Research on Positive Influences of Video Games

World of Warcraft

     With all this talk about video games and their effects, it is important to have real evidence to back up any claims.  In the past, most of the research has focused on the negative effects of video games.  However, newer research is devoting more attention to potential positive effects of video games.  Two studies completed by Colorado State University tried to determine some of those positive effects.  Both of these studies examined the popular online game “World of Warcraft”.  This game is based on cooperating with other players to complete tasks and almost find an alternate reality.  This game gives players the possibility to interact with thousands of others.  The first research project involved observing individuals playing the interactive game.  In addition, players were surveyed about the experience and their habits.  Questions such as the level of involvement and absorption into the game and the level of stress relief from the game were included in the survey.  Participants reported feeling an escape and relief from their everyday stresses.  It is important to note that this escape most be short and temporary to be positive though.

World of Warcraft
     The second study focused more on the online aspect of this game.  Although playing with offline friends is generally considered to be healthier because others can help bring another player back to reality.  However, when playing with offline friends, it is harder to become completely immersed into the game.  Overall, playing with online friends allows a player to experience a more absorbed experience and can relieve more stress, but has a better chance of being addicted or too caught up into the game.  More and more research is supporting the fact that video games can have positive effects on players.  Although, the negative effects are apparent too, but as long as the right amount of balanced is displayed, video games can have serious positive effects such as stress relief.     
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