We’ve all heard about the dark side of violent video games. But is there a bright side to virtual reality? Personally I’m not a big fan of video games (I appear to be in the minority among modern Americans) but I was intrigued by a recent study that addressed this question using the Wii game Endless Ocean. Here’s what the researchers at University of Michigan found out:
“116 college students played randomly assigned games for 20 minutes but then completed a questionnaire about their moods. Those who played a relaxing game reported feeling more happiness, love, joy, and other positive emotions than those who played a violent game.
But the researchers took their experiment one step further: When each student completed the questionnaire, the researcher asked if they wouldn’t mind helping sharpen pencils for the next study before leaving. It turns out that those who’d just played a relaxing game sharpened more pencils than those who had not.
‘These findings aren’t the result of some video games being less entertaining or enjoyable than others–we were very careful to choose games that were similar in these ratings,” Bushman said. “Relaxing video games put people in a good mood. And when people are in a good mood, they are more inclined to help others.'”
You can read the whole story at CNET News.
Take-home message: Watching ocean videos on SeaMonster makes you a better person! And imagine how much more relaxed and kinder we would all be interacting with real ocean animals instead of those flat, jerky animations!