, how are the stress levels the next day at approximately the same time?

Are people made less stressful, or like preparing for a sport, are the stress levels simply being trained to be more intense?

Flawed Logic (3, Insightful)

kwik3mart (1268846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988028)

hmmm... Let's think for a second: If you are a violent person with lots of bad stuff in your life that you are pissed at then WOW will allow a cathartic release of those emotions. So the test results are valid. BUT... If there's lots of stuff in your life that you are angry at, playing video games gives you the sense of accomplishment without actually solving any of your real problems. So you have experienced release, but not actually changed anything. So... the study is deeply flawed in that the timeline for the research was too short. Of course people feel better after having a cathartic release of violence. But, what about the long term effects of this cathartic release without actually helping life get better. That's where real violence comes from: a fake world that feels good and a real life that keeps getting worse because you don't deal with it. Not a helpful study.

WOW? (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988032)

How many people go out and kill orcs and night elves after playing WOW? None (unless they're on acid.)
Conversely, people are always saying that playing FPS=more violent people in real life. I understand that this is talking about people being less stressful, but still. Maybe its just too early for me to think.

Hold on to that dream (-1, Troll)

J4 (449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988036)

Whether or not you're violent is a moot point when you're too fat to get out of your chair

Yep, WOW makes people really calm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988048)

...as shown here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtvIYRrgZ04 [youtube.com]

What a load of rubbish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988088)

I've been playing violent games for 23 years now and I've never been in a single fight and... oh wait it's a pro violent games article!

No one tell Hillary about this whatever you do else she'll have to backtrack on her anti-games policies and tell us she must have accidentally mis-spoken due to the stress of all the snipers shooting at her.

My theory - because sitting down is not stressful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988112)

Well, to play video games, you generally sit down in front of a screen for hours on end. You are basically zoned out.

You are not exercising, therefore you are not working and building new muscle, and not producing as massive quantities of testosterone as you are capable of. Therefore, you are less aggressive and less physically capable.

Anyone think this is plausible?

I realize no-one RTFA, but (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988134)

what is more interesting than the relaxation-game relationship is their remark at the end that people who play games heavily approach the autistic/asperger spectrum of disorders.

Like geeks need yet another claim on being high-function aspergers?

Re:I realize no-one RTFA, but (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988454)

If it's a spectrum, then everyone's on it, from Neuro-typical to Aspie to Savant to Unresponsive. I'd say most of society would agree that geeks are not neuro-typical.

Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988182)

Withdrawal symptoms include aggressiveness so if you don't withdraw the object of addiction the addicted person is not as violent. Pure genius.

Vent (1)

ipooptoomuch (808091) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988238)

If you were ever in a vent server playing wow you know this isn't always true *SCREAMING "what the f#%&*# why aren't you %)#*%# DPSING you're the most WORTHLESS BATTLE GROUP that i've ever seen"

Heroin has the same effect on junkies (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988240)

Sure, they're calm after they got their fix.

Any consideration that their heightened state of agitation before playing might have been caused by having to take the stupid test instead of logging in?

What a surprise... (1)

DiEx-15 (959602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988250)

This study ought to be used as concrete proof that games do not make people violent. Games like Worlds of Warcraft and such does have a calming effect since people get drawn in and have the aimed for "suspension of disbelief" done - the ultimate goal for a game designer.

Addiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988370)

It's just the same with tobacco.

Even when games make you feel more violent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988486)

It's usually a very focused feeling, not something that will make you lash out at innocent people. For instance, to use their World of Warcraft example, even if you and your friends spend two hours trying to complete a level 40 quest despite being repeatedly ganked by a group of level 60 Horde, does that mean your feelings of rage are going to cause you to hurt your friends? Of course not! That white-hot fury is going to be channeled into productive activities, like Googling the pseudonyms of the bastards who kept killing you, finding out how close to you they live, and visiting them to explain that the time they spent on those extra 20 levels might have been more productively used to practice martial arts, target shooting, or just plain distance running. Yeah, you better run, bitches.

I bet they just pvp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988564)

I would have to see how the study is done, but if all the participants did way queue up in the battleground and pvp I can see this happening. Why? You play a friendly short game where you get to blast the hell out of everything (and get blasted yourself), when the game ends everyone gains in game 'honor' (although the winners gain more). Do a little of that and you can walk away knowing you accomplished something in the game no matter how well you did.

Now, for those that do raiding, where you spend 1/2 ahead of time discussing strategy and the other trying the boss over and over again. There is a strong potential you could walk out with nothing but a big repair bill, and your stress level might not be so good. Raiding however requires planning, its not something you would do if a researcher asked you to sit down and play your favorite game for 1 hour.

Why do I play World of Warcraft?
1. I love games, and if not for WoW I would spend 40$ every other week getting another game.
2. My fellow raiding members would have a setback if I couldn't play.
3. I want better in game stuff.

83yo gamers? (1)

funkboy (71672) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988764)

I'd be interested to see the age spread numbers on this study...

Bogus survey (1)

ruin20 (1242396) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988770)

questioned 292 male and female online gamers
We all know here that there is no such thing as a female online gamer. Obviously a made up study.
jk

You stole my Cloudsong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22988800)

WoW is stress reducing? Tell that to this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN08jEthoB0 [youtube.com]

Drug Problem (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22988838)

Most people's "drug problem" is when they can't get drugs, not when they have or are on them.

This study would mean that "gamers are less violent" overall if it tested their stress levels all the time, including when (if) they're not gaming, but agains their will/preference. And then it would still need to establish a direct correlation between stress levels and violence. What if being physically (not virtually) violent lowers their stress levels? Good for the gamer, bad for their victims.

What this study has probably shown is that gamers have incorporated their gaming "fix" into managing their stress. But it doesn't show whether gamers have become dependent on the games, whether their stress levels would go up without the games, whether they'd go up more than if they'd never played them, whether they've increased their "stressability" by gaming.

Instead, these results are the videogame version of scientific conclusions. Play again? Another score!
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