Research on effect of FPS games – Players are no less empathic

Mar

9

2017

According to a study by German scientists that playing first person shooters no adverse long-term effects entails. Gamers who for years every day a few hours Counter-Strike or Call of Duty games have not diminished empathy.

To investigate the capacity for showing empathy and aggression in gamers, they were presented with a number of psychological questionnaires. Then they got to see some pictures that were intended to elicit an emotional and empathic response. This is clear from the published study.

While viewing these images of the brains of gamers were scanned with functional MRI. This allows the researchers to determine the location of brain activity. In this way, the researchers were able to determine, for example, or the part of the brains that are normally active in aggression, was also active in the gamers. During the MRI scans gamers were also asked how they would feel in the situations depicted in the pictures.

The same study was performed in a group of non-gamers, after which the investigators, the results are compared with each other. It emerges that in the questionnaires was no difference between the group of gamers and non-gamers. The same was the case in the brain scans, which showed that both groups had a similar neurological brain response when viewing the provocative platelets.

The outcomes between the two groups were the same, the researchers surprised; their hypothesis was correct that there would be a diminished activity at the gamers exhibits in the area of ​​the brains that in empathy activity. From the brain scans showed that there was no question of a reduced sensitivity in the processing of the important emotional stimuli. The researchers believe that if there negative effects by playing violent games, which can occur only briefly.

Researcher Gregor Szycik says that more research is needed into the long-term effects of playing violent games. In a possible follow-up study will he instead of images using videos that show emotional and provocative events. Most other existing studies into the effects of playing violent games focused on the short-term.

In this study, the scientists studied a group of 28 male gamers. Women are deliberately excluded from this group because men often prevents aggressive behavior and they play relatively more violent games. All gamers have at least two hours per day games like Counter-Strike, Call of Duty or Battlefield played in the last four years. The average of the daily game sessions lay on four hours. To avoid any short-term effects of gaming, gamers were allowed up to three hours before the start of the study do not play games; the majority of players had a lot longer than three hours played any games.

The study received financial support from, inter alia, a German prosecutor and several German funds to support research, such as Volkswagen and TUI. The game industry was not involved in this study.

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