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Science says: Game violence makes players relax

Kyle Orland

The link between playing violent games and short-term increases in amorphous measures of "aggression" has been well-established by science. Or has it? Develop takes note of a new study being presented today that shows gamers tended to feel more relaxed after some good, old-fashioned online gaming.

The Middlesex University researchers studied 292 World of Warcraft players, asking them to fill out personality and aggression surveys before and after a two-hour play session. The results showed "higher levels of relaxation before and after playing the game," researcher Jane Barnett said, though she added that the results "did very much depend on personality type."

Barnett said she hopes the study will lead to a questionnaire that can identify "the type of gamer who is likely to transfer their online aggression into everyday life." Probably the same type of gamer who'd transfer their love of Pac-Man to a career in competitive eating, if we had to guess.

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