The video game industry today is awash with scientific studies claiming any number of effects, from aggression to desensitization to violence, and while the spin often seems negative, as of late some hope has arisen.
Today, a new study is claiming that driving simulation games ellicit a “higher aggressive response” than do violent games.
Drs. Simon Goodson and Sarah Pearson of the U.K.’s Huddersfield University assembled their data by monitoring heart rates of participants playing Project Gotham Racing, a 3D table tennis game, and an unspecified first person shooter.‚ ‚ The racing game definitively produced higher heart rates and brain activity levels than that of the shooter.
Why the researchers did not disclose the specific two unnamed titles is odd, but the fact that the data was collected on an Xbox 360 narrows the limits of possibility at least a bit.
The study was summarized as such:
“Research has suggested a link between videogame violence and aggression using cognitive and physiological evidence. However, previous researchers have made sweeping generalisations about the nature of videogames. Using the latest hi-definition console both cognitive (BSPAQ) and physiological (ECG EEG & Respiration) measures were taken of participants playing a violent shooting game a driving game or a 3D table tennis game.
Results suggest that rather than a game containing graphic violence a driving game had the
greatest impact on the participants. Given the high levels of realism in modern games a re-evaluation of the relations between videogames and violence is needed.”
Unless these British researchers got their hands on “The Pacifists’ guide to shooting,” these conclusions seem logical.‚ ‚ Some of my most frustrating and ire-ridden gaming moments have been during a Need for Speed or Race Pro session, that’s for sure.