Feeds

Racing games increase real world crashes

Only if you are a bloke

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

German researchers reckon that playing computer driving games encourages people men to take more risks when driving in the real world. Researchers carried out three studies using three racing games - Burnout, Midnight Racer, Need for Speed - and three non-racing control games - Tak, Crash Bandicoot and Fifa 2005. All games were played on a Sony PlayStation 2 using a 72in TV screen. One study also used Medal of Honour to see if a violent shoot 'em-up would have the same effect.

The evidence suggests, with some reservations, that playing aggressive driving games does change how people look at risky behaviour. The article says playing racing games:

  • Increases the accessibility of thoughts that are positively related to risk taking.
  • Leads to enhanced arousal and excitement.
  • Cincreases risk-taking behaviour in critical road traffic situations.

Participants had to view video footage of driving situations after playing one of the games.

Although both sexes showed "affected risk-promoting cognitions" only men actually increased their risk-taking behaviour. Researchers found that males taking the tests, after playing racing games, responded about a second later to critical driving situations than men playing neutral games.

But researchers warned of two important limitations to their study. Firstly the results could show a "frustration-aggression hypothesis" - that playing racing games puts people through a series of frustrating events which lead them to take more risks. Or that playing such games leads to arousal and excitement which again changes attitudes to risk.

You can read the article, as a PDF, from the Journal of Experimental Pyschology: Applied here. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.