Washington, Nov 16 : Swedish researchers have shown that violent video games affect boys' biological systems.
To reach the conclusion, boys were asked to play two different video games at home in the evening.
The boys' heart rate was registered, among other parameters. It turned out that 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, reports Science Daily.
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.
The researchers, from Stockholm University, Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, hope the method can be used to study how individuals are affected by playing often and for long periods, which can take the form of so-called game addiction.
An article on the research has been published electronically in the scientific journal Acta Paediatrica.