While headlines have been made by studies linking violent video games with aggressive behavior and bad moods, a recent Ohio State University study sheds light on a brighter prospect: Calming games can have an effect on players too.
The study, “Remain Calm. Be Kind: Effects of Relaxing Video Games on Aggressive and Prosocial Behavior,” was published online and soon will appear in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
People want to manage their moods,” said Brad Bushman, professor of communication and psychology and co-author of the report. “Relaxing” video games were defined as those that replace violent images and conquest objectives with soothing scenery and open-ended game play. In the study, participants who played those types of games reported having better moods than those who played violent or neutral games.
“Rather than revving them up, (relaxing games) calm them down,” said Bushman.
Participants were asked to compete in a reaction-time match in which they could award a partner money for being faster or punish a slower partner with a blast of loud noise — a validated method in testing aggression, he said.
“People who played the relaxing