Using science to confirm what people with a history of violence against controllers have known for decades, researchers at the University Of Rochester have concluded that losing at video games makes people angry and aggressive. The study used custom-made video games that allowed the researchers to alter the controls and difficulty. They found that participants who played the more difficult versions of the games were likely to get more frustrated and act aggressively.
How did they come upon these stunning findings? In one experiment, researchers had the participants stick their hands in “painfully cold water” for 25 seconds and told them (falsely) that the length of time was chosen by another participant. Then, they made everybody play Tetris and afterward asked them to set a length of time for someone else to stick their hands in “painfully cold water.” The jerks who played a harder version of Tetris chose to have a stranger stick their hands in “painfully cold water” for, on average, 10 more seconds than the people who played easy Tetris.
And the researchers would very much like you to know that this aggression resulted from losing at both violent games and non-violent games. “If you press someone’s competencies, they’ll become more aggressive, and our effects held up whether the games were violent or not,” Richard Ryan, one of the study’s authors and a psychologist at University Of Rochester, said in a release from the university. So now you know to stay just as far away from people who are bad at Candy Crush as you would someone who stinks at Call Of Duty.