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Violent games can decrease stress and depression, says research


(Dave Rudden)

In the test, university submitted volunteers to a stress inductor and then gave to 50% of them the chance to play ‘Hitman’ or ‘Call of Duty’.

Texas A&M International University, from USA, recently conducted a study where volunteers groups were submitted to stress situations, and some of them were invited to play videogames after the test. The result? In the end of the day, the group that played games showed lower signs of stress and depression.

In a conclusion that contradicts a lot of recent studies, the research conducted by the associated professor Christopher Ferguson pointed the violent games could really fight feelings of anger and depression.

As part of the methodology, the researcher submitted 4 ethnic groups majorly Hispanic to an stress inductor scientifically proved called  Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task.

Call of Duty 4

“Call of Duty” was one of the games used in the research.

After being submitted to the test, 2 groups were taken to play a violent game (”Hitman: Blood Money” or “Call of Duty 2″) and one played a non violent game (”Madden 2007″). To the fourth group, it was said that the videogame wouldn’t be used due to a defect.

Although Ferguson sugests that the groups that played the games showed less hostility and depression, the professor presented a warning about the conclusion: that, due to the singularity of the control groups, it would be possible to get different results with a bigger and more diversified group.

The research was described publisin the article “The Hitman Study”, published on vol 15 of the publication “European Psychologist“.

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