Feeds

Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT

Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing

A new approach to endpoint data protection

Forget hyper-realistic blood and pointless mayhem: if you want to turn a nice person into a blood-gore-veins-in-the-teeth killer, give them a video game with unplayable controls.

That's the hypothesis put forward by researchers from the University of Rochester (US) and University of Oxford (UK), who, intrigued by the phenomenon of the rage-quit, decided to dig a little deeper.

The approach taken by Dr Andrew Przybylski of Oxford and Professor Richard Ryan of Rochester almost ranks as evil in its own right: some games had modified controls or game mechanics to make them harder to play.

For example, the University of Rochester's summary describes one experiment: volunteers would have to hold their hands in iced water for 25 seconds before playing Tetris, and then would be asked to nominate how long the next group would have to go for the icy hand-dip.

On average, those given a “hard” version of the game would condemn the later players to ten seconds longer with their hands in the water than those offered an “easy” version.

In another experiment described to the BBC, the researchers found that giving people tutorial time before setting them loose in Half-Life 2 made them less aggressive, while sending the untutored into the game to become instant cannon fodder made them more aggressive – even when the researchers modified the game to turn kills into “tagging”.

As Dr Przybylski told the Beeb, “If players feel thwarted by the controls or the design of the game, they can wind up feeling aggressive. This need to master the game was far more significant than whether the game contained violent material.”

While not contending that their research is the last word in the video game violence debate, the researchers believe psychological research into video games needs “a more sophisticated approach”. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?