A study conducted at Keele University has revealed first person shooter games increase a person’s tolerance levels and endurance to sustain pain.
40 volunteers who participated in a Keele University research were able to face a tough ordeal in terms of pain endurance. Participants were asked to play a violent first person shooter game and non violent golf game on separate occasions for a 10 minute span after which they were asked to place one hand in ice cold water. The experiment revealed that individuals after playing a violent first person shooter game were able to keep their hand in icecold water for a longer time. On average individuals playing the violent game were able to keep their hands in water for 65 percent longer, this indicating an increased level of tolerance and endurance. Researchers are of the opinion that sudden increase in heart rate and levels of tolerance are triggered by the natural ‘flight’ or ‘fight’ body responses that cope up with stress due to inhibitory brain pathways thereby reducing sensitivity and pain.
This research was a follow-up study to an earlier experiment that revealed swearing increases levels of tolerance in people. Often violence depicted in games has drawn severe criticism from various groups, parents in particular. Recently, violent games bore the wrath of parents after Callum Green a 14 year old school boy took the drastic step of hanging himself with his school tie after playing Call of Duty. Although there were several contributing factors that led to the boy takinga drastic step to end his life, it was Call of Duty and other violent games that were taken to the whipping post by parents from all over the world. The research at Keele University was carried out immediately after death of the 14 year old boy began to spread and violent computer games began to receive a bashing form various circles.
Senior lecturer for psychology, Dr. Richard Stephens who led the research team at Keele University said “We assumed that swearing eases pain by sparking an emotional reaction in participants- most likely to be aggression- in turn setting off the body’s flight or fight response. This latest study was a test of that assumption in which we set out to try and raise participant’s 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”. The results of the experiment have been published in Psychological Reports, a journal that offers a specialized perspective on alternative, mainstream, theoretical and empirical views in regard with issues dealing with psychology. Does violence in games pose more harms than benefits to gamers? Feel free to voice your opinion. Happy Gaming!