New research from Sweden indicates that violent video games affect boys’ heart rate and sleep,a ccording to Science Daily.
The study, conducted by researchers from Stockholm University, Uppsala University and Karolinska Institute, tracked 12-15-year-old boys who were asked to play two different games:
The heart rate variability was affected to a higher degree when the boys were playing games focusing on violence compared with games without violent features. Differences in heart rate variability were registered both while the boys were playing the games and when they were sleeping that night. The boys themselves did not feel that they had slept poorly after having played violent games.
The results show that the autonomous nerve system, and thereby central physiological systems in the body, can be affected when you play violent games without your being aware of it. It is too early to draw conclusions about what the long-term significance of this sort of influence might be. What is important about this study is that the researchers have found a way, on the one hand, to study what happens physiologically when you play video or computer games and, on the other hand, to discern the effects of various types of games.
The Sewdish researchers hope that their work may also have some implications for the study of so-called game addiction.