Results of psychological study dispute link between online gaming and violence

A cropped version of a comic strip on video game violence - Image 1The popular belief these days is that video games – especially online video games – are somehow linked to acts of aggression and violence. Miss Jane Barnett of Middlesex University begs to differ, however. For her, the more appropriate link is that of online video games (like Blizzard‘s World of Warcraft) and relaxation. For more “deviant” psychology, turn to the full article after the jump.

A comic strip on video game violence - Image 1Now and again, you’ll come across someone who doesn’t jump on the video game violence bandwagon. Miss Jane Barnett appears to be one such person. In fact, a study conducted by Barnett and her colleagues questions the popular belief in the link between online gaming and violence.

This is what Barnett did: she and her colleagues recruited 292 male and female World of Warcraft players between 12 and 83 years old. She asked the participants to complete a questionnaire on anger, aggression and personality. The WoW players then played the game for two hours. After that, the participants were asked to complete the questionnaire again.

The results: Barnett discovered that people who play violent online video games tend to feel more relaxed and less angry after having done so. The psychologist cautioned, however, that individual differences such as sex, age and difference may have influenced the results.

Nevertheless, Barnett noted that the results of the study will prove useful to her and her fellow psychologists:  “This will help us to develop a emotion and gaming questionnaire to help distinguish the type of gamer who is likely to transfer their online aggression into everyday life.”

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