Rated V for Variable

How are people affected by really ferocious videogames? Perhaps not quite the way you thought:

People who play violent videogames online generally feel more relaxed and less angry after they have played, according to a new study by psychologists at Middlesex University.

The psychologists studied 292 male and female online gamers playing World of Warcraft. They found that overall the gamers, aged between 12 and 83, were more likely to feel calm or tired after playing, although there were differences depending on sex, age and personality.

“There were actually higher levels of relaxation before and after playing the game as opposed to experiencing anger but this did very much depend on personality type,” said Middlesex University’s Jane Barnett, who is also an International Game Developers Association committee member. “This will help us to develop an emotion and gaming questionnaire to help distinguish the type of gamer who is likely to transfer their online aggression into everyday life.”

Got that? Some gamers might transfer their online aggression into everyday life, if they have the personality for it, but the majority of them don’t, and won’t. Activist cranks like Jack Thompson will be apoplectic. But we’ll probably never be able to exterminate this sort of media malfeasance:

Talent agency Star Now has advertised for people to submit, for “hundreds of pounds,” stories about how playing videogames turned them bad and ruined their lives.

Assuming that Star Now is responding to an explicit call for such content from newspaper editors, this is a remarkably circular proposition. Desperately trying to peddle a story without a single piece of anecdotal evidence to put meat on the bone, the media, or some unctuous part of it, is actually asking the public to both supply and consume its own meat, just so a few bigots can choke with rage on it.

The saddest part is, the only people honestly eligible for the hundreds of pounds on offer are violent lunatics with a retarded sense of personal responsibility. “Did computer games make you turn to a life of crime?”

Of course, if they do have a retarded sense of personal responsibility, they may have bright futures in the Moral Crusader biz, or in its media annex.





1 comment

  1. McGehee »

    7 April 2008 · 9:34 am

    I’ll pass on the Star Now deal. I’ve already got hundreds of pounds.

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