Much has been written about video games, and most are quite negative. We are concerned that video games will cause our children to become less social and more violent, and generally all more stressed.
Videogames and stress
But important research has been done on the subject and fortunately, they have given us some good news: video games can actually help us reduce our stress levels.
However, much of the research done so far through a gaming chair on video games comes with the presumption that games are stressful or even psychologically damaging. But this is not entirely true, and there is already some evidence to support this hypothesis.
Do video games create stress?
Some studies show that a stressful situation in the game leads players to experience a stress reaction like in real life. There are also studies that have found that when people play violent games, they are more likely to act aggressively in other real-life settings. For example, in a laboratory study, participants who played violent video games for 20 minutes or more were found to be more likely to yell at other people when given the chance, which is considered an indication of aggressiveness.
How video games help us relieve stress?
The vast majority of research that has been done on the relationship between violence in video games and aggression actually does not show a clear correspondence between exposure to violence in the game and aggression in the real world.
Similarly, while some game-induced stress responses may appear, the overall assessments provided by the players failed to show a link between problems with social life, academic behavior, work behavior, and physical reactions (stress) which shows that if there is a negative effect, the players themselves are not aware of it and its effects on their lives.
In one study, players were examined while playing video games either competitively or cooperatively. The results observed a slight difference in stress levels after playing, for example, those who played cooperatively experienced a decrease in their stress levels, but even those who played competitively did not increase their stress and difference too much. a level between both groups was low. In addition, both groups retained positive feelings towards the other players, even if they had played competitively. This is another way that video games can provide positive social experiences and a decrease in stress.
What mechanisms act to relieve stress?
Video games can give us a fun outlet for developing our emotional awareness and coping skills. A study by the Institute for Behavioral Sciences in the Netherlands looked at players who mastered StarCraft to determine if the survival mechanisms they used for the game were related to their overall stress levels. What they found was that the majority of players who lost during the game found useful coping strategies to manage their negative emotions.
The most useful strategies used in these cases were those that either sought a solution to negative feelings (either through problem-solving or through the use of personal coping strategies) or those that sought the social support of others Players. The key lay in taking steps to maintain a healthy balance, either by making beneficial decisions to change your situation for the better or by seeking support. In fact, most reward game players seem to be able to manage their emotions and work towards effective solutions to stress.