The surprising results of a recent study show that soccer computer games turn gamers more aggressive than those who play seemingly more-aggressive games, like violent war games.
It explained that while participants remain 'numb' when they see someone being 'killed' on screen, apparently harmless games that mirror real life can have a far greater effect.
Psychologists Simon Goodson and Sarah Pearson from the University of Huddersfield have found stronger physical and emotional reactions among volunteers playing football games than violent games.
They conducted the study on 40 male and female participants who were asked to play either a violent video game or a football game.
They measured the heart rate, respiration and brain activity of the participants before and during the game. The results showed that 'killing' someone in a game caused little brain activity, but conceding a goal or a foul, caused high levels of activity.
"There is much concern over the effects of violent video games and how these contribute to general aggression. However, this research indicates that "killing" someone is not as "real" as playing a sport, and that the brain recognises this and doesn't react in the same way," the Daily Mail quoted Goodson, as saying.
The study will be presented at the British Psychological Society's annual conference in Glasgow.