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Japanese Researcher Finds Gaming Stunts Brain

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the until-the-next-study-comes-out dept.

Games 389

Bill Gates writes: "This story at the Guardian describes research done in Japan showing that playing video games in youth prevents development of the front lobe, leading to violent behavior." Turns out what at first appears to be arbitrary, mind-numbing violence may turn out to be just that. It seems this study might have returned different results, though, if it looked at the effects of video games which require lots of calculation instead.

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389 comments

somethingth post (0, Offtopic)

Nastard (124180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174563)

It's so hard to tell anymore

Re:somethingth post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174579)

you're site is gay. you are gay. and you beat me to first, fucker.

at least your gay site still has normal comment numbers.

but you are still gay

Re:somethingth post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174589)

I just wanted to post something becuase I am an anonymous coward
yay
as for games
I love them

I forget who said it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174567)

"If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we would all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetative electronic music."

Jews, good god (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174569)

what are they good for? Absolutely nothing.

games which require lots of calculation instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174570)

Do I use the uzi or the shotgun to clear this room?

Or do I take out the lead guy and then toss in the grenade?

I think my calculations are fine, thankyou very much!

Seems to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174572)

Well, considering that Tohoku University is a state sponsored university, there could be a possibility of a little bias tainting here. I don't think we'd ever hear the government encouraging people to play video games over doing intense mathematical calculations.

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174573)

first

Only on Slashdot... (2, Insightful)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174574)

Only here, will you find two completely contradicting stories within a week of each other...

Which one do we believe?

Me? I'll believe whichever one I heard most recently. I'm gullible. :)

Re:Only on Slashdot... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174588)


Reverius,

Please take a moment to thank your sister for the wonderful time I had last night. Especially for when I was fucking her asshole so hard that her anal tissues started to bleed and her blood was dripping all over my balls. Then I shot a load of jizz all over her face and she ate the whole bloody gooey mess. And thank your mom for raising such a goddamned whore.

Sincerly,

Bruce Perens.

Re:Only on Slashdot... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174599)

I don't know who you are Bruce Perens or how it is that you know my sister, but let me tell you just one thing:

IF I EVER MEET YOU, I WILL KICK YOUR ASS!!

I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. --Voltaire

Re:Only on Slashdot... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174609)


I know your sister from the corner of Front St and 17th. I pay her $5 and she sucks my cock and then puts the money in her crack fund. Usually, after I cum all over her face, I punch her repeatedly until her face swells up like a cabbage patch doll. Then I turn her unconscious body over and rape her ass until it bleeds.

I do this every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. I go it to your mom Tuesday, Wednesday, and also on Saturday. I love crack whores, you can do anything to those bitches for a buck.

Re:Only on Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174600)

Not really. It's common for publications to show both sides of an arguement. On slashdot, for example, there are articles: Do you believe in Global Warming? and Scientists agree on Global Warming. The contradicting article to this one is about a (largely agreed to be) bogus report that gives the naïve reader an impression that gaming will make you smarter.. It was sensational journalism as bad as that last "review" of multiple audio formats discussed on Slashdot.

Well it's no wonder!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174575)

Well what DO you expect?!

All these goddamned children are playing their
fucking Pokemon and shit!! In a matter of time
they wont know how to spell their own name!

Well GOOD, FUCK EM!! IT's called natural selection
and we should weed out the fuckups of the world!!

PEACE!!

Japs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174578)

are almost as bad as Jews.

Dual citizenship (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174616)

I can't take this socialist hellhole anymore! I want to become an American!

Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174576)

from the "until-the-next-study-comes-out dept." indeed...

You sound like the people who keep claiming that global warming is not yet proven, that it is too early to act on what science has already told us. What a lot of hogwash.

The research is in. We can either try to learn from it, or hide our heads in the sand and just hope that any criticism of our lifestyles will melt away.

Re:Science (1)

Dreven (207178) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174704)

Hmmmm there are over 20 million gamers in the US. That is over 10% of the population. If over 10% of the population was violent, don't you think we would be having a little bit of a problem?
This study is bullshit. I have seen statistics that say 99.99% of gamers are not violent. So which one should I believe? Or should I wait until the next study comes out and see which way that one swings.
Oh and global warming isn't proven, it's a theory. Facts suggest that our world is constantly in flux. It gets warmer for a period of time and then gets cooler for a period of time. In the 50's people were screaming "Ice Age" and now its "Ocean World".
Anyways, my point is that maybe you should get informed a little bit before you make snap judgments and believe everything you read.

None of this matters. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174577)

It's all water over the dam. All violent games released after Jan 1, 2002, will require a purchased parental code [128.121.12.52] to unlock the violence. That's right - you pay for a game, go home, install it, and PAY AGAIN to get the complete game. What bullshit. The cost is only like $2, and I guess the theory is that only adults will have credit cards, but this has just gotten out of hand.

Re:None of this matters. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174593)

omg!! look at this peice of useful information!! http://%67%6f%61%74%73%65%2e%63%78
unfortunately, you have to cut and paste that url, but you get the picture

Re:None of this matters. (2)

Nastard (124180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174598)

I'm 20 and I don't have a credit (or debit) card. How am I supposed to play my ultra-violent video games?

Oh right, warez. It's too bad, games were one of the few things I still paid for.

Re:None of this matters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174629)

I really need to start checking the links before I reply...

Re:None of this matters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174640)


That's okay. If you're 20 and don't have any cards, you're a fucking loser and don't matter anyway.

Probably a virgin too. A gay virgin. Maybe you should hook up with Nastard. His name stands for Nads + Turds. He likes it when guys cum on his poop and then he eats it.

Re:None of this matters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174605)

According to the article, Sen. Lieberman is behind this... why am I not surprised?

i tell ya (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174580)

thousands of hours of mind numming pornography sure hasn't stunted the growth of my cock. why its growing right now as a type this with one hand and furiously masturbate with the other.

And people believe this ??? (2, Insightful)

windi (231689) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174582)

Come on. Have any of you ever heard that gaming causes violence apart from dubious research projects that started showing up after Columbine ? It's not video games that cause violence, it's just that people/kids predisposed to violent behaviour like to play violent video games. That's all. In order to fight violence, we have to go after the symptons, but that's harder to do than to blaim video games.

But I agree that video games stunt the brain in another sort of way, because peole who enjoy playing video games a lot think that LAN parties are the best way to use computers and a network. :-)

Re:And people believe this ??? (5, Informative)

error0x100 (516413) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174652)

Have any of you ever heard that gaming causes violence apart from dubious research projects that started showing up after Columbine ?

In the 50's, there was a lot of media noise and "parent scare" about how comic books caused "juvenile delinquency". Some comics were even banned [1]. This whole violence-in-video-games thing is just history repeating itself.

[1] Pogo, by Walt Kelly, Volume 11, ISBN 1-56097-339-0. Choice quote .. "with comic book censorship now a fact in Hartford, I look forward to an immediate drop in the crime rate in that fair city" (William Gaines, founder of MAD).

(Hmm .. a /. post with actual references .. how unique)

Oh, that paper... (1)

iorange (182311) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174584)

has no one outside the UK heard of their reputation for spelling mistakes? Their nickname is the Graudian!
---
You'd think Slashdot would get hip to it and start renaming things to obscure references to confuse outsiders. How about starting with the site's name. Considering the grueling spell check ritual, exhaustive research, and uh, I forgot what I was writing, being high as a kite and all.

Re:Oh, that paper... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174620)

Their nickname isn't the Graudian, you dumb fuck!
Shows how much you know, - it's the Grauniad.
Mod this twat down, fer chrissakes.

Impossible (1, Troll)

talonyx (125221) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174586)

That's a bunch of bullshit. There's no way watching/experiencing something non-chemical can actually halt the development of your mind.

If the kids were snorting coke while playing Quake that would be different.

I'm sure this is just like the uncontrolled study of Rhesus monkeys that "showed" marijuana causing intense distruction of brain cells.

I can think perfectly fine right now, but i'm stoned. So, if I can make a point, it must not be killing my mind.

I play videogames often and I'm reasonably sure my straight-A's back up my intelligence.

I remember playing lots of games like Wolfenstein when I was 10 or so....

Re:Impossible (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174607)

"I'm sure this is just like the uncontrolled study of Rhesus monkeys that "showed" marijuana causing intense distruction of brain cells."

What kinds of sick people sit around watching monkeys get high?

Re:Impossible (2)

Nastard (124180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174612)

Around here we call them "lurkers".

Re:Impossible (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174634)


Nastard,

Your name is almost a combination of Nads + Turds.

Nastard dips his nads in turds! Eeewwe! Nastard likes having his dick sucked off by guys, lets his jizz drip down onto the floor, and then poops on it! And he eats it!

Nastard like licking the greasy shit from other guys balls! Nastard, you sick faggot you! I can't beleive that you like to lick the sweat, cum, and shit out of some random black guy anus! You are such a fucking pervert. I can't believe you like it when a whole bunch of guys jack off all over your face and you sit there and swallow every last drop, and then vomit it all up and let them all shit on it and then suck it up with a straw.

You queer, demented homo!

Nastard, how many times are your going to take your sister's used tampons, stick them up your ass so they soak up 12 guys cum, put it in a blender with your mother's shit, and make a milkshake out of it?! How many times are you going to drink it on your webcam?

You are one sick fucker, you!!

Re:Impossible (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174641)


Nads + Turds.

What a fag.

Re:Impossible (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174660)

What are you? An American?


What a twit! Don't make me get a visa and come over there to trash you and all your latent homosexual friends.

Re:Impossible (2, Insightful)

de Selby (167520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174608)

...I'm reasonably sure my straight-A's back up my intelligence.

That just means you have nothing better to do. In my experience, 80% of a class can get A's--they just, in one way or another, choose not to.

Your experience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174624)

So you've actually witnessed a class in which 80% got A's?

I think the grading curve prevents this. If too many people do too well, fitting the marks to the curve will fix the problem, unless everyone got exactly the same mark, right?

Re:Your experience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174680)

Look at it on an individual basis. Almost any single student in the class is capable of receiving marks that, on the present scale, would provide him/her with straight A's. Therefore, straight A's are a sign of work ethic, not intellect.

Re:Impossible (1)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174644)

Very true. I got really lazy last year, and ended up with a C, two B's, and three A's.

That doesn't quite match up with my PSAT score of 1470. :)

Of course, if I could just convince California schools to look at SAT scores and not grades, I'd be going to Berkeley... ;)

Re:Impossible (3, Informative)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174703)

Quick guide to getting into a UC:

1) Take a lot of AP classes. It doesn't matter if you get good grades in the class, just good scores on the tests.
2) Write a good personal statement. Hype up personal tragedy and overcoming difficulties.
3) Do well on the SAT II. SAT I counts for shit.
4) After school activities do matter. Sucks for us antisocial types, but it's true.

If you've got the rest, you can have a shit GPA and not only get into college, but get a free ride to boot.

Re:Impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174693)

SAT scores are trivia tests, not intelligence barometers. Also, there is a distribution of intelligence. Yes if you get a 1600 on the SATs and decide to smoke weed and not show up to your finals you will get straight Fs. But there are less intelligent people out there who cannot get straight As. They cannot achieve them no matter how hard they try (unless they have unlimited time for everything, which is unreal).

Anyway, SAT is just a distribution. You can get a distribution for any nonsense. It doesn't mean anything in and of itself.

I play shitloads of video games and I have a straight A average in a Top 25 University. I find a) it is relaxing and b) it helps challenge me to solve abstract problems. So there! Yes an individual can play video games and be stimulated to solve problems and perform arithmetic. A lot of the stimulation is visual, but some of us are "visual thinkers".

I don't see how this study is useful without identifying the population of students, aside from describing them as the whole body of breathing young human mass.

This is a interesting study but it may just be a warning for people who are not geniuses outside of the world of video games to spend more time actually learning something more important than learning how to beat Megaman (for instance), which is not a skill.

The human mind can learn just about anything with enough time. That doesn't mean an individual is thinking. However studying mathematics forces abstract reasoning, which of course should use more neurons in mental processing... Again, I always say it depends on how you spend the same 24 hours everyone else has in the day...

Re:Impossible (2, Interesting)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174615)

Actually...

Many modern psychiatric theorists explain the chemical-physical relationship as two sided.

It is commonly accepted that changing the chemicals of the brain (through medication or drugs of some kind) correlates directly to behavioral changes.

However, some theorize that it works both ways; you can also change your brain chemistry through repetetive behavioral changes.

So yes... a repeated, habitual (addictive?) activity can probably change the chemistry of your brain, to some extent.

Or at least it's possible. :)

Re:Impossible (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174687)


Reverius,

Please take a moment and thank your mother for the great time we had last night. Especially when she let me bite her clit until it bled and I shot my load all over it. That was great. I'm sorry I busted her jaw up so bad that she can't chew now, but it isn't too big a deal since the only thing she eats is my jizz anyway and she can do that through a straw. Sorry about the stains on the backseat of your car. Oh, and you might not want to sleep on your pillow before you wash it.

Thanks,

Bruce Perens.

Re:Impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174643)

I can think perfectly fine right now, but i'm stoned. So, if I can make a point, it must not be killing my mind.

Why do stoners think their own personal anecdotes are important? Oh wait, they're stoners. Nevermind.

Re:Impossible (1)

$uperjay (263648) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174647)

There's no way watching/experiencing something non-chemical can actually halt the development of your mind.

I'm sure the millions of people afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder will love to hear that.

The issue isn't that environment doesn't affect development - if you're trying to argue that, you might want to read up on your psychology, because it'd be an uphill battle. The reason this article is 'bullshit' is that playing a game of soccer or climbing trees or what the-fuck-ever kids did before Atari had pretty much the same effect on their brains - no kid in his right mind is going to sit at home doing arithmetic for thrills. Maybe a kid in his wrong mind, but all the math in the world won't help those poor souls.

Re:Impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174649)

"If the kids were snorting coke while playing Quake that would be different."

Ha, why is the mental picure of kids snorting coke while playing quake so damn amusing.

... Little Jimmy racing through the level as fast as he can so he can do another line...awe why don't we just have lots of fun and make them on speed, haste in real life!

Ha, the only explaination I have is that its 5am.

Re:Impossible (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174674)


But you're wrong. Nastard sucks cum and feces up his nose almost 24.7, and he's dumb as a stump. And gay, too. But I'm sure you know that already, as you're probably the one he's sucking off so you can shoot your wad all over his steaming pile of poo.

Nastard = Nads + Turds.

Since you're a straigh-A faggot, I bet you already now that Nastard is Latin for "one who like cum on his poop and eats it."

Or maybe you're straight-A for sucking all your teacher's cocks.

Whatever. Here's a review:

- You are gay. And a loser.
- Nastard = Nads + Turds.
- If you blow up a Rhesus Monkey you have Rhesus Pieces.

Thanks,

Bruce Perens.

So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174587)

Knowing how to avoid the blazing assault of a flak cannon will no doubt spare more brain matter than playing a game will destroy.

Ahh, a scare story (1)

ariux (95093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174591)

Really, it just underscores the point made by every other popular article about child development:

If you don't particularly care how your kids spend their time, who knows how they'll come out?

Comparisons? (5, Insightful)

whm (67844) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174594)


Using the most sophisticated technology available, the level of brain activity was measured in hundreds of teenagers playing a Nintendo game and compared to the brain scans of other students doing a simple, repetitive arithmetical exercise. To the surprise of brain-mapping expert Professor Ryuta Kawashima and his team at Tohoku University in Japan, it was found that the computer game only stimulated activity in the parts of the brain associated with vision and movement.

In contrast, arithmetic stimulated brain activity in both the left and right hemispheres of the frontal lobe - the area of the brain most associated with learning, memory and emotion.


Ok, sounds fair enough. But what about compared to something like -television- that certainly many more children do for many more hours in their youth.

From the article, it sounds like they are saying video games prevent proper development, they don't cause damage. That would imply that something like TV would certainly do as much and more prevention than video games.

And television isn't mentioned at all, nor anything else. There are lots of things kids can do that don't involve any thinking...I don't know many kids that sit down and do math all day :)

Re:Comparisons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174683)

I guess if you really twisted the research around you could *say* that playing games "prevents development", in that kids playing aren't developing *while they are playing them* (as opposed to kids doing math, whose brains are developing *while they are doing math*. Hehe. The underlying implication, though not stated because it cannot be derived, is that there is some *permanent* prevention of development. It sounds like this "brain-mapping expert" was *surprised* that playing games does not use the same parts of the brain as when doing math.

This article sounds very SIENTIFFICK (a Joe Sixpack style derivative of real science ...) really .. "Using the most sophisticated technology available" .. WTF? Sounds like a washing powder advert. The line of reasoning taken to get to the results sounds like a serious stretch. As you say, what about television? And what about "acceptable" behaviour for children, such as playing sports?

"The implications are very serious for an increasingly violent society" .. WTF? I was not aware of statistics showing that the amount of violence in society is rising. What evidence is there of this?

All this guy has maybe shown is that doing math is possibly better intellectual stimation that some other things. Apart from that, he sounds just like one of these old people who walk around saying things like "kids today don't read anymore", "society is going to the dogs", etc etc blah blah.

It's better to play video games outside of youth (1)

qwerty123 (63677) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174595)

"This story at the Guardian describes research done in Japan showing that playing video games in youth prevents development of the front lobe, leading to violent behavior."

Personally I like to play video games outside of youth... but I guess i just like to be different.

This story highlights a serious problem (1)

The Ultimate Badass (450974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174596)

While humans are going through their developmental years (under 18), any influences they are exposed to are bound to affect their attitudes throughout adulthood. When their primary recreation is a simulated rehearsal of a murder spree, it cannot be a good thing.

It would, of course, be dishonest to single out computer games as a source of developmental aberrations.

Television has long been a cause of increased violence, with numerous studies pointing to increases in violent behaviour as high as 150%. Advertising and music present children with role models that are actually dangerous for children to try to emulate, from ultrasadistic rappers to impossibly beautiful fashion models. Computer games, however, are even more involving than TV, more seductive than advertising and fast becoming the primary recreation for today's children.

I say, a society that does not defend itself from the corruption of it's youth is a society in decline. Parents nowadays not willing to raise their children properly, and prefer to use computer games and TV to do the job. It is time for a higher power to step in. A set of guidelines needs to be created, governing what is acceptable in computer games, TV, advertising and music. These must be followed, for the good of society.

If something like this is not implemented soon, we face a downhill slide into violence and depravity, as surely as the Roman empire collapsed into decadence.

Re:This story highlights a serious problem (1)

fecaljapan (515606) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174628)

Censorship is not what is needed. Regulation is an easy way out that a lot of people think they see. But whether it be ratings or outright censorship, it is not going to be very effective. While censorship might be effective in controlling what the media is producing, it has its own negative effect on society.

And besides, if you're to believe this article, it's the medium itself that's damaging, not the content thereof. What this society needs is for people to take more responsibility for their own actions. People think they can get away w/ most anything, including having a child and then failing to take care of it properly. Parents need to be made aware of childrearing techniques that have proven effective. They need to spend time w/ their children, whether it be reading to them or taking them out somewhere. But this is not to say that kids shouldn't be able to play games. But it is up to PARENTS to regulate what games their children play and for how long each day. The media does send horrible messages to kids, but if a parent is doing their job, their influence should be a lot stronger than anything the media throws at us.

Of course, there are always exceptions. Some kids are raised well and turn out "badly", and others aren't raised well and turn out to be great people.

I don't think we need regulation at the government level, but w/ the ever increasing pace and the every man for himself attitude of our society, we really need to think about how this is shaping our world and the development of our children, and whether or not we are going in a healthy direction. Though I certainly don't see a slide into "violence and depravity" around the corner.

I'm not being alarmist (1)

The Ultimate Badass (450974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174636)

Witness The Rockdale County Syphilus Outbreak [re] . This is not an isolated incident. America is losing it's teens. While parents should be regulating their children, they aren't. It's obviously up to the government.

Re:I'm not being alarmist (1)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174658)

Up to the government??

I'm sorry, but this is a simple issue.

Either parents "regulate" their kids, or they don't.

Either way, unless they're your children, you have absolutely no say in the matter.

I can only hope that when I have children, they grow up in a world where I still have a right to choose whether my children's access to information is censored or not.

I really hate to say it, but... here it goes... "communism". Now I'm gonna get modded down.

And before you flame me for being anti-communist, check out my political bias. Just ask me about my opinions about anything... I consider myself a Socio-anarchist, so don't automatically think i'm some right wing cracker who hates things ideologically.

I don't hate communism... I should probably clarify that... I hate Stalin's iron curtain policies, blocking the flow of information (which wants to be free :))

That's enough of a rant for now.

Re:I'm not being alarmist (1)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174665)

Sorry about my use of the term "right wing cracker". I'm just resentful of "Dubya".

What I should have said was "backwards-thinking reactionist bigoted [expletive deleted]". :P

Re:I'm not being alarmist (1)

de Selby (167520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174676)

You could just replace communist with statist and satisfy most people.

Re:I'm not being alarmist (1)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174689)

Communist has more meaning, at least to Americans (most of the Slashdot readership).

"Communist" has been misunderstood and taken out of context so many times it has completely lost any real meaning, but it's connotation has been the same in America since the 50's.

"Communist" = "evil" to most of mainstream America. This was indoctrinated into people for about the last 50 years.

Also, censorship of ideas (video, sound, whatever) is a very Leninist/Stalinist (and to some extent Maoist) tactic for sociopolitical control as well as a basic denial of human rights associated with Communism.

Re:I'm not being alarmist (1)

de Selby (167520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174700)

Sure Communism has a connotation, but "Whatch out! It's a Communist!" is also in the American memory.

McCarthyism doesn't bring respect to an argument--or it's maker. It's the first thing I think of when someone starts comparing something to Communism.

And for that matter, I'm tired of people and things always being compared to Fascists and Nazis.

Re:I'm not being alarmist (1)

fecaljapan (515606) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174671)

Do you think that's normal? I mean, do you think that the average teenager is participating in "group sex parties". If you do, I think you ARE being an alarmist. Yes, more kids are becoming sexually active younger than they used to, and that's why everyone needs to be educated on the risks involved, and why safe sex and abstinence should be promoted. I'd rather my kid was having safe sex w/ someone they were comfortable w/ and committed to than going around fucking like a rabbit because our society was too uptight to face the facts.

But this is just the kind of story that is something being blown way out of proportion. This was a fairly affluent town where the parents were too busy to raise their children so their children had no guidance and also nothing to do, no outlet for their emotions, and obviously no education on the dangers of the sort of behaviour they took part in. This is a rather extreme case of what can happen in that situation, but it is pretty obvious to me that that could have been easily prevented w/o government intervention. Unless by government intervention you mean government funding for after school programs, sex ed, and distribution of condoms.

We see these horrible things happen, and we ask why. And I think too many people are too afraid to really look, and think that the government impossing harsh penalties on teens behaviour and censoring the media and the like will somehow fix things. But, if anything, I think that will make kids more rebellious and cause more problems. That is the way to breed ignorance. I don't think there IS a quick fix for any of the major problems in our society, and I don't think there is any one solution. But just because it's difficult, doesn't mean we can't overcome it.

Too often, I think older people look at current society and think because it's different it must be bad. It's happening now, it happened in the 60s. There are always going to be unsavory aspects of society, but more often than not I think it is better to try to adapt to changing conditions and channel societal concious in a positive direction than to pretend we can push back the clock.

Re:I'm not being alarmist (1)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174696)

Group sex parties? Damn, I wish I could get in on that...

In all of 17 years, i've never even been on a date! (blame slashdot) :P

I think the problems of "computer gaming" and "promiscuous sex" are, by definition, affecting completely different groups of people. ;)

Re:This story highlights a serious problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174655)

While censorship might be effective in controlling what the media is producing


So? If the stuff the media is producing is harming the children, isn't it a good thing to control what's being produced?

Re:This story highlights a serious problem (1)

fecaljapan (515606) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174678)

I don't think this is quite the same sort of harm as if public water systems suddenly decided to start putting arsenic in the drinking water. This harm (if it exists), is caused by children being RAISED on the media and nothing else. Entertainment is not a valid form of education. Someone who does not get social education is going to be socially dumb.

Re:This story highlights a serious problem (1)

$uperjay (263648) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174664)

But the problem with TV isn't that it itself warps the minds of children. It's that in encourages parental lazyness. Why bother talking to your kids or playing ball when you can sit the sprites in front of the tube and go have a smoke? The only good parenting done these days is by (the few and rapidly disappearing) good parents. Back in the 'good ole days' you at least had to say something to your kids every few hours.

Now we've got the same thing going on with computer games. The kid gets on the 'net and stops making noise, so Mom and Pop head to the living room to watch Jerry Springer... not taking into account that kids are pretty good at getting into whatever they want on the 'net. Remember the Dilbert strip ('I hope that's not the sound of little eyes getting really big?')? Yeah. Your six-year-old probably shouldn't be playing Counterstrike, just as he shouldn't be watching Oz. Probably the only good point that the article hits on is that environment does affect development (although that's certainly old news) and the logical extension is that bad parenting hurts children. Lazy parents are bad parents. /endrant

Re:This story highlights a serious problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174669)

just as he shouldn't be watching Oz


No wonder these kids grow up as reckless liberals who like breaking the law just for the fun of it, if they aren't allowed to see that bad things happen to people in prisons.

Re:This story highlights a serious problem (1)

fecaljapan (515606) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174694)

heh. Reckless liberals. Maybe you should look at the personal history of George W. Bush. I love how conservatives can't help opening their mouths to bash liberals as being some depraved lot, when they're no better. It's a shame that the media and liberals let them get away w/ it.

Re:This story highlights a serious problem (1)

de Selby (167520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174670)

In response to the troll:


"While humans are going through their developmental years (under 18), any influences they are exposed to are bound to affect their attitudes throughout adulthood."

Of course, for any age, but the question is how much of what effect per stimulus.


"When their primary recreation is a simulated rehearsal of a murder spree, it cannot be a good thing."

Yes it can. Child psychologists have found that young boys grow up naturally playing cops and robbers and wresteling, but become a little "distorted" sometimes when all such play is suppressed. Simulated murder sprees might not be a bad thing.


It would, of course, be dishonest to single out computer games as a source of developmental aberrations."

It would be dishonest to state or imply any connection without further evidence.


"Television has long been a cause of increased violence, with numerous studies pointing to increases in violent behaviour as high as 150%."

Well, what studies? If the increase in violence is that high, is it causal? If it is (somehow) causal, is it the imagery or the sedentary lifestyle that changes brain chemistry for the worse?


"Advertising and music present children with role models that are actually dangerous for children to try to emulate, from ultrasadistic rappers to impossibly beautiful fashion models."

Why are kids emulating media? I doubt a kid will go out and become a gangster. And isn't it intuitive that ultra-thin is not only less beautiful, but unhealthy? A child isn't thinking right before such emulations.


"I say, a society that does not defend itself from the corruption of it's youth is a society in decline."

Corruption is too harsh a word to use for this situation. Our society will not decline because some small percent of our girls don't want to eat enough.


"It is time for a higher power to step in."

I'd like more evidence of a problem first. Plus, sorting and then filtering media in this kind of censorship always has huge gaping holes. (And, massive culture fixes are best proposed outside the argument trying to prove the cultural problems.)


"If something like this is not implemented soon, we face a downhill slide into violence and depravity, as surely as the Roman empire collapsed into decadence."

HA!! Things are NOT going to get all that worse because of some rough video game play and thin models! You see things as far too fragile. And just how does Rome connect to this?

Re:This story highlights a serious problem (1)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174682)

Umm... yeah. You're completely right. The sky is not falling. :)

But since "I agree with so-and-so" posts are boring, I'll make a point.

As far as brain chemistry goes, both the sedentary lifestyle as well as the violent imagery are completely capable of changing brain chemistry. However, I have one thing to add to that. My guess is that it's as much a lack of real social interaction than anything else. Humans are primarily social creatures; never forget that. In my own experience, I get unexplainably depressed after periods of declined social interaction due to Diablo 2 binges. Of course... maybe it's just the sedentariness... but I'm sedentary whether i'm with my friends or not.

I think it's more a denial of a basic human need (to interact with other humans).

Re:This story highlights a serious problem (1)

de Selby (167520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174692)

Good point.

Games that seem to stimulate the mind either do it directly (chess, go) or have a lot of real social interaction (online gaming, lan parties).

You're right again. Agreement posts are boring.

Troll Rating : 4/10 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174672)

Not good.

Japanese VS American Games (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174602)

The problem with this study is that it isnt' relvent over here in the good ole USofA. There have been several good studies [128.121.12.52] documenting the games Japanese youth play and the game US kids play. The Japanese games are much more violent, sexual, and "socially deviant" (article's words, not mine) than the US ones. What we see are a few select imports that are comparatively mild. Really, a good but unethical study would be some American chilren playing Japanese games in translation.

PLAY SOME MORE, SAM (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174603)

this is a third world conspiracy against the developed world. there's no doubt about that. haha so africans finally get their own back. now you see why PC's are bad.
PLAY IT AGAIN, PLAY SOME MORE, SAM

won't SOMEBODY think of the children??? (1)

cowtamer (311087) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174604)

If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of this, remember that they used the _latest brain imaging techniques_!!!

You can ask the author about
what else to smoke [mapinc.org] while writing these in-depth, well-researched articles :)

P.P.S. in all seriousness, the blank looks of the teenagers walking out of the arcade has been worrying me for a while...

Re:won't SOMEBODY think of the children??? (1)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174668)

Latest brain imaging techniques...

Isn't that what they used in the movie "The Sixth Day" to clone people? ;)

I think we're again merging two frequent topics on slashdot...

Crapola. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174610)

This is utter bollocks.

Okay, sure (1)

lifebouy (115193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174613)

In places like Russia they have practically zero cases of attention deficit disorder. That's because kids there grow up not having TV and video games and such. There kids learn to concentrate and stay focused on one thing for more than 5 minutes without it whizzing, banging, or popping. But didn't we already really know that?

It's really simple. Billy stays on game console 10 hours a day, Billy doesn't read a book or play outside or do anything worthwhile for that 10 hours a day. Billy grows older, but doesn't really grow up. 15 years later people wonder why Billy can't function in this world of ours. It's because Billy is still mentally an 8 year old. Watch an 8 year old for an hour or so: they are pretty violent. They mature out of that stage. BUt not if they can escape into Hyrule for 90% of thier waking hours.

Shut the fuck up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174630)

fag

Illogical conclusion (5, Insightful)

Ziktar (196669) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174617)

What a great comparison they did... Let's compare playing a video game to "an exercise called the Kraepelin test, which involves adding single-digit numbers continuously for 30 minutes." Yeah, I'm sure that continuously adding numbers is quite a lot of fun for the researchers, but something tells me that the average kid won't think that this is a good time...

Seriously, this article practices once of the major fallacies of statistics. They do a basic study of some Nintendo video game (they don't mention which one) versus continuously adding numbers or reading aloud. Then they draw the conclusion that:

"But the other thing is to ask them to play outside with other children and interact and to communicate with others as much as possible. This is how they will develop, retain their creativity and become good people."

Excuse me?!? The study had absolutely nothing to do with playing outside with other children. There's a chance that doing just that would be even worse for the childrens' frontal lobes. We don't know because the study said nothing about other behaviors, just playing a game & doing math.

If you ask me, this is nothing but inflammatory nonsense designed to generate a lot of press time and give people a good excuse to take away our fun.

Re:Illogical conclusion (1)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174673)

Wow... good thing they didn't include me in the test.

Unless I'd taken some dexedrine (concentration pills) first, I'd have fallen asleep about 10 minutes into the math. Calculus couldn't even keep me awake last year...

And the video games would've been mentally stimulating either way.

As far as playing video games go... I play until I hit my threshold of "it's boring now" which was about a half hour with Half-life... and about a month with Diablo 2...

and I don't play the games, ever again. I don't let myself get addicted, after some bad experiences with Heroes 3. :)

Frontal lobes are different (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174625)



I have a master's degree in human evolutionary science. I am currently working on my PHD. Despite the popular media's unwillingness to admit it, and the unpopular politically correctness of it, there are fundamental evolutionary differences [128.121.12.52] between the different humand "races" other than skin tone. It only makes sense - why is skin tone and external appearances the only evolved differences between us. One of these differences is in the structure of the frontal lobe. Without going into too much detail, the structure of human lobe in those of oriental descent [128.121.12.52] is markedly unique from those of other races. This report is of little value outside of Japan. Interesting, but hardly world news.

interpretation of results flawed - go scientists! (1)

$uperjay (263648) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174637)

Seemingly the only problem I ever find with these studies: people keep drawing whatever conclusion they want from their studies. But before I even get into that, let's all have a good laugh at this:

In contrast, arithmetic stimulated brain activity in both the left and right hemispheres of the frontal lobe - the area of the brain most associated with learning, memory and emotion.

Right. I knew a few kids who performed arithmetic for fun when I was a kid... I think I'd rather trust the mad-leet-Quake player's social skills. At least he does some talk (albeit trash-talking).

First off, let's take into account that the area of the frontal lobe associated with self-control is not the same area excercised while performing arithmetic (unless arithmetic frustrates you so much that you want to break things, at which point your self control might be slightly exercised). Second, let's assume - just for a minute - that the areas worked while playing video games - only... the parts of the brain associated with vision and movement' - are actually pretty important. I like being able to see things, and efficiently have information go from eyes to brain. Likewise spatial perception, fast reflexes, quick thinking... all things that video gaming improves... are also pretty important. Even if you don't drive.

Acting impulsively is not a bad thing. Maybe it's just some cultural bias in the study, I don't know, but having too much restraint causes a lot of stress to many people these days, who can't even drive themselves to do simple things like asking out a co-worker / meet new people / try a new job etc. etc.. The only problem with playing video games, IMO, is that if you play them excessively you're missing out on more intense social interaction and physical exercise. That wouldn't be a problem for today's youth if their parents would get them into a game of soccer or go do something interesting with them. As I see it, this is just yet another attempt by the PTBs to blame problems in our world on our kids, and to point the finger at the media to do it. Weren't people concerned in the 50's that rock music would turn us all into anti-social vagabonds?

Re:interpretation of results flawed - go scientist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174675)

Acting impulsively is not a bad thing.


Yes it is.

If your actions have the potential of harming others you're not supposed to act impulsively.
The older I get the more I appreciate the wisdom in "think before you act".

Nice Spin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174638)

A close read of the article reveals not that video games impede frontal lobe development, but that they do nothing to stimulate it. Professor Kawashima compares the frontal stimulation of performing simple mathematical exercises to playing games and found a difference. So what? According to the article, games only stimulated centers of vision and movement. As opposed to say, tennis? Watching television? Cycling? Gardening? No, he made one comparison and drew universal conclusions from it. Sounds like bad science to me.

But why would an acedemic do such a thing? From the article:

"Kawashima, in need of funding for his research, originally decided to investigate the levels of brain activity in children playing video games expecting to find that his research would be a boon to manufacturers."

Bingo. "In need of funding for his research." I'm sure he'll have no problem now.

Gasp of surprise (not) (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174639)

  • it was found that the computer game only stimulated activity in the parts of the brain associated with vision and movement.

Let me predict the arguments here regarding this article.

  • Pro: But of course, c.f. these other references.
  • Con: i plai games on AOL an am genus, But munkies i kil yoo

Funny-ha-ha's aside, what on earth did we expect? That spending 8 hours a day watching repetitive, unvaried images of violence and gore would create a race of uber kinder?

Don't get me wrong, I like games. I used to write them, and I enjoy playing them, including FPS'ers. I honestly feel that (partly because I used to write them) I'm smart enough to realise that playing them does actually makes me dumber and antisocial (and I'm pushing 30). I don't think they make me more violent, but my fragile little mind was well formed before I really started playing gore-o-ramas in earnest, plus I blow off a lot of steam playing physical sports, something that GenY is doing less and less.

No, it's not the collapse of civilisation as we know it, but if you're going to argue that environment doesn't shape behaviour, then we have no grounds for debate, and you mite ars wel kil me, cuz i am gay but monkie.

Man ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174648)


I have to take a serious shit. That little guy has been poking his head out of about a half hour now.

Maybe I'll cum on it and let Nastard eat it.

Nastard = Nads + Turds.

What a homo.

What research? (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174650)

If it was a serious research, they would tell how many children where tested, their age and sex. None of that was mentionned.

Humans were never violent before video games ? (1)

bushboy (112290) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174651)

What a pile of horse-crap that survey is.

Humans have been violent since day one.

If a human cannot control their urges, it's got nothing to do with video games.

I've been playing video games since age 11 and I have no urge to be violent against other people because of that - I'm more likely to get violent as a result of driving to work !

So, the only brain stimulation they noticed was motor co-ordination - what ?

What kinds of games were these kids playing ?

Even the simplest game of 'Pong' requires some sort of mind activity aside from motor skills.

Rig me up another survey please - the government wants results !

Pah !

flawed logic here (2, Interesting)

neoshmeng (467015) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174686)

I've been playing video games since age 11 and I have no urge to be violent against other people because of that

Much of the development that occurs in children occurs BEFORE age 11. Some child psychologists believe that things like the personality are basically set whenyou are 8 years old or so. Most of us who say, "Playing games didn't hurt ME any!" can't really say that, because we didn't play games when we were really young.

I don't know whether or not violent games make children more aggressive, but it cannot be said that the games have NO effect, because everything we do affects us in some way right?

Anyhoo, the take home message is probly that too much gaming is not as productive as doing something else. Duh!

New Japanese study ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174656)


Finds that Oriental bitches are HOT. Man, I love those gook cunts.

I'm so totally not inclined to violence (5, Funny)

jud78 (516433) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174659)

Grrrr. Anyone making fun of my underdeveloped frontal lobe will find my foot up his overdeveloped ass! Most of my youth was spent playing Japanese RPGs. If doing repetitive math for 30 minutes is good for the development of the frontal lobe, I probably have the largest frontal lobe in the world.

What kind of study is this... (2, Insightful)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174662)

First they take a bunch of kids, split them into two groups. One group plays Nintendo (aside : should have chosen better game consoles...), and their brains "stunts" (based on instant brain scans done on them). The other groups do math, and their frontal lobes get simulated.

Their conclusion? Games Bad : kids become dumb. WTF? How the hell can they make this kind of slippery slope argument?!

Why not they take a bunch of kids, and have them do NOTHING BUT MATH for a year, and see if the kids become super geniuses? Most likely they will just become (a) bored to the death (b) mad.

Children needs all kinds of stimulation so they can learn to become well-rounded human beings. Too much Computer Games is Bad. Too Much Math Is Bad. Too Much *insert thing here* is Bad.

(Begin Ad Hominem) Maybe the study's "need for funding" has something to do with such "controversial new result"? (End Ad Hominem)

For Review ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2174691)


Nastard stands for Nads + Turds.

Nastard likes to take a dumb and have a bunch of guys spill their load on it. He usually helps then by having them put their erect penis into his mouth. Then he takes the glazed turd, puts it in a hot dog roll, and eats it like a sandwich. Sometimes he vomits it up, stuffs the puke into another guy's ass, and felches it out with a straw. But he only does that if you're black.

Again, Nads + Turds.

Thank you,

Bruce Perens.

Kinda obvious... (1)

ferratus (244145) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174698)

While i'm not quite convinced by the article, it seems to me that the result of the "test" was to be expected. If you spend your life playing "dumb" video games, you're not going to be the same as if you'd have spent 20 hours a week reading books or learning stuff.

What bothers me here is that the article seem to say that "video games are bad for your child because while they play it, they're not learning as fast as they could". That might be true, but I think a kid needs to do something else in life than reading and learning. When kids are playing cowboys outside with "normal" toys, are their brain working more ? Is this better for the kid ?

As with everything else, the best is to get a compromise between the "no games" and "games all the time".

I think that this is the article's biggest problem. It basically says something everybody knows. You just need to go with your logic.

junk science (4, Insightful)

mj6798 (514047) | more than 12 years ago | (#2174702)

There is no basis to conclude from that data that playing video games interferes with frontal lobe development. All sorts of activities we engage in stimulate only a small part of the brain, and yet they don't cause problems. Even if it were conclusively demonstrated that the frontal lobes in people who play video games are less developed, whether there is causation and which way it goes would be very hard to decide (maybe people like playing video games in preference to social interaction because that's the way their brains are wired).

And any of this assumes that the study was done correctly. In fact, there are serious questions about normalization: very high activity in the visual and motor areas might simply have caused "normal" frontal lobe activity to be normalized away.

Between playing video games and watching television, I think kids are a lot better off playing video games.

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