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Academic study says violent games reduce stress

Research concludes that violent video games could actually combat anger and depression

Texas A&M International University recently conducted a study in which volunteers were subjected to stress, with some subjects being allowed to play video games afterward. According to the results, the game-playing group reported less stress and depression afterward.

In a conclusion contrary to many recent studies, the research conducted by Texas A&M Associate Professor Christopher Ferguson concluded that violent video games could actually combat anger and depression. The method of measurement came by subjecting four groups of predominantly Hispanic students to a scientifically-proven stress-inducer called the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task. Afterward, two groups were given a violent game to play (Hitman: Blood Money or Call of Duty 2), one was given a non-violent game (Madden 2007) and a final group was told they wouldn’t be able to play any games due to a malfunction.

While Ferguson concluded that the game-playing groups exhibited less hostility and depression, the professor presented a caveat regarding the conclusion–that the uniqueness of the control groups could reveal different results with a larger and more diverse pool of subjects. The full study will be found in volume 15 of the “European Psychologist” journal.