Football Games Cause More Aggression Than Shooters, Say UK Researchers

May 3, 2011 -

Forget about violent video games; according to a group of researchers in England, games with goals such as football are more likely to make participants aggressive than anything encountered in Grand Theft Auto or Call Of Duty. According to research conducted by Dr. Simon Goodson and Sarah Pearson of Huddersfield university, games with goals cause more of an aggressive reaction in participants than killing an animated character because sports is closer to real life. Of course, you have to take into account that Football in England is a culturally more important than video games in general.

Researchers measured the heart rates, respiration and brain activity of 40 male and female participants randomly selected to play violent Xbox 360 game or a football game. They found that when players killed someone in a game it caused little brain activity. But when participant's conceded a goal or foul in the sports game it caused a higher level of brain activity.

Dr. Goodson added that participants generally reacted with more agitation during the football game and that maybe violent games have been misrepresented as the worst thing a gamer can play. Dr. Goodson is presenting his research this week at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Glasgow, Scotland.




Re: Football Games Cause More Aggression Than Shooters, Say ...

Next Up: Multiplayer games make people more aggressive than Single player ones, and I'd put money on that, competition warms the blood, and a human is a far more challenging and unpredictable opponent than an AI.

As an aside, I'd like to see a comparison of heart rate and blood pressure etc between someone having a go on a shooting range and someone playing in a Poker game, I think you'd find some interesting results :)

I suppose that's why those who would censor games have to bounce wildly between 'It causes random unpredictable violent behaviour!' and 'It turns them into a stone-cold killer who calmly walks around firing!' without them spotting the Oxymoron.

Re: Football Games Cause More Aggression Than Shooters, Say ...

Sports..... the most dangerous hobby!

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Re: Football Games Cause More Aggression Than Shooters, Say ...

Glad I never got into sports. With as much video games as I play, I could have been a mass murderer by now.


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Re: Football Games Cause More Aggression Than Shooters, Say ...


Agression != violence

This is a common misconception by those who hate games, all that is shown repeatedly is that competitive behaviour causes increased agression, which when engaged in competition is a good thing.

edit: post didn't appear where I intended

Re: Football Games Cause More Aggression Than Shooters, Say ...

>Agression != violence

Which is why I called the link 'slightly dubious' :)


Re: Football Games Cause More Aggression Than Shooters, Say ...

Giving how just the fans act I'm not surprised.

Re: Football Games Cause More Aggression Than Shooters, Say ...

It would be interesting to see this compared to watching actual football if we're going to make the slightly dubious "more brain activity = violent actions" leap, then it might go some way to explaining the whole 'football hooliganism' thing.

One inconsitency I would point out: "They found that when players killed someone in a game it caused little brain activity. But when participant's conceded a goal or foul in the sports game it caused a higher level of brain activity." One is a win conditional, one is a lose conditional. Might be relevant.


Re: Football Games Cause More Aggression Than Shooters, Say ...

I don't think that requires a study. Drop by your local pub whenever a game is on, you'll see plenty of people shouting at the TV. Not that it matters, what's all the fuss about agression anyway?

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