Can Playing Video Games Cause Stress?

Um, sort of.

Studies have long confirmed a connection between video games and stress -- especially when it comes to games like Gears of War and others that are known for high levels of violence.

But is that stress necessarily a bad thing?

Obviously, playing Grand Theft Auto or Fortnite will be more stressful than Mario Kart or The Sims. 

A 2019 study performed at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte confirmed the level of stress induced by a video game varies between genres. 

But something unexpected happened during the study. 

Participants displayed variances in heart rate and emotional response when monitored before and after playing both fighting and puzzle games, but none exhibited an increase in blood pressure, indicating that neither genre of game generated what the body perceived as a threat. 

So, while video games do, in fact, cause stress that results in physiological changes to the body, those changes don’t typically trigger a potentially dangerous stressor -- like the kind you would feel if you were in a fight or you lost your home.


Are Certain Video Games More Stressful Than Others?

First-person shooter games are hugely popular for a reason.

Players become part of the game’s environment and storyline, but this can be stressful at the same time. 

A survey of more than 1,000 gamers by revealed that first-person shooters are overwhelmingly considered to be the most stressful genre of video game. 

In fact, when asked what individual game caused the highest levels of stress, participants in the survey reported that Modern Warfare and Black Ops 4 -- both part of the famed Call of Duty franchise -- were at the top of the list. 

The survey also asked participants what genre or games they felt relieved the most stress. More than half of the participants reported that they make it a point to play easier games as a way of lowering stress levels, with most of those being gamers who also admitted to playing every day. 

Puzzle games topped the list of games that relieve the most stress, followed by role-playing and simulation genres. The Sims, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Minecraft lead the way for most stress-relieving games. 

How Do I Relieve Stress While Playing Video Games?

Find an even keel. 

Playing games that tend to induce stress is fine, but try to balance that out with those that relieve it. 

That said, even if puzzle or simulation games are not to your liking, at the very least you can be physically comfortable while you game. 

Only 24% of those surveyed by admitted to being really comfortable while gaming. However, those that did were also found to be more than two times less likely to feel stressed out while playing video games. 

Are you comfortable while gaming? What kind of setup do you have? 

Let’s discuss what you sit on while you game. 

Sumo Lounge: Maximize Comfort While Reducing Stress 

Of those gamers surveyed, more than half said that the couch is their seat of choice while gaming. This was followed by a computer chair. 

Not surprisingly, bean bags were last on the list. However, when bean bag users were asked about their comfort level while gaming, more than 30% of them said they were extremely comfortable. 

Maximize your comfort level and reduce stress while you game. Get a bean bag from Sumo Lounge. 

Every Sumo Lounge bean bag is constructed from a fluffy, ultra-soft material that’s machine-washable to protect against spills and stains, and various sizes are available to accommodate any size room. All of our products are protected by a three-year warranty.

Try our Gamer Mini model. It comes in a wide variety of colors, and it’s guaranteed to never go flat -- no matter how many all-nighters you pull!