Racing video games make players more likely to take risks in real life, such as speeding, reversing, disobeying traffic lights, and using a cell phone while driving.
The researchers came to this conclusion after a recent study based on tests and simulation programs, conducted shortly after the end of those video games. Volunteers with more adventurous personalities were more likely to take risks, and the more intense the video game, the greater the risks.
There are similar findings in other older studies, with a direct association being identified between car racing video games and risk-taking while driving. The study was conducted on a sample of 40 students, and most of them were men. The students underwent personality tests at the beginning of the experiment and were randomly divided into two groups. Half of the students played a video game involving a series of races on a car circuit, similar to those held in Formula 1, for 20 minutes. The other volunteers, who made up the control group, played a well-known computer game, Solitaire, writes Mediafax.
Five minutes after the end of the games, all the volunteers took part in the Vienna Risk-Taking Test, a test that allowed them to watch videos of 24 “risky” road traffic situations presented on the computer from the driver’s perspective. One of these situations was about approaching a railway crossing, while the barrier was already beginning to descend. The amount of time it takes drivers to stop the “Stop” road sign is considered a reliable factor in this test that characterizes the driver’s willingness to take risks in road traffic.
Students in the first group waited, on average, 12 seconds before starting the stop maneuver. By comparison, those in the Solitaire group needed only 10 seconds to initiate the same maneuver. Depending on the personality tests, volunteers who were more adventurous by nature were more willing to take risks than less adventurous volunteers. Other personality issues, such as extrovert type and emotional personality type, did not appear to influence the results of the study.