Do video games cause stress?

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Do video games cause stress?

Close-up of a young couple lying on the floor and playing a video game

Violent video games, stress generators?

Grenoble researchers have tried to show that violent video games of the Call of Duty type were generating stress and negative thoughts. An old sea serpent to take with discernment.

VIDEO GAMES. Researchers who do a little research on the subject find more and more benefits to the practice of video games , whether it is to work reflexes, or to promote cognitive skills and learning. But doubts persist about possible harmful effects caused by playing violent games. Doubts raised by Grenoble researchers for whom this type of games could be a source of significant stress and lead to hostile behavior. Indeed, far from being a calming fountain, violent video games would increase the level of stress of their followers according to these researchers in psychology.

For this study, eighty-seven students were invited to play for 20 minutes, randomly, either with a violent video game (Condemned 2, Call of Duty 4 or The Club), or with an action game of similar difficulty as  a car racing simulation (S2K Superbike, Dirt 2) . They were then asked to read a text on the Kurdish genocide in Iraq, during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. During this reading, their voice was recorded and then analyzed by a computer program measuring the micro-tremors of their vocal chords, betraying their level of stress.

If you are looking for a relaxing leisure, violent video games are not the most obvious option “- Laurent Bègue

As expected – and this is one of the biases in the study – participants who played violent video games were more stressed than others, according to this voice measure. “Some people play to relax or de-stress themselves , it’s interesting to know that these games have a lifting effect on the level of stress,” says Laurent Bègue, co-author of the study and professor of social psychology at Université Pierre- Mendes-France of Grenoble. “If you’re looking for a relaxing hobby, violent video games are not the obvious choice , ” he adds.

This is not the first time that Laurent Bègue tries to demonstrate a certain dangerousness inherent in violent games since in 2012, his team had already done a similar job, in which players were invited to  read two ambiguous scenarios and imagine the rest of the story. And this in order to demonstrate that violent games increased the degree of aggression and negative thoughts in the players.

But when it comes to studying the effects of video games, the different methodologies used can lead to very different results. For example, a study published in early April by researchers at Oxford University focused on time spent playing as a factor in determining player behavior. The violent nature of the game ultimately has little impact:  “These results do not establish that playing regularly violent video games involves violence and conflict in the real world ,  wrote the authors. authors in this study decrypted on our site .

The Grenoble study for its part did not seek to know if some games considered non-violent (strategy, games in limited time …) could not ultimately be more stressful than violent games. Being stuck on the level of a Mario type platform game can also be stressful for example. More or less than on Call of Duty?

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