When you’re playing a round of Halo, which would you say you enjoyed more, killing, or being killed? That’s easy, no one likes to lose, which is why we spend the entire time running around shooting at people. If we actually enjoyed dying, we’d just stand out in the open and wait to be shot, right? According to a new study, it’s quite the opposite.
A study recently observed 36 young-adults as they played James Bond 007: Nightfire and monitored the brain’s reactions. Apparently they found that when a person’s own character was wounded or killed, the person’s brain “elicited an increase in SCL and zygomatic and orbicularis oculi EMG activity and a decrease in corrugator activity” (make them less anxious). However, when someone would kill the another player, their brain showed the exact opposite response.
There’s a part of me that really wants to criticize the study based solely on the fact that they chose Nightfire as the basis for their test. Perhaps the people felt less anxiety when they were killed because they had a brief respite from playing such a terrible game. I’m mostly joking, as I do find these results to be interesting. Unfortunately, according to their research they found that those that did actually enjoy killing others also scored higher on tests for psychoticism. So either you enjoy getting shot (you’re some kind of masochist) or you’re psychotic. Great.