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Research Finds Violent Games Relieve Stress and Depression

| 14 Jul 2010 17:15
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Playing as Kratos, may help you stop turning into Kratos, says a study from the Texas A&M International University.

If certain well-meaning, but misinformed, people are to be believed, playing videogames can make you aggressive and possibly even violent. But a new study, conducted by Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson of Texas A&M International University, suggests that in reality the opposite is true, and that playing a game, especially a violent one, can actually help relieve stress and make people less violent.

The study took a group of 103 young adults and gave them a frustrating task to perform. Each participant then played either a non-violent game, a violent game with a good versus evil theme, a violent game where you play as a villain, or no game at all. The results of the tests showed that those who had played the violent games were much better at managing stress than those who had not.

"It probably won't come as a surprise to gamers that playing games may reduce stress, although others have been skeptical of this idea," Ferguson said. "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."

Ferguson said while these results couldn't be considered conclusive and that more research was necessary, he believed that violent videogames could be used to help those with emotional issues better handle their frustrations, without escalating to actual violence. While this study isn't going to end the debate over violent media, it is encouraging to have another piece of evidence to refer to when the subject inevitably comes round again.

Source: CVG

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