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The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

Posted August 19, 2017 12:00 AM by M-ReeD
Pathfinder Tags: stress video games

In what my husband has called the best news of the summer, researchers from the University of Central Florida believe that the cognitive fatigue often associated with high-stress jobs can be remedied by quick video-game-playing breaks throughout the course of the day.

According to the study published in the journal Human Factors, researchers observed 66 student participants after they completed a computer-based task meant to induce cognitive fatigue. Once the task was completed, participants were given a five-minute break where they were asked to either sit quietly, participate in a relaxation exercise or play a video game (called Sushi Cat).

Those playing the Sushi Cat video game were the only participants to report feeling "refreshed" after the break.

According to Michael Rupp, a doctoral student in human factors and cognitive psychology at the university, "We often try to power through the day to get more work finished, which might not be as effective as taking some time to detach for a few minutes. People should plan short breaks to make time for an engaging and enjoyable activity, such as video games, that can help them recharge."

The research has not only impacted previous studies concerning video-game playing, it too has impacted how much work has gotten done at my house this summer.

Do you find that video games are relaxing?

Source:

R. Pollard / CC BY 2.0

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#1

Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/19/2017 1:18 AM

No, I find them beyond boring....no sense of accomplishment, only a soul-sucking, life force draining, feeling of being lost, life suspended darkness and death....

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/19/2017 8:07 AM

Try World of Tanks. Nothing is more relaxing then driving around in a tank and blowing the crap out of everyone and everything you see.

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#4
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Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/19/2017 1:40 PM

I find TV relaxing, if I'm going to use my hands in a coordinated effort I want to be creating something....when you can create art, why would you waste your effort playing a role in someone else's dream, a part to be forgotten in the next instant? I used to recharge my 'batteries' by riding my motorcycle, melding into one with the machine, performance art, that was exhilarating...but no more...my reckless ways are in the past...(sic) RIP...Even maintaining your living area is more desirable than wasting time....I'd rather clean my bathrooms than play a videogame...at least my efforts produce some tangible and lasting effect...

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#7
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Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/21/2017 12:25 AM

As someone who has actually done both, actually driving one is better in my opinion. You don't even need to fire the gun.

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#13
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Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/21/2017 3:38 PM

Ok, I believe that. My shop is next to General Dynamics Land Systems, and they put the electronics in the Stryker 8 wheeled vehicle. although not a tank, the mobile gun platform is an impressive model. I see them all the time and every time I asked to drive one, I got a big fat NO!

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#14
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Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/21/2017 5:51 PM

Oh well, at least you get a look up close (just no touching). <insert your own deleted strip club analogy here>.

It's health and safety gone mad! You will just have to use your imagination.

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#11
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Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/21/2017 11:20 AM

me too,... but at least WoT removed the ability that people on your own team can no longer go rogue and blows everything up... even their own team members.

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#8
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Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/21/2017 12:28 AM

Sound's like someone is a bit of an expert on "freemium games", because you literally just nailed the overall experience in my opinion.

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#3

Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/19/2017 11:38 AM

1. 66 participants is too small of a sample size.

2. Those 66 are "students", which means they are most likely gamers, who find playing video games relaxing already.

3. The game in question: "This cat is cute, but he thinks he's too small. Love makes you eat sushi! Play peggle-style to stuff your cat with delicious fishes and win the kitty of your dreams!"; sounds pretty brainless to my ears. That means the higher reasoning centers of the brain can/will be shut-down and take a break.

4. The participants who had "guided relaxation exercises", probably had to listen to and follow instructions. That means they were still using their brains.

This is a very flawed study.

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#5

Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/19/2017 8:19 PM

So goofing off for 5 minutes is relaxing. Obvious!

I have to agree with SE, video games, to me, always seemed to be a waste of time.

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#12
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Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/21/2017 11:23 AM

considering the military has them,... it saves training costs by using simulators instead the real thing as well as the armaments before they move onto the real deal.

And that is what some of the games is based off of.

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#6

Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/19/2017 8:47 PM

I stopped caring about video games when they were no longer a quarter.

Now that a game takes ~30 minutes just to load...

... a week to grasp

...a month to be half decent

...and the better part of a year to finish?!?!

Feel relaxed? More like wasted

.of course ...that sim city on windows 95 was fun. addictive.. and wasteful as all get out!

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#9

Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/21/2017 12:33 AM

Video games can be relaxing and physically and mentally beneficial, or quite stressful and draining.

In the end (in my opinion as a gamer), like most things, it comes down to your own personal experience and the type of game, duration of play and level of difficulty you are playing on.

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#10

Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/21/2017 1:52 AM

I have a selection of games to play during breaks: Sudoku, Spider Solitaire, Mah-jong, etc.

I find having short, easy games stimulating enough to not shut down over break, but far enough from the day job to give the rest of the brain time to process information without further exterior input.

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#15

Re: The Relaxing Effect of Video Games

08/29/2017 7:33 PM

Maybe if you've had a bad day, a "blowin' stuff up" game might be therapeutic...

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