Thursday, 27 September 2012
Violent Videogames Turn You Into Kick-Ass (Sort Of)
In the comic book Kick-Ass, the adolescent protagonist has his nerves shot, allowing him to take a pummelling without registering pain. According to new research, violent videogames could have the ability to do something similar: desensitising players to pain.
Now, you're not going to become bulletproof from a 12 hour session of Madworld, but researchers at Keele University have found that violent games give a higher level of pain tolerance than non-violent games. The study took 40 participants and had them play and FPS for 10 minutes and then a golf game for 10 more minutes, placing a hand in icy water after each game to stimulate pain. When participants were playing the violent game, they were able to keep their hand in the water for 65% more time than after the non-violent game, concluding that their pain tolerance had increased after the FPS.
The researchers also noted that players were more aggressive, which was the reason they felt less pain. Dr Richard Stephens, the leader of the study, said that this "was a test of that assumption in which we set out to try and raise participants' aggression levels by having them play a violent video game. We then tested the effect on pain tolerance. The results confirm our predictions that playing the video game increased both feelings of aggression and pain tolerance."
So if you've broken your leg, don't crack out LittleBigPlanet - settle down with a good game of Gears of War 3.