Studies

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
brains, research, violent video games



Studying Violent Video Games Causes Unnecessary Extrapolations! News At Eleven!

from the sigh dept

It's hard to go more than a few weeks without seeing yet another article claiming some kind of "dangerous" impact from people playing violent video games. Of course, almost every study that suggests this is true has been debunked. What the studies actually tend to show is that while playing violent video games your brain acts emotional and may get desensitized to the violence being witnessed -- but that makes total sense. You should actually be surprised if playing a game didn't get you emotionally invested in the game and seeing the same thing over and over again didn't shock you as much as the first time. What none of the studies actually shows, however, is that playing these games later leads to violent activity. In fact, the ongoing decrease in violence just as these games have become increasingly popular certainly hints that they're not a major cause of violent activity (this is further supported by a study showing that violent movies seem to decrease incidents of violence). However, that doesn't stop researchers and the press from extrapolating their findings out to conclude that violent video games must lead to violence, despite the lack of proof.

The latest is some new research out of Taiwan, found via the Raw Feed, suggesting that playing violent video games decreases the flow of blood to your brain. There could be any number of biological reasons for this, but it doesn't stop the researchers from claiming that those playing these violent video games may "risk damaging brain function and affect their learning and emotional control." Again, that sounds like quite an extrapolation from just looking at the rate of blood flow to the brain -- and luckily people are already questioning the results of the study.

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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 27 Dec 2007 @ 10:10pm

    Re: Rule #1 about Mike's posts

    Ah, Paul, another comment from you trashing me... and once again, getting it wrong. I pointed out where you did that twice yesterday, and I note that you haven't responded or apologized for the errors in your statement.

    This time you show up just to criticize, but again your criticism is off the mark. The first paragraph in this case provides background and analysis that helps provide more details and context for the second paragraph. Most people tell us they like that very much.

    You clearly do not, but there's a fairly simple solution: don't read Techdirt, as you clearly dislike me personally. It's not hard to find other sources you might like. In the meantime, many, many people seem to like what we do here, and they are able to read and understand what we write and how we write it. If you are unable to, perhaps the problem is not with me...

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