Science Tells Us That Playing Violent Video Games Eases Pain, So It Must Be True
Do you think slicing off zombie heads in the upcoming Resident Evil 6 will be therapeutic? Do you tend to smile and relax when you chainsaw someone in half when playing Gears of War? Are you really just looking for an excuse to play more and more Call of Duty? If so, you might be onto leading a healthier, pain-free lifestyle. Seriously.
Researchers at Keele University in the UK (Gotta love the Brits!) recently conducted an experiment where 40 volunteers found that playing violent first person shooter games, in which a player kills enemies in a virtual environment, enabled participants to tolerate an ice water pain challenge for longer than if they had played a non-violent golf game. (F*** you, Tiger Woods!)
Dr. Richard Stephens, the lead researcher in the study, said: “We assumed that swearing eases pain by sparking an emotional reaction in participants – most likely to be aggression – in turn setting off the body’s fight or flight response. This latest study was a test of that assumption in which we set out to try and raise participants’ aggression levels by having them play a violent video game. We then tested the effect on pain tolerance. The results confirm our predictions that playing the video game increased both feelings of aggression and pain tolerance”.
Increased aggression and pain tolerance? This is a win-win. If you recently had a painful injury, any kind of sickness, maybe even a pulled hammy while playing a pickup game of basketball, all you have to do is pop in your favorite blood-’n’-guts video game, curse out a bunch of kids on your headset, and slaughter just about every virtual person you see on your screen. You’ll be totally fine in the morning. I mean, doctors told us so. How awesome is that?