Playing video games can stir up a lot of emotions, but a new study indicates being upset or depressed when you log onto your favorite game can make you play worse.
Researchers from Stanford University showed participants video clips intended to make them feel amused, enthusiastic, angry or sad and then compared how they performed on the highly popular soccer game FIFA 19.
Gamers exposed to positive scenes — especially ones that encouraged enthusiasm — did far better against a computer opponent than ones who watch saddening or anger-inducing clips.
Not only did they score more goals, they showed an increase in ‘approach tendency,’ taking possession of the ball more often and having more shots hit the goal, which experts say stems from ‘extra motivation that comes from positive emotion.’
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Participants were shown various video clips before playing five matches of FIFA 19, the most popular console game of the year. Those who watched positive scenes did better than those who watched saddening or anger-inducing clips
‘In addition, we observed that players who have greater confidence in their abilities and get more physiologically involved in the game achieve better results,’ the researchers told IFLScience.
In an experiment reported on in the journal Emotion, 241 men aged 18 to 37 were asked to play five matches of the highly popular sports simulation FIFA 19.
Before each match, participants were shown short video clips intended to elicit amusement, enthusiasm, sadness, anger or a neutral state.
They were also asked how they felt after watching each scene.
Gamers who were shown clips instilling positive emotions, especially enthusiasm, didn’t just score more goals. They showed an increase in ‘approach tendency,’ taking possession of the ball more often and having more shots hit the goal
More than 240 participants played five matches of FIFA 19 against the computer, with the game set on medium (‘Professional’) difficulty.
A clip from the movie American History X, in which a black man is killed in a bias attack by a neo-Nazi, was aimed at inspiring anger, IFL Science reports, while scenes from the Summer Olympic Games were shown to fuel enthusiasm.
Participants then played against the computer, with the game set on medium (‘Professional’) difficulty.
The results indicated inducing positive emotions before gaming — especially enthusiasm — makes eSports players perform significantly better than after a negative emotional experience.
Participants were shown a clip from the movie American History X, in which a black man is killed in a bias attack by a neo-Nazi, to elicit anger
During the matches where the players felt amusement and enthusiasm, they demonstrated the most improvement over neutral states, as measured by number of goals, shots on target, ball possession and other criteria.
More than just ‘good vibes’ the researchers point to an increase in ‘approach tendency,’ or how often a subject tries…
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