Study – co-op play linked to less aggressive real world behaviour

By Brenna Hillier, Wednesday, 26 September 2012 01:15 GMT

An Ohio State study suggests playing co-operative games and game modes may be linked to friendlier behaviour later on – but competitive play won’t.

The Lantern reports the study had groups of gamers playing Halo, Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament 3 in either co-op or competitive modes.

After the play session, participants were asked to take part in a simple trading exercise where they could share coins or keep them, with co-operation yielding better end results. Co-op players got on board the idea immediately, while the competitive-only players first tried to stiff their trading partners.

OSU Professor of communication David Ewoldsen said the study demonstrated that when it comes to linking games to aggression, “it’s not the content of the game that matters, it’s how you play the game that matters.”

The research has been held up as somehwat oppositional to claims that violent games somehow cause violence and aggression, with Ewoldson adding, “It’s a much more complex relationship than that”.

Interestingly, the study did not demonstrate whether co-operative games had a positive effect on players, or competitive games had a negative one.

Thanks, GamePolitics. Image from Dark Souls.

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