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Keywords:

  • hostility;
  • anxiety;
  • blood pressure;
  • heart rate;
  • videogames

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the short-term effects on several physiological (arterial pressure and heart rate) and psychological (anxiety and aggressiveness) indexes of playing violent and non-violent videogames in young adults. The study was carried out on a sample of 22 male participants. Subjects invited to participate in the study were recruited from a videogame leisure club. Before and during playing either a violent or non-violent computer game, blood pressure and heart rate were measured. Before and after the game session, the subjects completed the State-Anxiety Inventory-Y (STAI-Y) and the Buss–Durkee Hostility Inventory. The results of the study showed a range of short-term effects of playing violent and non-violent videogames on arterial pressure and on the state anxiety of subjects, but not on hostility measurements. More specifically, the group that played the violent videogames showed a significant increase in the state anxiety score at the end of the game, as compared to the pre-game self-evaluation, and an increase in the systolic blood pressure while the subjects were playing as compared to pre- and post-game values. A decrease in diastolic blood pressure after playing any game was also found. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.