Racing Games Are More Harmful Than Shooting Games

By William Usher 2009-03-31 17:44:36 discussion comments
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Another research study has emerged, this time broadcasting the psychological effects of various video game genres. It’s rather fascinating, to say the least. What’s more surprising (as you’ll soon discover) is that racing simulators seem to have more averse effects on gamers than shooting titles…well, duh.

According to recent findings in a study conducted by Dr Simon Goodson and Sarah Pearson from Huddersfield University for the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference, violent video games are actually the least likely to increase aggression. If I hadn’t spent so much energy on past articles shooting down ridiculous claims saying otherwise, I might have spent a paragraph gloating.

Dr Goodson and Sarah Pearson commented about the findings, saying, “Previous researchers have made sweeping generalisations about the nature of videogames. This study is one of the first to use one of the latest games consoles that have a much higher level of realism. Surprisingly the results showed that the driving game made participants more agitated and aggressive than the game with graphic violence. Given the high levels of realism in modern games a re-evaluation of the relationship between videogames and violence is needed.”

Boo-yah! Score one for gratuitous and unnecessarily violent video games. Moreover, the study found that participants (who aged between 18 and 45) had higher heart-rate, brain activity and agitation initiated from racing simulators as opposed to violent games. This is a no-brainer for anyone who played the license tests for Gran Turismo, or the limited specs races for Forza Motorsport. Honestly, those are the most frustrating gaming challenges, ever. Mainly due to the limited leeway granted for success and having to compete either against a timer or professional racing AI.

The study further showed that violent games created the least amount of agitation and aggression in participants. This is also a no-brainer, simply given that you point and shoot…and sometimes you have to duck and cover, but shooter games are much simpler in their nature for requiring completion. Added to this, shooter games (or violent games) are more goal-oriented than success driven.

Dr Simon Goodson and Sarah Pearson study will be featured at the the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference tomorrow. You can learn more about the conference by visiting the Official Website. For more gaming news, info, insight and updates, be sure to stay tuned in with Blend Games.
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