"Two studies assessed whether playing video games would significantly distract participants from painful stimulation via a cold pressor test. In Study 1, participants (8 men, 22 women, M age = 18.5 yr., SD = 1.3) in an action-oriented game condition tolerated pain for a longer time period and reported lower pain intensity ratings than those in a nonaction-oriented game or a nongame control condition. No differences were found on scores of aggressiveness, competitiveness, or prior video game experience, suggesting that these factors play little role. In Study 2, participants (14 men, 13 women, M age = 19.7 yr., SD = 1.3) engaged in six video game conditions (action, fighting, puzzle, sports, arcade, and boxing) and a nongame control condition. Video game play produced an increase in pulse, which was greatest during the action, fighting, sports, and boxing games. Pain tolerance was greatest during the sports and fighting games. Thus, certain games produce greater distraction, which may have implications for the medical field as an adjunct to pain management."
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