Strength in gaming

Posted by David Konow

They say that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, and now there are reports this could be true for gaming as well.

Sure, there has been an ongoing debate about violent gaming for years now, but I personally feel it’s far better for kids to get their aggressions out through gaming, and according to one report, games can even increase your tolerance to pain. So how exactly does this work?

As Cinema Blend and WebProNews report, this theory was founded by Dr. Richard Stephens, who lectures on psychology at Keele University. With his initial study, Stephens wanted to raise the aggression levels of people he was studying by having them play violent video games. "We then tested the effect on pain tolerance," Stephens said. "The results confirm our predictions that playing the video game increased both feelings of aggression and pain tolerance."

Now the test for pain wasn’t too intense. Indeed, those who played violent games could keep their hands in frigid ice water 65% longer than those who didn’t play the game, but as Dr. Stephens confirmed: "In repeated-measures design, pain outcomes were assessed in participants asked to play for 10 minutes a first-person shooter game vs a golf video game. After playing the first-person shooter game, aggressive cognitions, aggressive affect, heart rate, and cold pressor latency were increased, and pain perception was decreased…"

Again, this test was done with ice water for goodness sake, so don’t get into a bar brawl after playing Mortal Kombat or think playing a game at the scene of a car accident won’t make you forget your leg got severed. At the same time, there’s something to be said about how games can empower somebody, take them to another world, and give them mega-strength and cunning.

Gaming is a great escape, a wonderful way you can travel to other worlds and become a superhero in your own living room, just as long as you remember most of that strength is still on your monitor at home, and the power’s in your joystick, not your fists.