Gamers enjoy getting shot!

A study by researchers at Helsinki University found that in FPS (First Person) games the death of a persons own characher produced some positive feelings, whereas shooting an opponent produced rather more negative feelings and in particular increased anxiety.

The study also found that those who scored highly on a test for phschoticism experienced less anxiety when shooting opponents.

I don’t play much FPS these days but I’d probably agree in some respects. I’d also say that the ‘first’ death of your own character may be more significant than subsequent deaths. I think once you’ve got over the death thing once then you feel more confident about what the ‘rules of death’ might be. I wonder though did anxiety increase as a direct result of killing an opponent or because you’re in a situation where you’re having to kill people i.e. in a more dangerous position within the game? – hmmm.

I also noted the results of the government backed review of the video gaming industry concluded that games should have age restrictions applied to them and also that kids should play consoles within ‘shared’ environments in the home and not in private spaces. We have consoles at home coming out of our ears and they all sit in the living room or study where we share them. I think it’s a very positive thing because our kids learn about sharing the console as well as helping each other solve gaming problems.

About willwoods
I'm Head of Learning and Teaching Technologies in the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University.

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