A new study conducted by Middlesex University has once again brought into question the purported links between violent videogames and violent behavior in real life.
The new research by Jane Barnett, a research student at the university, included 292 male and female online gamers between the ages of 12 and 83. Each player filled out a questionnaire relating to anger, aggression and personality, after which they played World of Warcraft for two hours. Following the play sessions, they completed the questionnaire a second time.
Although there were differences in reactions dependent upon age, gender and personality, the psychologists found overall that gamers were more likely to feel either calm or tired after playing, rather than pumped up and prone to increased aggression. “There were actually higher levels of relaxation before and after playing the game as opposed to experiencing anger but this did very much depend on personality type,” Barnett said.
“This will help us to develop an emotion and gaming questionnaire to help distinguish the type of gamer who is likely to transfer their online aggression into everyday life,” she added. The results of the study were to be presented at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference in Dublin, being held today.