Modern video games are designed to be as immersive as possible, so it can be easy to get caught up the moment you lose a level or fail to beat your high score.
So much so that nearly 56.3 percent of regular gamers experience bouts of extreme, uncontrollable anger at least once a week, according to new research.
Data compiled by online gambling site Time2Play indicates that the angriest are those who play on an Xbox, with more than one in five saying they get angry at their games every day.
Additional research from the University of Eastern Finland revealed that common triggers include last-minute game failures, cheating opponents, and out-of-game interruptions.
Project researcher Juho Kahila said: “In addition, problems in daily life, such as having a bad day at school or feeling hungry, were also recognized as contributing factors to anger.”
Data compiled by online gambling site Time2Play indicates that the angriest are those who play on an Xbox, with more than one in five saying they get angry at their games on a daily basis.
Most of the participants mentioned repeated loss of the same level as one of the reasons they get angry while playing video games. Other triggers are ‘mourners’, players who deliberately interrupt or harass you during gameplay, and ‘campers’, who tactically stay in the same game location.
Time2Play surveyed more than a thousand US residents over the age of 18 who played video games for at least four hours a week. Of all respondents, 41.9% say they deal with extreme anger once a week, and 8.6% once a day (stock image)
MOST COMMON ITEMS BROKEN IN ‘GAMER RAGE’
- Controller, keyboard or mouse: 73.2 percent
- Drywall – 15.8 percent
- TV or monitor – 6.6 percent
- Telephone – 5.5 percent
- Plates – 3.8 percent
Percentages are from study participants who reported breaking something in anger while gaming.
Time2Play this month surveyed more than 1,000 US residents over the age of 18 who played video games for at least four hours a week.
Of all those surveyed, 41.9 percent say they deal with extreme anger once a week and 8.6 percent once a day.
Just under six percent of regular players reported going crazy more than once a day.
They were also asked which games they found the most angry, with the Call of Duty franchise coming out on top for 23.5 percent of study participants.
The more familiar Mario Kart and Minecraft were rated by 22% and 21.2% of participants, respectively, as the most maddening games.
It is closely followed by League of Legends, which provokes the anger of 20.1% of the participants, Super Smash Bros for another 19.7% and Grand Theft Auto for 19.4%.
The amount of impact a video game has on a player also appears to vary by console, with 21.3 percent of Xbox gamers experiencing anger once a day, but the same is true for just 14.1 percent of PC gamers.
Study participants were asked which games they thought provoked the most anger, with the Call of Duty franchise (left) coming out on top for 23.5% of study participants. The more familiar Mario Kart (right) and Minecraft were rated by 22% and 21.2% of participants, respectively, as the most maddening games.
WHICH GAMING FRANCHISE CAUSES THE MOST ANGER?
- Call of Duty: 23.5%
- Mario Kart – 22.0 percent
- Minecraft – 21.2 percent
- League of Legends – 20.1 percent
- Super Smash Bros.: 19.7%
- Grand Theft Auto – 19.4 percent
Percentages are from study participants who chose the franchise as the most anger-provoking.
This anger also comes in different forms, with 18.4 percent admitting to having broken something due to anger.
For 73.2 percent, this was their controller, keyboard, or mouse, while other common victims of gamer wrath are drywall, televisions, phones, and turntables.
Unfortunately, the loved ones of 25.5 percent of study participants have been on the receiving end of their fury.
This was the highest for Xbox users at 29.7 percent and mobile gamers at 25.1 percent.
Research published in the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction investigated what triggered angry outbursts in children from their perspective.
One of the reasons was disappointment with their own performance, either because of repeated or last-minute glitches in the game or losing to a beginner.
Actions taken by other players, such as cheating or losing a game due to less skilled teammates, were also perceived as rage points.
This was particularly prominent when the games involved playing against other humans and being humiliated by them.
Mr. Kahila says this is a result of “toxicity within the gaming community, such as nasty comments or bullying from other players, as well as a noisy gaming environment.”
Research published in the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction investigated what triggered angry outbursts in children from their perspective. Out-of-game interruptions, such as having to do chores or homework, and technical issues, such as poor internet connections, were triggers for anger (stock image)
Research published in the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction investigated what triggered angry outbursts in children from their perspective
Out-of-game interruptions, such as having to do chores or homework, and technical issues, such as poor internet connections, were also triggers for anger.
The children in the study said that their anger manifested itself in the form of yelling, swearing, kicking furniture, throwing objects that were close at hand, such as their console, and quitting the game.
However, the results also showed that leaving a gaming session or switching to a less irritating game was often used as a preventative measure to avoid becoming further enraged.
Mr. Kahila said the study shows that the reasons behind anger during games are very complex, but despite that, children are good at naming them.
Many of the reasons that lead to anger in digital games, such as game crashes, cheating opponents, or a toxic gaming environment, were also seen in other game settings.
“For example, feelings of outrage caused by one’s own mistakes, a missed penalty kick by a referee, or an opponent’s upset behavior are all familiar in real-life situations, such as ice hockey and football,” said the Mr Kahila.