The psychologists recruited 292 male and female online gamers, playing the game World of Warcraft. The players, aged between 12 and 83 years, were asked to complete a questionnaire on anger, aggression and personality and then played the game for two hours. After this time they were they were asked to complete the test again.
The psychologists found overall the gamers were more likely to feel calm or tired after playing – but there were differences depending on sex, age and personality.
Miss Barnett said: “There were actually higher levels of relaxation before and after playing the game as opposed to experiencing anger but this did very much depend on personality type. “This will help us to develop a emotion and gaming questionnaire to help distinguish the type of gamer who is likely to transfer their online aggression into everyday life.”
Their results will be presented at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference in Dublin today, Wednesday 2 April 2008.