Ranked: The most stressful online games according to science

Research carried out by Manyspin.com has shown that from a study of 20 online games; the internet sensation, Among Us, ranks as the most stressful. The game caused players’ average heart rate to rise by a staggering 67% during play, with other popular games such as League of Legends, Fortnight, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) ranked further down the list in 2nd, 6th, and 9th respectively. 

The study involved 705 online gamers monitoring their heart rate before and during play of an online game, with a mean heart rate during gameplay calculated across all players. The results differ between games – with the most stressful game showing a 67% heart rate increase and the least stressful game showing only a 30% heart rate increase. When asked what they think causes a game to be stressful, 71% of players agreed that playing against unfamiliar players adds to the degree of stress in the game. Other reasons included the action and pace of the game, the desire to beat others, and the difficulty of the game. Given this, it perhaps isn’t surprising that Among Us claimed the title of  most stressful since a large portion of the game is reliant on communication with other players. 

Here is the full list:

Among Us is the most stressful online game this year, says study - SCOUT
The most stressful online games ranked. Credit: Manyspins/Scout.

Some critics may, however, argue that this rise in heart rate could be credited to the excitement of the game as Fall Guys, which ranked fourth in the ‘most stressful’ list, isn’t generally regarded as a stressful game. The release of these findings coincides with a University of Oxford study suggesting that games may actually be good for your wellbeing. The study showed that people who spent 4 hours a day playing Animal Crossing or Plants vs Zombies were more likely to report feeling happy than those who didn’t. The researchers attributed this to the social aspect involved with both games, so it is possible that the same conclusions could be drawn from people playing Among Us when considering the impact of the social interaction on our happiness. These findings are particularly important at the moment – at a time where social interactions are limited, it can only be a good thing that games promoting socially-distanced encounters are also good for our overall well being.

By Phoebe Turner

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