Latest Study Shows Violent Video Games Make Kids Emotional

from the shocking dept

It’s tough for a month to go by without some new study coming out about the impact of violent video games on kids. Sometimes they say there’s no link and sometimes they say there is a link, but almost always, when you look at the details, the studies are terribly done. The more recent trend is to show that right after playing video games, kids have more aggressive thoughts and are desensitized to things — but none actually show that those aggressive thoughts or desensitization actually lead to violent activity. The latest is no different. Like many of the others it uses a fairly small sample size, and shows that kids playing a “violent” war video game (Medal of Honor) show different MRI brain activity than kids playing a racing game (Need for Speed). Those playing the war game showed that the “emotional” part of their brain was more stimulated — which, really, when you think about it isn’t that surprising. The process in your brain of playing a war video game is quite different than playing a racing video game, and it’s not at all surprising that different parts of the brain respond to it. That still doesn’t show any impact on how kids actually act. It doesn’t sound like this study is a bad one. It sounds fine. And it doesn’t look like the researchers are pushing any conclusion beyond exactly what the study told them. However, that won’t stop some from using this study to support the idea that violent video games creates violent kids — when the study says no such thing.


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Comments on “Latest Study Shows Violent Video Games Make Kids Emotional”

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39 Comments
SimplyGimp says:

Pathetic

Here we go again. This crap comes in waves I swear. It’s up to the parents to keep the kids away from these games. I don’t care how hard it supposedly is, how much time you need to watch them, it’s the parents job.

So, studies on this, even if they are true aren’t doing anyone any good. Reason is, the story is spun in a way to demonize video games as a whole, instead of being used to inform parents so they can make a wise decision on their own.

Paul says:

the same thing DID happen with movies

there used to be a lot of restrictions on movies. i say we should count ourselves lucky that various video games haven’t been banned and that so far the fight to keep it that way hasn’t turned tides. hopefully some new medium will come along and the crazies can focus on how that new thing is destroying america.

right now, relative to everything else, video games are still the new kids in town and a bunch of people have decided to pick on them. once someone new moves in, they’ll draw their attention.

PhysicsGuy says:

frankly, without details of the study itself there is no way to conclude that it is a decent or proper study. you link to an article that mentions the study uses mris so you assume “hey, fancy technology the study must not be that bad…” … poor conclusion. nowhere is the methodology of the study mentioned, the sample sizes, etc. how about someone you tried a repeat of the study to see if the conclusions are actually accurate? that seems to be missing in science today. i would agree that the study does not show a link between video games and aggresive behavoir though… caffeine also creates a fight or flight response in the brain because caffeine uses the same receptor sites as adenosine which is what regulates our state of drowsiness. when your brain sees that there is a low amount of adenosine it assumes a fight or flight situation and produces some adrenaline, this is how caffeine makes you awake and “wired” so to speak. however, how many people go out and beat someone up because they drank a cup of coffee?

Anonymous Coward says:

tobacco doesn’t lead to cancer just like guns don’t kill people ๐Ÿ™‚ when used in a certain way it is possible. but if they just sit there….they just sit there.

i can also show that reading books causes you to fail classes while drinking beer can lead you to a high GPA.

i can probably do a study to show that eating chunky peanut butter makes you read the sports secion while on the can, and icecream would lead to a romance novel.

Malkantar says:

Re: Video Games

I agree with eb.

Kids are fatter and more unhealthy then they ever were in the past, especially here in the U.S.

Kids need to get out more, get some frieds, get active, and get healthy. They’ll feel better about themselves too and be less violent.

I’m all for video games (I’m a video game junky, even was addicted to eq1 and still play eq2 sometimes and my xbox 360), but I still go to the gymn 3 to 5 times a week and run, lift, and swim!

Amber Hamilton (user link) says:

Re: Video Games

I do agree with that video games do keep kids planted in a chair for hours at a time, but how ever I think that kids are becoming fatter and unheathier becouse of games. Not becaue they maybe isolated or becaue they are already unhealthy and fat. Video games do impact everyones live’s. Maybe if we get kids to focus more on outside games maybe we wouldn’t have the problems we have. Vedio games are taking over peoples live’s.

Amber Hamilton (user link) says:

Re: Video Games

I do agree with that video games do keep kids planted in a chair for hours at a time, but how ever I think that kids are becoming fatter and unheathier becouse of games. Not becaue they maybe isolated or becaue they are already unhealthy and fat. Video games do impact everyones live’s. Maybe if we get kids to focus more on outside games maybe we wouldn’t have the problems we have. Vedio games are taking over peoples live’s.

Xiera says:

Blah, blah, blah... parenting

I agree with SimplyGimp.

What amazes me is that no matter how many studies are done and shot down, people are still looking for excuses. It ultimately comes down to parenting: if you don’t want your kid to play violent video games, don’t let him (YOU DON’T NEED A REASON); if you want to allow your kid freedom to play what he wants, then let him. If you don’t want your kid to use a gun, don’t keep one in your house and/or don’t allow him access to one. BUT you cannot shelter your kid from everything life throws at him — you need to TEACH him so he makes the appropriate decision at the appropriate time. No more excuses, please; take responsibility.

As for kids getting no exercise because they’re playing video games… I think I already mentioned parenting, right? Kids aren’t the lazy ones — they don’t know any better; parents are the lazy ones for not teaching their kids and helping them get off their asses.

Amber H (user link) says:

Re:Video Games

I do agree with that video games do keep kids planted in a chair for hours at a time, but however I think that kids are becoming fatter and unhealthier because of games. Not because they maybe isolated or because they are already unhealthy and fat. Video games do impact everyones lives. Maybe if we get kids to focus more on outside games maybe we wouldn’t have the problems we have. Video games are taking over peoples lives.

Gunn182 says:

What?

So are video games realy to violent? Well games are a form of media, such as anything you may see on t.v., listen to on a radio and such, or even read in a magazine or new paper. But also games are a form of entertainment that stimulates the mind. So can we just simply single out video games becuase of violence? The answer is simply no. Can we do the redundent cheap shot and attack the parents, again no. Like movies or things we watch on t.v there are warnings to people to use discretion about whatthey are about to view. As people we decide what we want to see and not see, that is a choice we have. But we must all understand that this is just entertainment not reality. And if we are so misconstruded by the fact that this is just entertainment and want to go on a phycological level then we have nothing eles better to do with are time. We need to remind ourselves about what is real and what is not. And in closing if we believed everything we see or listen from in an media form and act it out to the point of being disturbed or violent then who is the bigger idiot? It is all about perception, use it sometime.

amber (user link) says:

Re: klajisjgdhsyu

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Ruddeger Luis says:

what a load

I really think parents should take the time to check for the USRB ratings instead of just balming the game right off the bat and really I dont think if i play GTA im just going to run out and go on a killing spree like come on sure it excites kids but we wont go out killing ppl but really what video game deosnt get some at least a little bit excited.

Brett Imler says:

Violence relating to violent kids

I my sefl am an advent gamer im a year old 16 that plays nothing but Role Playing Games and War/Sci-fi gmaes involving shooting i for one think that this study should be continued but I for one would try to get MRI not during but befor and after playing suck games thats what people ar e missing when they do these studies they do the tests after which show the aggressive thought process in action in stead of before when playing. Also I feel that people that violent video games only prgess thier aggressive thoughts when they’ve been told that they have anger issues but also a very bad aggressive behavior which result in violent outbursts on people they know and love. I do admit i have a bit of a temper but I have no past outbursts which would lead me to have any negative reaction when playing games such as Halo 3, or a very popular game Call of Duty 4 which fit the war and sci-fi shooters

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