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Study Finds Frequent Gaming Changes Your Brain

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the there's-something-wrong-with-my-brain dept.

Games 171

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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171 comments

games (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080450)

games are for kids

Re:games (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080490)

And for those of us that are unemployed/have too much free time on our hands, most, if not all, of your friends are frequently busy, and have already done your exercise regimen (if you have one) for the day, video games tend to be a great solution...

Do I have grey matter... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080464)

Relating to my compulsion for first posts?

RTFA (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:RTFA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080540)

you don't know much about brain structure, do you?

Re:RTFA (2)

deatypoo (1837038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080564)

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 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (5, Informative)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081168)

I read this in the firehose before it was posted. To be fair to the submitter, the original summary was very different.

Re:RTFA (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081698)

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

In related news... (5, Funny)

Kristian T. (3958) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Old news... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080482)

Any type of learning changes the way your brain works.

Re:Old news... (2, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080492)

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?

Re:Old news... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080718)

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 ...

Re:Old news... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080800)

I would think watching 50 first dates would have an adverse effect on one's grey matter.

Re:Old news... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081862)

I would think watching 50 first dates would have an adverse effect on one's grey matter.

Have you actually watched it, or do you say that about all chick flicks*? You must have really hated "Thelma and Louise," "An Officer and a Gentleman," and "Pretty Woman."

*There's no 100% definition of a "chick flick", but they exist, same as "guy movies" do, same as the Wii is a "chick console", and the XBox and PS3 are "guy consoles".

Re:Old news... (4, Funny)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Old news... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38082160)

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

That works out to 1 percent brain loss per date!

Oops...

Re:Old news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081566)

I watchs the jersee shores *blerp*

W00t! (1)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080494)

I am *sooooo* going to sue Nintendo for my tweenage drug abuse. ;)

Re:W00t! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081528)

I am *sooooo* going to sue you for using the word "tweenage."

Please correct me. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.?

Re:Please correct me. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Please correct me. (5, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#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

Re:Please correct me. (5, Interesting)

9jack9 (607686) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 . . . .

Re:Please correct me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38082734)

When you're single, you can play 2-3 hrs every night

The best way to ensure that your children don't play games -- don't have any! Natural selection at work. I still marvel at the fact how did I manage to reproduce. (hint: games got put on perpetual hold)

Training those reflexes.. (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080534)

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:Training those reflexes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080594)

Uhh, no, I have never had thoughts like that. Maybe you're just a psychopath?

Re:Training those reflexes.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081070)

You are only a psychopath if you act on thoughts like that, or threaten to...

Re:Training those reflexes.. (4, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Training those reflexes.. (5, Interesting)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Training those reflexes.. (1, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081158)

You know, there are people who would have done that without thinking at all about a video game. Heck, they would have gone out of their way to see that the foreigners arrived at their destination safely. I grew up among them in Texas.

Why do you feel it's necessary to assure everyone you wouldn't have done such a thing normally? Doesn't that make you feel the sting of shame?

Re:Training those reflexes.. (3, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081250)

How is that relevant to what I'm trying to say? I'm sure there are lots of folks who would have picked those guys up and brought them where ever they wanted to go, just like there are lots of folks who would have walked around them as quickly as possible, because they look a bit scruffy. Different people do different things. So what? That's not the point.

The point is, I'm positive I wouldn't have helped these people if it weren't for that game I was playing. I'm not saying that to tell a story about what sort of a person I am, I'm saying that to tell a story on how frequent gaming can actually change your behavior for the better. That's at least what I experienced.

Re:Training those reflexes.. (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082262)

My point being, many peoples' natural inclinations are like that. We don't require a video game to modify our behavior. But you, who are not naturally like that, wouldn't have considered performing a kind act unless you were playing the game.

That's the point I was making. Us normal people don't need a video game to point us in the right direction, we do it without thinking. Sad, eh?

Re:Training those reflexes.. (3, Interesting)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082412)

I'm just saying the effects of frequent gaming aren't all bad. You're trying to spin that to "you need a video game to get your morale compass straight, because normal non-gamers are all good samaritans". I don't get that. I don't think it's true either, because those two hitchhikers were standing there at the gas station for a few hours at least by the looks of it and apparently nobody helped them out, as they were still trying to figure out how to get around using their crappy little map. And either way, even if it is true that most people are natural inclined to go out of their way to help everyone they encounter, but I'm some horrible human being who isn't like that... What's wrong about me becoming a little nicer to my fellow man because of a game I played? Why do you feel it is needed to point out that that's a sad thing?

Re:Training those reflexes.. (3, Interesting)

Ocker3 (1232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#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!

Re:Training those reflexes.. (2)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081382)

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 not making this up, I really react quicker and better to my food, energy, bladder and hygiene needs during periods when I'm really into that game. Or at least, that's what I'm thinking.

Re:Training those reflexes.. (1)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081394)

Rewarding *good* behavior? Now there's an interesting concept.
P.S. Good that you didn't play GTA at the time, huh?

:-/

Re:Training those reflexes.. (2, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081682)

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

Re:Training those reflexes.. (1)

vikisonline (1917814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082670)

Nice. Back a couple years ago I was a crazy gamer spending uncountable hours on it. At the time it was battle field 2. I drove my ex-gf to Future Shop for some reason and the sun was setting behind an apartment building near the store. It was a very battlefield 2 like scenery and there were people on the roof of the apartment.
My first thought was OMG SNIPERS! I should hide behind the car. Then I realized they were roofers. Kinda scared me. I guess your mind can play tricks on you. It is true. At one point you can practically start living a game, where your mind is there 24/7.

Re:Training those reflexes.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080744)

I've never had thoughts quite like that, though when I was a little kid, I did pretend mario was running alongside the car and jumping over the obstacles we drove past.

I will, however, admit that once or twice, I've thought it would be nice if I could focus my car's hitbox and graze all the way up the freeway rather than sitting in traffic. Usually, though, I sit stuck in the fast lane at the top of the overpass watching some fucktard stopped at the bottom of the overpass trying to exit across 4 lanes of traffic that don't feel like they should have to stop for retards that can't read exit signs and get in the right lane in advance, and wishing that the finger of God would come down and crush that idiot so that the rest of us can get on with getting on to wherever we were wanting to go.

But that's less of a gaming thing and more of a Monty Python thing ("Don't stand there gawking like you've never seen the hand of God before!")

Re:Training those reflexes.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080934)

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

Re:Training those reflexes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38082836)

and sometimes sed

Re:Training those reflexes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081260)

An average sized mall is worth about 3.6 gold per clear based on an average shopper level of 35 during non-peak season weekday evenings. Value as a function of shoppers per level and level per shopping spikes dramatically during the holiday season. My problem is I've outleveled malls and now need to clear stadiums to make the gold per unit time ratio justify the maintenance costs on my hardware.

Re:Training those reflexes.. (4, Interesting)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Training those reflexes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081672)

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?

Yeah i usually wind up forgetting something someone said within one to four minutes

Re:Training those reflexes.. (2)

sys_mast (452486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081924)

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 wanted to do. Though to my defense, too many all night study/cram sessions and the results are counter productive.

Back in the day. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081384)

. . . my friend got Super Mario Brothers on NES and I stopped to play at his house after school. Later, when I was at home reading a book, I noticed that my thumb was twitching when my eyes moved from one word to the next.

Re:Training those reflexes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081578)

I think there might be something wrong with you. I've gamed over 20 years and never once had a thought even close to that. It's called separation between fantasy and reality.

Re:Training those reflexes.. (0)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081840)

Don't tell me you've never spotted an open window, high up in a building somewhere while strolling down the street and thinking to yourself: "Hey, I could toss a grenade right in there, that would be sweet!". If you don't recognize this at all, you're not a gamer in my book.

Re:Training those reflexes.. (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081956)

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.

Re:Training those reflexes.. (1)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082512)

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.

Re:Training those reflexes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38082488)

mine usually goes like this - "I'll walk to the shop to buy what I need and then just hearthstone back home."

Then I realise that hearthstones don't exist in real-life and I have to walk back.

Causality (2)

overshoot (39700) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Causality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080632)

If you read the article then it says exactly this. As usual the slashdot summary rewrites the story badly.

False Subject (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080550)

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? (3, Interesting)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#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? (4, Informative)

PraiseBob (1923958) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Sampling Problem? (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081122)

Don't be so sure. Have you ever worked with scientists before? They're just as susceptible to all the usual human fallacies as everyone else. If not moreso.

Re:Sampling Problem? (2)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081164)

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 interesting correlation, and not suggesting any sort of cause-effect relationship...

Re:Sampling Problem? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081764)

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

Re:Sampling Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081180)

Not really. Women's addiction problems just come in the form of eating disorders. It's because their endocrine systems are different.

Correlation does not imply causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080586)

Correlation does not imply causation. They SELECTED people who were already playing more than 9 hours a week. This could easily be attributed to people with a more addictive brain structure, seeking out addictive behavior.

Correlation does not imply causation (1)

mwehle (2491950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080588)

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 (4, Informative)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 2 years ago | (#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!

Overlooking the most important finding. (4, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080614)

Close to 100 girls actually admitted they play video games!

Re:Overlooking the most important finding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080668)

Close to 100 girls actually admitted they play video games!

And this outdated way of thinking is what drives them away. Think before you post.

Re:Overlooking the most important finding. (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080928)

Close to 100 girls actually admitted they play video games!

And this outdated way of thinking is what drives them away. Think before you post.

Someone obviously lost their sense of humor. For the record, I met my girlfriend on a video game.

Re:Overlooking the most important finding. (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081248)

Eh, to be honest that joke is past its due. There are plenty of women on the net, but most of them don't want to say they are women for fear of being ostracized (or worse)

Re:Overlooking the most important finding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081798)

... where?

(please don't say baby forums)

Re:Overlooking the most important finding. (1)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082384)

Close to 100 girls actually admitted they play video games!

And this outdated way of thinking is what drives them away. Think before you post.

Yes, all the girls will be driven away from slashdot. Riiiight.

Re:Overlooking the most important finding. (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081360)

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.

Headline is flat wrong (5, Informative)

madprof (4723) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Headline is flat wrong (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082492)

So the headline is completely wrong.

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

So... Gamers are addicts? (4, Insightful)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080662)

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

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

Sound familiar to anyone?

Re:So... Gamers are addicts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081700)

Depends...

Has it been 5 days with no sleep and 17 Red Bulls ?

I disagree. (2)

Lose (1901896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080860)

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, indeed, a more lucid reality than real life to some.

But little kids are led to believe that video games are the coolest thing since sliced bread. Parents are getting lazier and as video games cover so many different things, its easy to keep your child content with the vidya. 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.

Re:I disagree. (2)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080926)

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.

Re:I disagree. (2)

Lose (1901896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081124)

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 whatever that person's next big interest is.

I'm not refuting the data in any way. However, if I had to draw any conclusion from the data, it would be that constant reward instills a desire for constant reward. To me, that seems like a more accurate fit to the data, unless the scientists have also extracted data that some other area of the brain has blown up that only responds to reward via video games. Thus, I feel the results to be subjective.

As such, I stick by my feeling that you aren't a video game addict simply because you want to be showered in rewards. But you can be addicted to reward.

Re:I disagree. (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081262)

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.

Re:I disagree. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081060)

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.

Re:I disagree. (2)

Lose (1901896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081178)

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.

Re:I disagree. (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081310)

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. (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

No time to post this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080872)

Because I just installed MESS and MAME on my anemic nettop... which was like $200... now it feels like I have a thousand computers. I am compelled to personally emulate every computer I ever knew. Started with the vector arcade systems... gotta go...

pew pew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080984)

scrub ass European scientist

Plasticity (5, Informative)

feidaykin (158035) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081044)

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]

Correlation != Causality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081596)

Correlation does not imply causality.

pfft, 9 hours? (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081822)

come on guys, 9 hours isn't an addiction. When I was in school I played 20 hours a week. This is weak.

9 hours/week == infrequent (1)

maiki (857449) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082224)

Since when is 9 hours/week considered infrequent? That's over an hour a day. I spend less time eating.

Using your brain changes it. (1)

GiantRobotMonster (1159813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082602)

That's how brains work.

If the researchers used their brains, they might be able to induce enough change for them to realise this for themselves!

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