Do Angry Gamers Suck? Study Says “Yes”


We’ve all been there before: You’re playing some game and it’s getting on your nerves and more than a little bit.

If you’re like most normal people, you probably quit or take a short break. It’s not worth it, right? For most of us, it isn’t and a new study reveals that stepping away from the game might be a good thing.


Well, it seems like angry gamers suck at gaming. In other words, when you game while you are angry or emotionally agitated, you are actually worse at the game than you would be if you were calm or happy.

So, don’t throw that controller? Aside from how expensive it is to replace those things, it probably won’t help your performance.

The study was conducted by none other than researchers at the esteemed Stanford University and they used FIFA 19 as their test case (as good a game as any other truth be told).

Interestingly, the study found that players who viewed positive imagery not only played the game better but were also more likely to actively pursue and take control of the ball and dictate the pace of play.

All of this, of course, could be really useful for eSports teams looking for any and every advantage in matches against opponents. But it also helps shed some light on the oft-complicated psychological impact of videogames and it introduces some nuance to that discussion that is often missing and often conveniently so.

I mean, let’s be real, it wasn’t until last year that multiple studies said playing games was a potentially “good thing” for mental health. Up until then, video gamers were either rage-filled timebombs or antisocial depressives or some cocktail of both or whatever chimera satisfied the zeitgeist of the time. In other words, the depiction of the impact of video gaming on mental health was rarely positive.

Speaking of positive, the negative or anger-inducing imagery that the Stanford study used included clips from the extremely graphic American History X, The Daily Mail reports. They compared the performance of players exposed to negative, positive, and neutral imagery then compared their performance. While it doesn’t exactly simulate the frustration of doing some stupid thing in a game over and over again, to continuous failure and only because you need to complete said insane task to advance, it does somewhat approximate the mindstate of being emotionally agitated.

As far as implications, it’s really only one study but it does speak volumes to the fact that we should probably all just chill out and enjoy the game – especially if money is on the line. After all, it looks like being an angry gamer doesn’t just make you upset, it makes you bad at the game itself according to this study.

What do you think? Does being an angry person make you a less effective gamer? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments.

Also, don’t forget to check out our other video game content at this link.

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