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Study Shows Violent Video Games Effect Emotional Arousal

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posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 07:18 PM
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A study at Indiana University School Of Medicine showed adolescents who play violent video games show differences in brain activity from those who play nonviolent video games. The differences are the areas of the brain associated with emotional arousal and self control. The study involved forty-four adolescents, who played either a violent or a non violent video game. They were then subject to a functional magnetic resonance imaging. Those who played the violent video game showed more activity in the area of the brain connected with emotional arousal. Those who played the nonviolent game showed activity in the portion of the brain associated with inhibition, concentration and self control.
 



www.informationweek.com
Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine asked 44 adolescents to play either a violent or a nonviolent video game for 30 minutes. They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity while participants performed a series of tasks measuring inhibition and concentration immediately after playing video games. The researchers announced Tuesday that they had documented differences between the two groups.

The groups didn't differ in accuracy or reaction time, but those who played the violent game showed more activity (brightly colored scans) in the amygdala. That is an area of the brain connected with emotional arousal. They showed less activity in an area associated with executive functions such as planning, shifting, and controlling and directing thoughts and behavior, according to researchers.

Those who played the nonviolent games showed activation in the portions of the brain associated with inhibition, concentration, and self-control and less activity in areas connected with emotional arousal, the study revealed. The study aims to address a long-lasting debate over the influence violence in media can have on youth.




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I am not to sure how to react to the results of this study. I suppose it should not be to surprising that different areas of the brain are affected by different games, or what ever stimuli is used. That fact that the area in question is the part of the brain that deals with emotional arousal I think will be the point to note. In the past there have been groups of people who have spoken out against violent games. Now that this study is showing the games effecting the areas that deal with emotional arousal, verses the area that deals with self control, I think this will be used to lobby against the violent games. So for all of you games out there get ready to hide your violent video games.

Related News Links:
www.news.com.au
www.forbes.com
www.medicalnewstoday.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
What the hell is happening to our kids? Violence at school.
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posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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So does a book!

The problem here is that folks are looking for a scapegoat for the aberrant behaviour of some people instead of facing up to the truth. There are some people who just need a trigger to set them off. It just so happens that todays trigger is the video game.

Take two people. One who has been brought up to understand the difference between fiction and relaity and another who hasn't......now what do you think will happen if they both play a violent video game? DUH!

There are some people who, becasue of the way their brains are "wired", will often merge fiction and reality, now they are the ones to watch even if they have never played a video game in their lives.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 10:13 AM
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I have to agree with malcr.

I could even use myself as an example.

I am an American male in my late 20s who has been playing video games for as long as I can remember. Not any one specific type of game, but pretty much every type. From puzzle games like Tetris, to adventure games, to educational games as a child (Carmen Sandiego anyone?) to sports games, to super violent games. Yes, I currently own a Playstation 2 and often play the GTA games, or Mortal Kombat. The majority of my games are not as violent as that though.

Now, I don't own any fancy brainwave scanning machines, but I can tell you how games feel to play. When I have an afternoon to kill, I'll sit and play a football game, or hockey game. When I'm in the mood for a challenge, puzzles. So when do I play the violent ones? To blow off some steam!

When I play Grand Theft Auto I don't put down the controller, grab the nearest rocket launcher and go out and blow things up. These games, which I've been playing since the dawn of the Atari 2600, do not bring about any sort of violent reactions or unstable feelings in me.

The people perpetrating violent crimes in the real world are the ones with the problems. Unfortunately some people don't want to admit this. It's so much easier to blame "The Matrix" movie because the star wore a trenchcoat, it's so much easier to blame Beavis & Butthead, Jackass, Mortal Kombat, or the WWE for dumb things that people do. But the simple fact remains that the person perpetrated the act themselves. They are the ones who could not distinguish between reality and fantasy. That does not justify an all-out war on games.

If a serial killer decided to bludgeon victims with a rolling pin would we take the Food Channel off the air?

The bottom line of my long winded post is that games stimulate the brain. If they didn't no one would buy them. They are meant to entertain. If Consumer A thinks that violent games are dumb, he can stick to the milder ones. But such studies, IMO, give ammo to people who want to restrict Consumer B's right to purchase those games.

Video games do not kill people and movies do not kill people. It frightens me to think that people will use tests and studies to try and restrict what we as consumers are permitted to buy.

I mean hey... I played GTA last week for about an hour and I didn't kill anyone afterwards. Just because some nutjob kid might kill someone and his well paid lawyer tries to get him off by blaming the games doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to play...



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by Djarums
Now, I don't own any fancy brainwave scanning machines, but I can tell you how games feel to play. When I have an afternoon to kill, I'll sit and play a football game, or hockey game. When I'm in the mood for a challenge, puzzles. So when do I play the violent ones? To blow off some steam!

The same happens to me, only I do not have afternoons to kill anymore, but I like to play Unreal Tournament 2004 sometimes after a hard day of work to discharge some of the stress of work.

As for this study, my first question is: what is their definition of a violent game?
The second is: what is their definition of a "nonviolent but equally fun and exciting video game"?
The third is: what type of games did they play?

Without knowing the answer to this questions I cannot comment that study.


PS: I am going to play a little UT2K4 now.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 08:16 PM
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There was alot said hear, thanks to all of you.

The best coment that I saw, I think was that all video games stimulate the brain. If they did not then no one would buy them. I also think that statment could be aplied to all games, and any other sorces of entertainment.

I am not a fanatic video gamer, but I am a gamer. So I do hope that common sence will win out and this will not go farther then it already has.




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