Violent video games in which players slaughter virtual enemies can actually be good for you, according to a new study that reveals that the games serve as kind of a pain killer as they can boost a person's pain threshold by 65 percent.
In a study involving 40 participants, scientists found that people were able to endure pain for 65 percent longer after playing violent "first person shooter" video games than when they played a nonviolent golf game.
Researchers at Keele University asked participants to play both the violent and non-violent game on different occasions for 10 minutes. After each game, participants were asked to place one of their hands in ice-cold water to test their pain tolerance.
The findings, published in the journal Psychological Reports, showed that on average, participants kept their hands in the icy water for 65 percent longer after playing the violent game, suggesting that playing the game boosted the participants' pain tolerance. Researchers noted that after playing the violent video games, participants' heart rate also increased.
The team says that the latest findings suggest that the higher pain tolerance and increased heart rate could be attributed to the body's natural 'fight or flight' response to stress, which can activate descending pain inhibitory pathways in the brain and reduce sensitivity to pain.
The latest study follows a previous study, also done by the same researchers at Keele University, which revealed that swearing increases people's tolerance for pain.
Via Josué Cardona