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Games Idle Science

Study Finds Frequent Gaming Changes Your Brain 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the there's-something-wrong-with-my-brain dept.
Coolhand2120 writes "Gamers always felt they had more grey matter. The LA Times reports there is now proof: 'Fourteen-year-olds who were frequent video gamers had more gray matter in the rewards center of the brain than peers who didn't play video games as much — suggesting that gaming may be correlated to changes in the brain much as addictions are. European scientists reported the discovery Tuesday in the journal Translational Psychiatry. Psychologist Simone Kuhn of Ghent University in Belgium and colleagues recruited 154 healthy 14-year-olds in Berlin and divided them into two groups. Twenty-four girls and 52 boys were frequent gamers who played at least nine hours of video games each week. Fifty-eight girls and 20 boys were infrequent gamers, who played less than nine hours a week. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed differences in the test subjects' brains. Frequent gamers had more gray matter in a portion of the brain known as the left ventral striatum, which affects the interplay of emotions and behavior. Previous research identified striatal function as a 'core candidate promoting addictive behavior.'"
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Study Finds Frequent Gaming Changes Your Brain

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  • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:03PM (#38080480)

    Slashdot Headline: Study Finds Frequent Gaming Changes Your Brain
    FTA: They couldn't determine if the frequent gamers' brains grew larger as a result of playing video games or if those kids were attracted to gaming because that part of their brain was enlarged in the first place

    At least the submitter could have read the article.

    • by deatypoo (1837038)
      I also thought about it the same way you did, like the fact that higher intelligence often leads to mental illness. I'm pretty sure any kind of frequent use of entertainment "products" that stimulates the brain enough to cause addiction only affects those with a predisposition to it.
    • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:24PM (#38080730)

      Slashdot Headline: Study Finds Frequent Gaming Changes Your Brain
      FTA: They couldn't determine if the frequent gamers' brains grew larger as a result of playing video games or if those kids were attracted to gaming because that part of their brain was enlarged in the first place

      At least the submitter could have read the article.

      New Slashdot Headline: Study Finds Frequent Slashdot Reading Shrinks The Part Of Your Brain That Reads Articles

    • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bucky24 (1943328) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:09PM (#38081168)
      I read this in the firehose before it was posted. To be fair to the submitter, the original summary was very different.
      • Wait, so the slashdot editor modified the text of what was quoted before posting the story? Why do they leave the quotes in if they rewrite the summary?

        • by mcgrew (92797)

          Sometimes they do that. I've had stories posted that didn't contain a single word I wrote, although I was still given credit for those submissions.

      • No it wasn't. The original summary can be read by clicking on the link to the submission below the summary at the top of the page.

        the only difference I can see is some formatting and the words "... the author said." at the end of the summary.
        • Re:RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

          by jeyk (570728) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:25AM (#38084172)

          the only difference I can see is some formatting and the words "... the author said." at the end of the summary.

          And the headline, which originally read "Frequent gamers have brain differences, study find[s]". This is much closer to what TFA says.

      • by webheaded (997188)
        Huh? The editors rewrite the submissions sometimes too? I've been here a while now and I honestly didn't realize that. WTF? o_O
        • by Bucky24 (1943328)
          AFAIK They do it all the time. Why do you think people are always complaining about how bad the editors are?
          • by webheaded (997188)
            It usually popped up when they submitted the article or just in reference to them letting it through at all. Man...that's just stupid. :p
    • Re:RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @10:16PM (#38081698)

      The submitter deliberately mis-summarized the article in order to increase click-throughs. That is how slashdot works.

    • by Kristian T. (3958) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:33AM (#38082830)

      Heart medication causes heart attacks.

      A study finds that people on heart medication are 3 times more likely to suffer a sudden heart attack, than other people. The conclusion is obvious.

    • The summary headline is not all that wrong. They did find a correlation. Correlation is not proof of causation, so says the standard line. But that's not actually true. Isn't absence of correlation evidence against causation?

      Indeed finding a such a correlation would be the test of the hypothesis that learning causes brain structure change. I think the scientific term the researchers would use is "duh".

      By no means conclusive or accurate to say it's actually causal, but it is the mostly likely explanatio
  • Old news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:04PM (#38080482)

    Any type of learning changes the way your brain works.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dingen (958134)
      That's what I was thinking as well... doesn't everything you do (or don't do for that matter) change the way your brain works?
      • by tomhudson (43916)
        Try watching "50 First Dates" to see what happens when your brain doesn't change from what you experience. Or "Groundhog Day", where the rest of the world doesn't change ...
        • by scumdamn (82357)
          Or "Butterfly Effect" to see how your brain changed when you travel into the past.
        • by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:17PM (#38081230)

          Try watching "50 First Dates" to see what happens when your brain doesn't change from what you experience. Or "Groundhog Day", where the rest of the world doesn't change ...

          Studies will show that watching 50 first dates reduces brain mass by as much as 5% per viewing.

          • That leaves you with 7.7% of your original brain matter.

            You could probably still make a career out of appearing on the X Factor.
        • by kikito (971480)

          Try watching Paris Hilton Best Friend Forever.

      • Yes, same thing applies for jugglers, translators, etc.

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      Modern Phrenology.
    • by w0mprat (1317953)
      It'd be news if the researchers found no difference in brain structure of gamers. That would be evidence against a whole raft of claims about what video games allegedly do to us. Certainly absence of correlation is evidence against causation?
  • I am *sooooo* going to sue Nintendo for my tweenage drug abuse. ;)
  • Please correct me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:05PM (#38080512)

    They're all pretty young, the sample appears pretty small and the sample would seem unbalanced.

    Isn't the brain already undergoing radical changes at that age? I am not doubting there being an effect, but how does that effect pan out over time? Will a difference remain a decade later?

    How does frequent gaming affect people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, etc.?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @11:10PM (#38081988)

      I hate to nitpick, but unless you have seen their data you can't say the sample is too small. The necessary sample size depends on the variance - if it's small a small sample is good enough, if not you'll need to compensate with a larger sample (or there will be a greater chance of the conclusion being wrong). This is a fact and part of Statistics.
      Although there could be some value in researching what is the effect for different ages, that would be more expensive. It may be worth publishing what they have and leave that for future research.

    • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @11:25PM (#38082066)

      > How does frequent gaming affect people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, etc.?

      I can answer that for someone ~ 40. (I've been gaming since the early 80's)

      I used to be a extreme hard-core gamer -- typically putting in 80 hrs every 2 weeks playing L4D, TF2, BF:BC2, Diablo 2. Yes, 80 hours. (When you're single, you can play 2-3 hrs every night, and 8-10 hrs on Sat & Sun =) Before that I played UO and WoW for 4 years each.

      I decided to do a radical experiment this summer -- no gaming for 1 month.

      The results really surprised me.

      I found that with extreme gaming my mind was effectively overclocked by ~ 10x. I was _always_ having thoughts -- my mind was constantly racing, jumping from thought to though. I was _extremely_ bored waiting for people to finish up their sentence. When they were only 10% started talkig I was already processing what they were going to say, my response, and already thinking about 2 other interesting things. My sense of time whenever on the computer was completely accelerated. A few hours would seem like minutes.

      With no gaming I found my mind was effectively under-clocked by ~ 1/2, but that I was more efficient! I could actually go 5 - 10 mins without any thoughts whatsoever. It was almost as good as when I used to meditate. When I was on the computer my sense of time was extremely more accurate and was able to manage my time very efficiently. I found I was actually interested in what people were saying, and wouldn't mind if they took a while to formulate their thoughts. I found myself calm, and able to stay focused, no matter what the subject was. For a while now, I've had one wish in life: "To never be bored" -- this certainly came dam close! One could get lost in every moment and really savor life.

      With the sharp contrast I can definitely attest that extreme gaming & Internet can be a very bad mental addiction. It is ironic that physical drugs (caffeine, alcohol, etc,) are harder to get on, but harder to get off. Mental addictions are extremely easy to get started on, but thankfully easier to get weaned off of.

      Going forward -- I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I really _love_ gaming and spending time with all my online gaming friends. I also see the "harmful" effects, so there is only one solution: These days I'm trying to be more balanced. Only a few hours a week of FPSers -- and spend more time with real-life friends, and doing other activities, such as getting out more, going to the gym, etc.

      I would highly recommend everyone do a personal experiment. This is the _only_ way to truly _know_ how gaming effects you. If you find you are not effected, then great! If you found you are, then that is good as well because now that you armed with information you have choice on what to do differently. Either way you learnt something.

      Cheers

      • by 9jack9 (607686) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:20AM (#38082344)

        > How does frequent gaming affect people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, etc.?

        I can answer that for someone ~50.

        At times, I've spent 60-80 hours a week playing games, back in my 20s, 30s, and 40s. It can be done. There are 168 hours in a week. If you work 40, that leaves 128. Assume 10-20 hours for eating, commuting, calling for pizza. That leaves 108. If you sleep 6 hours a night that's still 70 hours left. If you trim a few hours of sleep, or take a take a day off from work, you can get near 80. I would binge on a game for a few months then give it up. A year or two later I'd do it again.

        At 60-80 hours a week, whatever you're playing becomes reality, or pretty darn close to it. I used to play DragonRealms. Awesome game. There were a few months where that's where I lived. Even if I were walking around the real world I was playing in my head. Reality was a gray pale lifeless place.

        I tried rationing. Turns out for me it's not much fun a few hours a week. YMMV. But for me, if I'm not all in, it's just not as much fun.

        Mostly I stay clean these days. Mostly . . . .

        • by gknoy (899301)

          So ... what do you think of Skyrim? ;-)

        • by Nyder (754090)

          I'm 43 and I game at least 8 hours a day.

          Of course, it's mostly EQ2, but hey, it's gaming, right? Not like i play farmville or something.

          I get in my FPS's and my car racing games also.

          In fact, i plan to spend rest of my life playing video games. Granted i'm shooting for a death in my 60's (getting older would really suck), but i got a good 20 years of some hardcore gaming left to do.

          I was blessed with a big forehead and a big head (physically), so my brain has room to grow, unless it's already big. Gu

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        But when you start to become the subject of your research, your research stops being objective. Right?

        • Methinks you don't understand Truth nor Knowledge ...

          0. Truth doesn't depend on a popularity.

          1. I did this experiment because I wanted to know if gaming had any effect on _my_ brain. Gaming may very well not effect 95-99% of people, but would would you rather draw your knowledge from? From some theoretical scientist who is so far removed from the subject that he doesn't get grok what the fuss is, or someone who understands the _potential_ effects first hand?

          2. Granted what is true for one may be false for

      • by Sparton (1358159)

        While certainly it seems as though your lack of gaming seems to greatly bolster your mindset, this stuck out to me:

        These days I'm trying to be more balanced. [...] spend more time [...] getting out more, going to the gym, etc.

        Getting a healthy amount of exercise is something that routinely comes up with helping mentally be a happier and more content person. If you weren't doing a lot of exercise previously, this is more likely the cause of your improvement; if you replaced gaming with a non-exercising mental activity (reading, calligraphy, debate club, etc) instead of exercise, you'd probably return to the previous

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:08PM (#38080534) Homepage Journal

    Ever find yourself in a public place, like a mall or stadium and the little thought flashes through your mind, "I just need the really big gun and I could clear this place out." or "I wonder how much gold I could get clearing this place out" Fortunately some little sanity barrier prevents you.

    Found ideas like that in my mind after epic gaming sessions. Don't play those kinds of games now so those thoughts haven't popped up in years. I hope they're gone for good, I didn't like the idea I could even visualise something like those thoughts.

    Now I wonder how much wood I need, with that port near by, to build another settlement.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jmac_the_man (1612215)
      Shh... Nobody tell him there's swords in Minecraft.
    • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:18PM (#38080658)
      I think perhaps you should seek help. I don't have those sorts of thoughts. Mine is mostly, how long till I can get out of here and play more skyrim.
    • by dingen (958134) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:22PM (#38080706)

      I was playing a lot of Red Dead Redemption when that came out a while back. One day during that time, I was driving to work and stopped for petrol on the way. Two young, shabby-looking foreign tourists approached me and asked for a lift. I wasn't going where they wanted to go, so that didn't work out. But I also noticed they weren't planning their trip very well because I saw them using an awful crappy small map, which didn't include the required detail to really plan a decent route to begin with. So I went into the shop to pay for my petrol and I bought a decent map of the area along with it, which included both the current location and the place they told me they were looking to go to. Before returning to my vehicle, I handed the hitchhikers the map, which I hoped would help them out a little bit. Now you have to understand, I am not the kind of person who would do such a thing regularly. I don't think I'm a mean person or anything, but I'm no saint for sure. I don't help out random strangers on a regular basis, if at all. But after handing over the map, I was thinking to myself: "This will really boost my honor!", which is one of the primary game mechanics in RDR, rewarding the player for decent behaviour in the game world. After realizing my frequent playing of the game might have actually manipulated me into doing some good in real life, I came to the conclusion that maybe frequent gaming isn't such a bad thing per se.

      This is a true story, I swear.

      • by Ocker3 (1232550) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:10PM (#38081176)
        I think it all depends on the kinds of game you play, and how you play them. After playing World War II Online (MMO FPS) a LOT, I used to hear panzers in the distance when walking around the city. In the game, ATGs and infantry, even other tanks (when your commander's hatch was open) were paranoid about hearing other tanks coming, so you could either hide or ambush them. Sometimes I do feel like pulling out a game's gun and just wasting an entire area full of people, but it's usually because I'm unhappy/frustrated and want to blow off steam. Mostly I just wish people would get out of my way on the roads, so I can get to where I'm going. I don't wish I had a bazooka to blow them up like when I was a kid, I just wish they'd Move!
        • by dingen (958134)

          That's obviously very true. I remember playing GTA a lot during the time I was taking driving lessons. I had a very hard time getting my driver's license, and I wonder a lot about the possible relation between learning to drive an actual vehicle in traffic and recklessly speeding through a virtual city for hours on a daily basis. Could that game really have prevented me from getting my license more easily? I really can't say.

          I also find I'm caring a lot better for myself after playing The Sims a lot. I'm no

          • by Terrasque (796014) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:05AM (#38083754) Homepage Journal

            When I was taking driving lessions, we had some training for slippery roads. Which involved driving an obstacle course on an oiled road.. The obstacles were some human-like dolls that was hanging from some crane-like system.

            In that period, I was also playing Carmageddon 2 a lot. It had fun open-world'ish levels, and pretty good car physics for that time. And it was fun :) I've also played OutRun a lot earlier, and some Need for Speed too.

            So, I was driving down the track, and the obstacles were moved in via remote control. The car started to slip, and .. the best way to describe it is that it felt like some switch flipped over in my mind, and my thinking went something like this : "Obstacle 1 and 2, mapped out in a 3d overview of that part of the track. Distances, car's speed, road grip, size & weight estimated.. *calculating* .. Route found, execute.." and I flew through them perfectly, at high speed.
            The driving instructor just sat there, mouth agape. When he managed to cloe it again, the first words were "Where the hell did you learn to drive like that?" -- which is when I realized that my mind had gone into "gaming mode" more or less. And that it seemed to do rather well in the real world, too, in that occasion. When I think about how inaccurate it is (how many times do you miscalculate in games?), how the goals are skewed there (hitting something at high speed is a minor slowdown, not instant death. And speed is king), it's not a comfortable thought..

            Still, it have popped up a few times, and on some of those occations it has saved my bacon. So it's not really as bad as I feared. It mostly happen when the normal brain goes "Oh shit! PANIC TIME" - and at those times it's welcome with something that can dispassionately gather and process data at high speed, and come up with solutions. Of course, sometimes those solutions are not exactly sane.. ("Shoot a rocket at the fucker", or "hitting him in that part of the car will make him skid out of the road") .. So it needs an extra sanity check before it can be used.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Kohath (38547)

        I swear this is the world's most boring Penthouse Forum letter.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:41PM (#38080934)

      i wish i can grep, less, awk, search in real life.

    • by znerk (1162519) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:20PM (#38081266)

      After months of spending hours on IRC as an adolescent, I found myself wishing "real" (spoken) conversation had a scroll-back buffer... does that count?

      • by sys_mast (452486)

        Or spend too many nights web browsing, i think it was reseaching something in college because it involved a lot of "googling" unknown stuff. Then later in the real world, thinking it would be nice to stick my arm up to the right to "google" something. (up to the right because that's where the search box is in the browser I was using at the time). Of course I was not in front of a PC at all.

        I guess I'm old since now most people would reach for their smart phone, and that wouldn't be as crazy as what I wante

    • by tsotha (720379)
      I never have that problem, but I do notice if I play a game with driving (say, Borderlands or Half-life 2), it takes a few seconds for me to adjust my frame of mind to driving in the real world.
      • by skids (119237)

        I don't have any trouble adjusting driving, but if I ever end up stuck behind three slow lincoln town cars on the same trip, I do catch myself thinking, man I hope the engine cycles that car out soon.

    • I smell sarcasm, though I'm not entirely certain if it's coming from your comment or if I should change my underwear.

      Anyways, I've played games for 16 years now and I still haven't gotten anything like that from them. Sure, I can visualize stuff if I want to, but then again, I have a vivid imagination. But I've never wanted to pick up weapons and start killing people, or start pickpocketing people, or run around at full speed 24/7 or anything like that. Then again, I'm not usually influenced easily. Some pe

    • by Rennt (582550)

      I don't think it is anything unique to gaming as such, just the effect of indulging yourself in a bit too much media.

      I remember seeing a full moon after a marathon Buffy weekend and thinking "hmm, best stay indoors tonight", or my speech patterns changing after a couple of weeks of heavy BSG exposure.

    • I've been overly influenced by Need For Speed etc. I remember once my girlfriend was driving, but she wasn't paying attention to the road and she started to veer toward the concrete wall. My first thought was along the lines of "well just slide along this wall a little way and it'll give us a nice run into that corner up there."

  • by overshoot (39700) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:09PM (#38080548)
    Insert usual observation regarding correlation.

    The results are equally consistent with the hypothesis that those with more developed left ventral striatum are more disposed to gaming.

  • False Subject (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The study did not say that games change the brain, it says that people with this type of brain are more apt to play games. RTFA

  • Sampling Problem? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RobinEggs (1453925) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:11PM (#38080574)
    So the survey included twice as many boys as girls in the treatment group, and three times as many girls as boys in the control group?

    That seems like a serious flaw. Men are widely considered more impulsive and more likely to have addiction problems in general, both in popular perception and in some research results. What if men's brains simply respond more to games and other dopamine-related activities (i.e. potentially addictive stuff) than women's?

    I hate to be that guy who asks a possibly moronic, self-congratulatory question about sample size, basic method, etc., but I still think it's hard to statistically control the basic differences between men and women with such massively skewed gender samplings.
    • Re:Sampling Problem? (Score:5, Informative)

      by PraiseBob (1923958) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:20PM (#38080686)
      I'm guessing if you found this serious flaw with about 10 seconds of thought, the researchers who devoted months of study to this problem probably considered it as well. They did after all differentiate between the male and female counts, and didn't lump them together as 76 vs 78 kids.
    • by snowgirl (978879)

      So the survey included twice as many boys as girls in the treatment group, and three times as many girls as boys in the control group?

      Actually, from what I was able to gather, it appears that the groups were self-selected. As such, the brain differences are correlated with people who play video games, rather than having any impact upon those brains.

      Study shows that people who use bras have larger breasts than people who don't... obviously, this means that using bras causes large breasts! ... at least, that would be the media's explanation. I'm certain that the scientists in this study are fully aware that they're simply demonstrating an i

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        As tempting as that scenario may seem on certain lonely weekends, I for one will not begin wearing bras now.

    • by alexo (9335)

      So the survey included twice as many boys as girls in the treatment group, and three times as many girls as boys in the control group

      So the real conclusion of the study is that non-gamers get way more girls?

  • There is nothing in this article to suggest the study found that gaming caused changes in brain structure. The study only reports the brains of those who are frequent gamers show some differences when compared to study subjects who are not gamers.
  • Misleading headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by ilsaloving (1534307) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:12PM (#38080592)

    The article says that it's not clear if playing games changes the brains, or if kids with those structures tend to game more.

    Sensationalism? What sensationalism? I see no sensationalism here!

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:14PM (#38080614)
    Close to 100 girls actually admitted they play video games!
    • by Larryish (1215510)

      And their combined weight was OVER NINE THOOOOOUUUUUSSSSSSAAAAAAANNNNNDDDDDDDDDD!!!

      Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
      Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
      Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
      Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

      • by Calydor (739835)

        I'll assume you mean pounds.

        9000 pounds divided by 100 girls = an average of 90 pounds per girl. Poor anorexics. :-(

    • Obligatory: http://xkcd.com/322/ [xkcd.com]

  • by madprof (4723) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:14PM (#38080620)

    The study did NOT find that gaming changes your brain.
    Slashdot editors - please RTFA when you get sent a submission!

    It found a correlation between certain brain physiology and gaming but they state fairly carefully:
    "Whether the volumetric differences in ventral striatum between frequent and moderate video game players are preconditions that lead to a vulnerability for preoccupation with gaming or whether they are a consequence of long-lasting activation during gaming can not be determined with a cross-sectional study."

    They're not claiming causality here. They're claiming a correlation in their findings. Not ruling it out, but they're definitely not saying they found one causes the other. So the headline is completely wrong.

    • So the headline is completely wrong.

      Hopefully you don't still find that sort of thing surprising after a dozen years? :)

  • by Local ID10T (790134) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:18PM (#38080662) Homepage

    ...gaming may be correlated to changes in the brain much as addictions are.

    Can't...sleep...must...keep...leveling...

    Sound familiar to anyone?

    • by Inda (580031)
      In the past, yeah.

      These days I wake up on the sofa at 3am, stiff neck, all my lives are gone, all my weapons and all my cash.
  • I won't argue that video games don't have some detrimental impact on young, impressionable minds. Spending your days devoting yourself to a diluted group of persons whose sole purpose is to destroy each other through verbal and pseudo-physical violence, or learning fictional dialogue that actually means nothing in real life, or using it to avoid doing chores and other forms of stress or work probably become a "good idea" to them after a while. The gaming and Internet forever alone lifestyle is sometimes, in
    • by dingen (958134)
      You can't agree or disagree with the findings of a study. It's the results, they are facts. You can't disagree with facts. You might agree or disagree with the way the study was done or the way conclusions are formulated from the results, but I just can't stand people who reply to the findings of a study by stating their opinion on the matter, completely ignoring the content of the study itself and then rambling on about how they see the world, like that is relevant in any way.
      • by Lose (1901896)
        You're implying that the scientists did not "[state] their opinion on the matter." They wanted to see if video games had an addicting side effect. Well, they found that gamers like to be rewarded more than normal people. Of course your brain is going to build up a desire for reward from exposing yourself to situations that always offer some kind of gratification. That doesn't mean, however, that reward will always necessarily be a thirst for video games. It could be chess later on, or maybe even writing. Or
      • by Bucky24 (1943328)
        While that's true, you CAN disagree with how the facts were collected, thus disagreeing with the validity of the facts. And sadly enough a lot of "facts" turn out to be informed opinion.
    • but only because nobody put them on a track to do things outside

      Or maybe it's because they don't like to do those things? Forcing activities on someone probably won't make them like things that they previously disliked.

      • by Lose (1901896)
        That statement was intended in a pre-emptive sense. If a parent only ever introduced their child to television and video games, their child will probably not like doing much else.

        However, if you introduce your child to sports and recreational activities, they will might enjoy participating in sports and stay more active than someone who never had that push.

        Lifestyle is a big part of it.
        • their child will probably not like doing much else.

          It's just that they haven't tried doing anything else.

          However, if you introduce your child to sports and recreational activities, they will might enjoy participating in sports and stay more active than someone who never had that push.

          They can try those things themselves on their own time.

    • Re:I disagree. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:05PM (#38081134)

      Like most kids and pre-teens will do, they will bitch like crazy if you try to move them and make them go outside, but only because nobody put them on a track to do things outside. You can't expect someone to enjoy an activity intended to be enjoyable when nobody ever showed them why they can or should enjoy it.

      I played football in college and you know what I noticed? Pretty much every single football dorm room/apartment had at least 1 video game console. We would get done with practice, go back to the room after spending hours outside, and play Madden, or golf, or marathon CoD zombie sessions. We spent a lot of time and energy outside, and found that video games were a great way to have fun and relax at the same time without expending extra physical energy.

  • Plasticity (Score:5, Informative)

    by feidaykin (158035) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:54PM (#38081044) Journal
    How timely, I just read a blog post about brain plasticity. Basically, the list of activities that do not alter the brain is probably much shorter than the list of activities that do. The human brain is constantly rewiring itself. Here's an article about a study that shows brain plasticity may be even more radical than we thought, possibly even reprogramming the genomes of individual neurons: http://blogs.nature.com/news/2011/11/genome.html [nature.com]
  • come on guys, 9 hours isn't an addiction. When I was in school I played 20 hours a week. This is weak.

  • That must mean I'm a genius! Look at my name. I play games a lot.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray

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