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Playing the Blame Game: Video Games Pros and Cons

Play­ing the Blame Game
– Video games stand accused of caus­ing obe­si­ty, vio­lence, and lousy grades. But new research paints a sur­pris­ing­ly com­pli­cat­ed and pos­i­tive pic­ture, reports Greater Good Mag­a­zine’s Jere­my Adam Smith.

Cheryl Olson had seen her teenage son play video games. But like many par­ents, she didn’t know much about them.

Then in 2004 the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice asked Olson and her hus­band, Lawrence Kut­ner, to run a fed­er­al­ly fund­ed study of how video games affect ado­les­cents.

Olson and Kut­ner are the co-founders and direc­tors of the Har­vard Med­ical School’s Cen­ter for Men­tal Health and Media. Olson, a pub­lic health researcher, had stud­ied the effects of media on behav­ior but had nev­er exam­ined video games, either in her research or in her per­son­al life.

And so the first thing she did was watch over the shoul­der of her son, Michael, as he played his video games. Then, two years into her research—which com­bined sur­veys and focus groups of junior high school students—Michael urged her to pick up a joy­stick. “I def­i­nite­ly felt they should be famil­iar with the games if they were doing the research,” says Michael, who was 16 at the time and is now 18.

Olson start­ed with the PC game Max Payne, which, she says, had an “engag­ing film noir-style plot” and “lots of shoot­ing.” Lat­er she moved on to Star Trek: Bridge Com­man­der, which turned out to be more real­is­tic than she expect­ed. “I found it real­ly stress­ful, in my role as the cap­tain, to have the crew mem­bers stand there watch­ing me expec­tant­ly as I tried to fig­ure out the con­trols and give them orders before the ship explod­ed,” she says. With his father, Michael played James Bond games. “He would thor­ough­ly trounce me,” recalls Kut­ner, a psy­chol­o­gist.

Olson and Kutner—who are pub­lish­ing a book based on their research, Grand Theft Child­hood? this spring—were enter­ing a brave new world of play that is closed to many par­ents. For mil­lions of kids and quite a few adults, video games are cen­tral to their play and imag­i­na­tions. Today the Amer­i­can video game indus­try makes almost twice as much as movie the­aters, and con­sumers spent $18.85 bil­lion on video-game hard­ware, soft­ware, and acces­sories in 2007—triple what they spent in 2000. Sev­er­al author­i­ta­tive stud­ies, includ­ing Olson and Kutner’s, have found that 70 to 80 per­cent of boys and approx­i­mate­ly 20 per­cent of girls now play video games on an aver­age day.

Their popularity—and the bloody, pyrotech­nic action of some games—have fueled a wide range of fears. Politi­cians, pun­dits, preach­ers, and many par­ents accuse video games of dis­plac­ing more whole­some, tra­di­tion­al forms of play and con­tribut­ing to ills such as child­hood obe­si­ty, poor school grades, and, most of all, kid-on-kid vio­lence. Their fears echo ear­li­er con­cerns about movies, com­ic books, rock and roll, and hip-hop, which all pro­voked oppo­si­tion when they first appeared.

As a result, advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tions like Moth­ers Against Videogame Addic­tion and Vio­lence and the Par­ents Tele­vi­sion Coun­cil have pressed for laws lim­it­ing video game vio­lence. Since 2001, fed­er­al judges have reject­ed nine attempts to reg­u­late video games, cit­ing First Amend­ment pro­tec­tion. Cen­sors abroad have had more luck: Last year, both the British Board of Film Clas­si­fi­ca­tion and the Irish Film Censor’s Office banned the game Man­hunt 2 for its “unre­lent­ing focus on stalk­ing and bru­tal slay­ing.”

It is hard to argue that a game like Man­hunt 2 is good for kids. And yet accord­ing to the mar­ket-research orga­ni­za­tion NPD Group, only 16 per­cent of all games sold in 2007 shared Man­hunt 2’s rat­ing of “M” (“Mature”) for vio­lent or sex­u­al con­tent, while 57 per­cent of games sold were rat­ed non­vi­o­lent and safe for chil­dren. Video games today are defined by their diver­si­ty, rang­ing from the inno­cent quests of Don­key Kong to the com­plex strat­e­gy of Civ­i­liza­tion to the amoral bru­tal­i­ty of Grand Theft Auto. Even video games with vio­lence in them—like movies and books with vio­lent content—are not all the same. What’s more, new research shows that indi­vid­u­als expe­ri­ence the vio­lence dif­fer­ent­ly.

Indeed, the more one exam­ines the range of games on the mar­ket today, as well as the con­sid­er­able amount of research devot­ed to study­ing them, the more one real­izes how dif­fi­cult it is to gen­er­al­ize about the games and their effect on kids. “It’s a lot more com­pli­cat­ed than peo­ple think,” says Olson. “We’ve been wor­ried about the wrong things and maybe over­look­ing some more sub­tle things that we might want to give more atten­tion to.” Kut­ner adds, “This is so per­va­sive in our soci­ety that it’s some­thing we need to pay atten­tion to, even if we don’t have kids, because it influ­ences how peo­ple think, just as mass media of all types over the past cou­ple hun­dred years have influ­enced how peo­ple think.”

Play­ing togeth­er

Olson, Kut­ner, and col­leagues ulti­mate­ly ana­lyzed 1,254 junior high school stu­dents, mak­ing their $1.5 mil­lion study the largest and most author­i­ta­tive of its kind. They gave writ­ten sur­veys to the entire stu­dent body at schools across the coun­try and orga­nized in-depth focus groups with kids in the Boston area who had played M-rat­ed games. In the focus groups, they also talked to about half of the kids’ parents—which, Kut­ner says, revealed that many moms and dads had lit­tle idea of what went on in the games their kids played.

In addi­tion to game-play­ing habits, the researchers looked at the emo­tion­al, psy­cho­log­i­cal, and socioe­co­nom­ic sit­u­a­tions of the kids, try­ing to under­stand which kids were most at risk to engage in vio­lent behav­ior. Their results, which they start­ed to pub­lish last year, chal­lenge many pop­u­lar assump­tions, while also val­i­dat­ing some exist­ing con­cerns and rais­ing a few new ones.

Their study imme­di­ate­ly debunked two myths: that gamers are anti­so­cial, and that the kids who play them are out of shape. For boys espe­cial­ly, they found that today video games are a way to social­ize and con­nect with their friends, and that this bond­ing some­times facil­i­tates, rather than dis­cour­ages, par­tic­i­pa­tion in phys­i­cal play. “Since game play is often a social activ­i­ty for boys, non-par­tic­i­pa­tion could be a mark­er of social dif­fi­cul­ties,” Olson and Kut­ner, along with their Har­vard col­league Eugene V. Beresin, write in last October’s issue of the Psy­chi­atric Times. “These boys [who rarely played games with friends] were also more like­ly than oth­ers to report prob­lems such as get­ting into fights.” Olson sug­gests that today’s video games can serve as a source of social pres­tige for oth­er­wise dorky teenage boys, in the same way that sports bol­ster the pop­u­lar­i­ty of ath­let­ic boys. It’s an inver­sion of the old­er con­cern that video game play might cause social iso­la­tion.

And instead of siphon­ing time away from sports and out­door activ­i­ties, Olson and Kut­ner dis­cov­ered that boys who played sports video games were actu­al­ly much more like­ly to play those games in real life. “These are kids who are already into foot­ball or skate­board­ing,” says Kut­ner. In focus groups, the researchers heard that “they will use it as a way of improv­ing their skills, for mas­ter­ing a new move. They’ll per­fect it vir­tu­al­ly, and then go out on the court or the street and try it with a real bas­ket­ball or a real skate­board.”

This find­ing is echoed in anoth­er new study led by Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas, Austin, psy­chol­o­gist Eliz­a­beth A. Van­de­wa­ter. Based on sur­veys of 1,491 kids, Van­de­wa­ter and her col­leagues also found that play­ing video games didn’t take time away from sports or oth­er active leisure activ­i­ties. And like Olson and Kutner’s study, their research dis­cov­ered that game-play­ing and non-gam­ing ado­les­cents spent the same amounts of time with fam­i­ly and friends. More­over, gamers often played with friends and saw it as a way of bond­ing.

But if video games are not dis­plac­ing real-world play and social­iz­ing, then where is the time to play them com­ing from? When the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas researchers com­pared game-play­ing and non-gam­ing ado­les­cents, they found that play­ing games cut into read­ing and home­work. In results pub­lished last year in the jour­nal Archives of Pedi­atric and Ado­les­cent Med­i­cine, they report that “ado­les­cent gamers spent 30 per­cent less time read­ing and 34 per­cent less time doing home­work.” (Depress­ing­ly, even non-gam­ing boys spent only eight min­utes a day with a book.)

Iowa State Uni­ver­si­ty psy­chol­o­gist Craig Ander­son, a lead­ing expert on research into video-game vio­lence, says that while video-game play does appear to hurt school per­for­mance, this has lit­tle to do with the con­tent of the games. “The best bet at this point is that it has to do with the amount of time tak­en away from oth­er activ­i­ties that would typ­i­cal­ly improve school per­for­mance,” he says. “It’s no dif­fer­ent from TV: Kids who watch a lot of TV typ­i­cal­ly are not spend­ing it on edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams.”

The bot­tom line, accord­ing to both stud­ies, is that video games become a social, health, and edu­ca­tion­al prob­lem when played to the exclu­sion of oth­er activities—which, Olson points out, can be true of any pas­time, from sports to hang­ing out with friends.

I played games along with oth­er things,” says Olson’s son Michael of his child­hood. “It nev­er real­ly sup­plant­ed any­thing. I was out­side. I was meet­ing with friends, build­ing forts in the back­yard. But every­one else was play­ing the games and that was part of how we played togeth­er.”

Sin­gle-per­son shoot­er

But unlike movies and TV, which are fun­da­men­tal­ly pas­sive view­ing expe­ri­ences, vio­lent video games call for play­ers to active­ly shoot, stab, or blud­geon ene­mies to death. Does research show that these vio­lent games pro­mote bel­liger­ence and blood­shed in the real world?

A movie’s the same, even if you watch it mul­ti­ple times,” Kut­ner points out. “You may get addi­tion­al insights, but it’s the same thing. With video games, you are inter­act­ing with the movie and it changes based on that, and so it’s a dif­fer­ent way of think­ing. In a way, we dimin­ish these pro­grams by call­ing them games. In oth­er con­texts, the same thing would be called a sim­u­la­tion.”

In his 1999 book Stop Teach­ing Our Kids to Kill, Lt. Col. Dave Gross­man, a psy­chol­o­gist and his­to­ri­an, argues that “sin­gle-per­son shoot­er” video games repli­cate mil­i­tary train-ing, low­er­ing children’s innate resis­tance to killing oth­er human beings, with­out also instill­ing in them the mil­i­tary dis­ci­pline that might keep impul­sive behav­ior in check.

Cho Seung-Hui, who mur­dered 32 peo­ple on the Vir­ginia Tech cam­pus in 2007, was ini­tial­ly report­ed to have played video games obses­sive­ly (a claim since debunked by the Vir­ginia Tech pan­el that inves­ti­gat­ed the inci­dent), and many com­men­ta­tors have instinc­tive­ly linked game vio­lence with cam­pus killings. Cho “adopt­ed the type of behav­ior of pro­tag­o­nists in films and com­put­er games,” wrote Uni­ver­si­ty of Vir­ginia psy­chol­o­gist Dewey Cor­nell short­ly after the mas­sacre. “The spe­cial effects and gra­tu­itous vio­lence seen in the mass media ulti­mate­ly desen­si­tize human­i­ty, and Cho’s case illus­trates how dan­ger­ous the reper­cus­sions can be.”

The obvi­ous prob­lem with this charge is that mil­lions of kids and adults play video games every day with­out ever engag­ing in any vio­lent behav­ior. In fact, as video games have surged in pop­u­lar­i­ty dur­ing the past decade, youth vio­lence has declined.

Accord­ing to a study released in Jan­u­ary of 2008 by the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, the num­ber of school killings fell con­sid­er­ably from 1992 to 2006—a peri­od of time that includes the noto­ri­ous 1999 Columbine mas­sacre. Many lead­ers, includ­ing Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton, blamed the Columbine tragedy on the killers’ fas­ci­na­tion with games like Doom and Wolfen­stein 3D.

But when the U.S. Secret Ser­vice and Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion ana­lyzed 37 inci­dents of school vio­lence and sought to devel­op a pro­file of school shoot­ers, they dis­cov­ered that the most com­mon traits among shoot­ers were that they were male and had his­to­ries of depres­sion and attempt­ed sui­cide. While many of the killers-like the vast major­i­ty of young males—did play video games, this 2002 study did not find a rela­tion­ship between game play and school shoot­ings. In fact, only one eighth of the shoot­ers showed any spe­cial inter­est in vio­lent video games, far less than the num­ber of shoot­ers who seemed attract­ed to books and movies with vio­lent con­tent.

In short, try­ing to curb vio­lent video games (or tar­get­ing kids who play video games) would seem to have lit­tle or no effect on lev­els of school vio­lence.

How­ev­er, the sto­ry does not end there: Video games may not direct­ly cause school shoot­ings, but dozens of empir­i­cal stud­ies have shown a strong link between video game play and aggres­sive feel­ings. When Craig Ander­son and col­leagues ana­lyzed 54 inde­pen­dent stud­ies involv­ing 4,262 par­tic­i­pants in 2001, they found that play­ing vio­lent video games increased aggres­sive emo­tions and behav­iors, and mea­sur­ably decreased help­ful behav­iors. Researchers at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri mon­i­tored brain activ­i­ty in video-game play­ers and found that the games trig­ger a part of the brain that dri­ves peo­ple to act aggres­sive­ly. And in 2004, a team of researchers stud­ied 607 eighth- and ninth-grade stu­dents in the Mid­west and dis­cov­ered that there was indeed a cor­re­la­tion between play­ing vio­lent video games and get­ting into fist fights, though the study was not able to say if one caused the oth­er.

That last study reflects the chick­en-and-egg conun­drum of a lot of video-game research: Are trou­bled kids more like­ly to play vio­lent video games, or do vio­lent video games help cre­ate trou­bled kids? “That’s a ques­tion we can’t answer right now,” says Cheryl Olson. For decades, researchers have been try­ing to untan­gle the con­stel­la­tion of fac­tors involved in youth vio­lence, from qual­i­ty of neigh­bor­hoods to home envi­ron­ment to media influ­ence, but so far they haven’t been able to deter­mine the degree to which any one of them con­tributes.

Part of the rea­son why data seem to con­tra­dict each oth­er, Olson sug­gests, might lie in the dis­parate moti­va­tions play­ers bring to the games. “Ours was the first study to ask a decent-sized group of kids, “Why do you play [M-rat­ed] video games?’ ” she says. “We came up with 17 or 18 rea­sons why they might play. And we were struck that many of the kids said they were play­ing to help with emo­tion­al regulation—to get their anger out, to feel less lone­ly, to reduce stress, a lot of things we didn’t expect.” For these kids, Olson sug­gests, vio­lent video games might play a pos­i­tive role in man­ag­ing unruly emo­tions. “If I had a bad day at school,” said one focus-group par­tic­i­pant, “I’ll play a vio­lent video game, and it just relieves my stress.”

Craig Ander­son isn’t con­vinced by this “emo­tion­al reg­u­la­tion” hypoth­e­sis. “Kids report that’s what is going on,” he says, “but in fact there’s no evi­dence that actu­al­ly hap­pens.”

In fact, Olson and Ander­son could both find sup­port from a new study by psy­chol­o­gists in New Zealand and Aus­tralia. The study mea­sured the indi­vid­ual per­son­al­i­ty traits of 126 teenagers, then test­ed their reac­tions to the vio­lent video game Quake II. They found that play­ing the game made hos­tile peo­ple angri­er, helped calm more intro­vert­ed per­son­al­i­ties, and had no appar­ent affect on peo­ple with mild and sta­ble per­son­al­i­ties. In oth­er words, one kid might indeed play the game to blow off steam in a healthy way, even as it feeds another’s anger.

Method act­ing

Olson and Kutner’s work also sug­gests a pos­i­tive and para­dox­i­cal dimen­sion of play­ing video games with vio­lence in them: help­ing kids to grap­ple with life’s scari­est expe­ri­ences.

Olson reports that many kids in their focus groups said they liked play­ing vio­lent video games because they knew the fight­ing wasn’t hap­pen­ing in real life. In fact, many of the kids report­ed being much more scared by TV news. “They told us, “The news is real, and that makes me scared.’ ” In con­trast, they could con­trol the vio­lence in video games. “There are things you can try out in a game that you can’t do in real life,” says Olson. “Some of the boys in our focus groups real­ly liked the fact that you could choose to be a good guy or a bad guy. They can ask, “What kind of per­son would I end up being?’ ”

Olson’s son Michael says he and his friends do not play games just because of vio­lent con­tent. Instead, they are look­ing for a com­pelling sto­ry­line, intrigu­ing char­ac­ters, and inter­est­ing choic­es. “A good game to me makes you feel like a method actor,” he says. “It just draws you into the sto­ry and draws you into a char­ac­ter.”

These insights res­onate with research into children’s pre­tend play. In stud­ies of kids with imag­i­nary friends, Uni­ver­si­ty of Ore­gon psy­chol­o­gist Mar­jorie Tay­lor has found that kids often cre­ate pre­tend char­ac­ters who do sin­is­ter, nasty, and even vio­lent things. (See Taylor’s essay on page 28 of this issue.) “Like adults who think things through before they act, this gives chil­dren an oppor­tu­ni­ty to play it through before they encounter the sit­u­a­tion in real life,” says Tay­lor. “If some­thing is both­er­ing you, you can con­trol it or manip­u­late it in the world of pre­tend­ing. That’s a way of devel­op­ing emo­tion­al mas­tery.”

U.S. Cir­cuit Court Judge Richard A. Pos­ner offered a sim­i­lar con­clu­sion in his 2001 opin­ion block­ing an Indi­anapo­lis ordi­nance that would have reg­u­lat­ed video-game arcades. “Vio­lence has always been and remains a cen­tral inter­est of humankind and a recur­rent, even obses­sive theme of cul­ture both high and low,” he wrote. “It engages the inter­est of chil­dren from an ear­ly age, as any­one famil­iar with the clas­sic fairy tales col­lect­ed by Grimm, Ander­sen, and Per­rault are aware. To shield chil­dren right up to the age of 18 from expo­sure to vio­lent descrip­tions and images would not only be quixot­ic, but deform­ing; it would leave them unequipped to cope with the world as we know it.”

That doesn’t mean that any­thing goes. Olson says many pre­cau­tion­ary steps can be tak­en to mit­i­gate the harm that vio­lent video games might cause. “I would def­i­nite­ly want to show real­is­tic con­se­quences,” she says, when asked how she would design one of these games. “There are a num­ber of games with sto­ry­lines that show the con­se­quences of vio­lence: Kids are get­ting orphaned or peo­ple are suf­fer­ing.” She says the vio­lence should nev­er be depict­ed as fun­ny, or the per­pe­tra­tors as attrac­tive, and the play­ers should be reward­ed for mer­cy and moral choices—as they are in the game SWAT, for exam­ple.

But to help kids make the right choic­es about video games, par­ents and oth­er adults first need to under­stand what kids are play­ing. Olson and Kut­ner urge par­ents and researchers alike to learn more about these games, and even play them with kids. This will help both groups devel­op a more nuanced under­stand­ing of gam­ing and be able to tell the good games from the bad ones.

It’s a great thing devel­op­men­tal­ly for the child to teach the par­ent some­thing,” says Olson. “A lot of kids said they’d love for their par­ents to play games with them.”

Jere­my Adam Smith is the man­ag­ing edi­tor of Greater Good and author of Twen­ty-First-Cen­tu­ry Dad, forth­com­ing in 2009 from Bea­con Press. We bring you this post thanks to our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Greater Good Mag­a­zine, a UC-Berke­ley-based quar­ter­ly mag­a­zine that high­lights ground break­ing sci­en­tif­ic research into the roots of com­pas­sion and altru­ism.

For recent exam­ples on the pos­i­tive val­ue of some games (for chil­dren and adults), and how to nav­i­gate the field from a cog­ni­tive health point of view:

- Inter­views with Brain Sci­en­tists

- Prod­uct Eval­u­a­tion Check­list

- Nin­ten­do Brain Train­ing and Math in UK Schools

- Posit Sci­ence Pro­gram Clas­sic and InSight and Alzheimer’s Aus­tralia

 

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17 Responses

  1. could you direct me to a link which has the Olson/Kutner study? I’m doing a paper for grad school and would love to include a ref­er­ence to this work. Thanks for a very help­ful and enlight­en­ing arti­cle. ck

  2. Jean Forbes says:

    I am still firm­ly on the fense and more than a lit­tle dis­tressed about the time tak­en away from read­ing.
    How­ev­er, I must admit that when we played cow­boys and indi­ans or police and thief, the gun (toys, sup­plied by some adult) played a large part. Our movies were west­erns, which by todays stan­dards would have been heav­i­ly rat­ed for vio­lence and cul­tur­al inap­pro­pri­ate­ness. Yet most of us turned out okay. So I sup­pose giv­en the right par­ent­ing envi­ron­ment, these chil­dren will be okay too.
    Jean

  3. Char­lie, Jean, please see my answer to your com­ment here:
    http://tinyurl.com/3t5wjd

    Thank you!

  4. Joshua Sebold says:

    Moth­ers Against Videogame Addic­tion and Vio­lence, ref­er­enced in the eighth para­graph, is a hoax, cre­at­ed by a web design stu­dent who was fed up about mis­in­formed par­ents and their anti gam­ing orga­ni­za­tions. Some polit­i­cal fig­ures actu­al­ly ref­er­enced it on their web­sites and oth­er anti video game orga­ni­za­tions have tried to “team up with it.” The point was for the stu­dent to make a con­vinc­ing web­site about a fake orga­ni­za­tion, he was so suc­cess­ful that the orga­ni­za­tion became a mas­sive inside joke in gam­ing cul­ture. The point was that most of these par­ent groups are so out of touch with the youth and the things affect­ing their chil­dren that they are tak­en in by a col­lege student’s home­work assign­ment. The pop­u­lar, gam­ing focused, web com­ic Pen­ny Arcade fea­tured the group in one of its comics to give you an exam­ple of its place in gam­ing cul­ture. That’s the place where I first encoun­tered it. Look it up on wikipedia.

  5. Joshua Sebold says:

    Also the man­hunt games have been ter­ri­bly received by the gam­ing com­mu­ni­ty. They are hard­ly com­pet­i­tive or pop­u­lar and are rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the gam­ing indus­try in the same way that a ran­dom porn would be rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the film indus­try.

  6. Joshua Sebold says:

    Oth­er­wise this is a very fair and bal­anced arti­cle, a rar­i­ty when it comes to this sub­ject. Kudos.

  7. Joshua, thank you for pro­vid­ing that great infor­ma­tion!

  8. Eric Haugland says:

    For read­ers out there, I’m 17 and I absolute­ly LOVE first-per­son shoot­ers. I admit that some­times I do play video games with my friends instead of doing home­work. How­ev­er, I’ve nev­er been in a fight, I’m not over­weight, I have PLENTY of friends, and I’m get­ting my AA degree 2 years ear­ly through the Run­ning Start pro­gram at my high­school. I wouldn’t be able to do that if my brains were being fried by the games I played, right?

  9. Eric Haugland says:

    And I’m actu­al­ly writ­ing about this top­ic for my Eng­lish 110 class! Wait till my teacher sees these com­ments when she checks my sources haha. Hi Mrs. K!

  10. Eric, thank you for stop­ping by and leav­ing your impres­sions. Will be more than glad to learn more about your essay for your Eng­lish 110 class and hear your teacher’s reac­tion. This is what we want to cre­ate in this blog: an informed and stim­u­lat­ing con­ver­sa­tion. Thank you for your con­tri­bu­tion.

  11. Allie says:

    Thanks for your arti­cle. It clear­ly explains BOTH sides of this argu­ment and nei­ther side is biased, which is a real breath of fresh air for me.

  12. Adam Taylor says:

    This arti­cle firm­ly shows both sides of the argue­ment, and is an effec­tive means to prove that there real­ly are no more cons to play­ing videogames than there are to watch­ing a vio­lent movie. I espe­cial­ly like the fact that it includes that just because some­one plays videogames, it does not make them an intro­vert, obese, idiot. It is also great to men­tion that some kids and teenagers used the vio­lent con­tent as a stress relief instead of idea gen­er­a­tor. All and all, a great arti­cle.

  13. Adam Taylor says:

    Oh and I am also using this to help me in my A.P. Eng­lish class, thanks for the arti­cle

  14. Devan Frey says:

    If you have any arti­cles or resources that are against video games please send them to me.

  15. Samantha Leiter says:

    Do you know of any sites that could have unbi­ased facts about the pos­i­tive effects of video games? It would real­ly help me with my A.P assign­ment. This arti­cle will help me alot, too.

  16. Dan Hipp says:

    There is also research indi­cat­ing that FPS games improves aspects of vision: http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.2296.html

    Research also indi­cates that sig­nif­i­cant par­al­lels exist between busi­ness lead­ers and suc­cess­ful MMORPG play­ers:
    http://news.cnet.com/8301–10784_3-9736569–7.html

  17. Andrew White says:

    Thank you for writ­ing such an un biased arti­cle on this subjet,Josh is right it is a rar­i­ty. I’ll be using this for a ref­er­ence in my paper. Thanks again :]

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