New Experimental Study Shows Violent Video Games May Increase Stress

Apparently, playing Call of Duty to cool down after a stressful day at work isn’t the best idea…

The video gaming industry has been fighting against studies like this for years, and the new results might not make anything easier.

Laurent Bègue, part of the psychology department at the Pierre-Mendes-France University in Grenoble, and Youssef Hasan, researcher from Qatar University, conducted a study to see if violent video games increased stress in gamers through voice analysis.

They asked 87 French university students to participate, both girls and boys. They were asked to play a violent (Condemned 2, Call of Duty 4, The Club) or a non-violent (S3K Superbike, Dirt 2, Pure) game, picked at random, for 20 minutes. After that, they were asked to read a distressing story about the Kurdish Genocide aloud. Their voice recordings were analyzed in order to determine their levels of emotional stress.

The Study Concludes That…

The outcome: violent games in which players are being attacked made gamers more stressed. Laurent Bègue rubs it in at the end of the study, saying:

“According to the uses and gratifications theory (Blumler & Katz, 1974), people choose media that will satisfy given needs and allow them to enhance knowledge, relaxation, social interactions/companionship, diversion, or escape. Future research may empirically examine the possibility that stressed players became distressed when they played violent video games.”

According to this study, violent games may prime gamers to have increased stress levels.