Racing computer games as aggressive as war ones according Huddersfield Uni lecturer
Nov 11 2009 by Barry Gibson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
IT’S official: driving makes you more aggressive than war.
That’s the startling finding of a study by a Huddersfield academic into the effect of playing computer games.
As copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 fly off the shelves this week, Dr Simon Goodson has found that shooting games like it cause less aggression than games that involve driving.
“You get a more aggressive response from playing a racing game than from a violent game – even one that involves cutting people in half with a chainsaw,” he said.
Dr Goodson studied 70 people as they played driving game Project Gotham Racing and compared their reactions to playing the violent Gears of War 2.
The University of Huddersfield lecturer measured the players’ brainwaves, finding more activity in the regions associated with aggression as they played the driving game compared to the shooting game.
After playing the games, Dr Goodson asked the players a serious of questions designed to measure their aggression. He said: “There are statements like ‘if someone hits me I would hit them back’, and they were asked to say if they agreed.”
Dr Goodson and research assistant Sarah Pearson made sure they had a diverse group for the experiment which took place earlier this year.
He said: “We had a mixture of young and old, male and female. There were people who don’t play games at all and people who are experienced gamers.”
The pair presented their findings to a meeting of the British Psychological Society in Brighton.
Dr Goodson believes his research casts doubt on the idea that violent computer games lead to real-life aggression.