If your kid is hooked on games like Ragnarok, its predecessor Counterstrike, and all those bang-bang video and computer games, you might want to make this new study a part of the entertainment equation at home.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Teens who play violent video games show increased activity in areas of the brain linked to emotional arousal and decreased responses in regions that govern self-control, a study released on Tuesday found.
The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to record tiny metabolic changes in brain activity in 44 adolescents who were asked to perform a series of tasks after playing either a violent or nonviolent video game for 30 minutes.
The children, with no history of behavior problems, ranged in age from 13 to 17. Half played a T-rated first-person shooter game called “Medal of Honor: Frontline,” involving military combat, while the other group played a nonviolent game called “Need for Speed: Underground.”
Those who played the violent video game showed more activation in the amygdala, which is involved in emotional arousal, and less activation in the prefrontal portions of the brain associated with control, focus and concentration than the teens who played the nonviolent game.
Note that the study was limited to short-term effects. Still, I feel vindicated LOL. I’m one of those who consider violent video and computer games as an insult to human intelligence. My main objection is they they don’t teach the player to think but merely to react. And I’m not just talking about kids but even adults. It isn’t based on anything scientific but it just seems so obvious if you scrutinize how those games are played.
I have a lot of friends and relatives whose kids spend hours on their play stations and those kinds of games. Asked why they bought Play Stations in the first place, the most common answer among parents was because it was “uso” (the fad). The next most common answer was because their kids’ friends (especially classmates) have Play Stations and their kids felt deprived. Of course, the answers never included things like “because it develops a skill” or “because it is a wholesome leisure activity” or “because they can learn a lot from the games.” LOL