Flagship study says violent games make people relaxed

Posted by Mark Raby

London (England) - Turning the typical argument on its head, a new study has found that playing violent video games makes people more relaxed instead of increasing their aggression levels.

The study looked at 292 World of Warcraft players from the ages of 12 and 83, and concluded that they were more likely to feel calm after enduring some intense action with the online game than have increased anger or 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," said the woman in charge of the study Jane Barnett.

The study was published in Develop Magazine, a video game industry publication.  Additionally, it only looked at World of Warcraft, a game only rated with a mild "T" designation from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

For years, researchers from prestigious institutions like Harvard and Princeton have found that increased exposure to violent video games increases mental stimuli that promote violence in virtually everyone.  The seemingly flimsy study from Develop will likely do nothing to change the better founded hypotheses.

However, Barnett also said that she hopes the study will help to develop a more quantifiable look at the kind of person who is more susceptible to turn to real-life aggression from fictional violence in games.