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Video games have been on the market for the last 35 years. They are a unique form of leisure because they encourage players to be part of the game's characters. However, this has both positive and negative effects on the player. Several studies have been published that investigate the effects of video games on heart rate.
In this article, I have tried to summarize the research that has been conducted on the effects of video games on the individual's heart rate.
In a study conducted by the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, it has been found that playing violent video games affects heart rate variation not only during play but also when you sleep at night. A group of boys, between the ages of 13 and 15, were told to play two different games in the evening, one focused on aggression while the other had no violent traits.
Fifteen boys were subjected to violent video games and played no less than three hours a day. The remaining fifteen were asked to play non-violent cartoon games - a maximum of one hour per day. The boys played the games at home on two nights.
Heart rate was observed during play and also during sleep. The study seems to show that the effects of games not only end when you shut down your system, but they have a continuous psychological impact without the player even being aware of it.
While the boys slept later in the night, boys who were subjected to very violent games had faster heart rates compared to the night after playing violent games. Boys who were subjected to violent games also reported poor sleep quality at night after playing an aggressive game. They also reported increased feelings of grief. The violent game seems to have caused more nervousness and stress at bedtime.
This suggests that often exposure to violent computer games not only increases stress and aggressive behavior, but also increases anti-social behavior. Other studies have also shown that violent video games can cause an adrenaline response. In other words, they can affect your blood pressure, respiratory rate and pain tolerance.
Violent video games tend to be more exciting and obsessed than their more peaceful counterparts. As a result, they will surely see the heart rate increase. It may also be the increased stress level that causes increased anxiety. However, not all individuals can be affected by exposure to violent computer games, but most people are affected.