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Videogames Used to Treat ADHD

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the playing-mario-as-therapy dept.

275

deeptrace writes "USA today has an article about a videogame based treatment for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). It uses NASA derived technology to measure brainwave activity while playing videogames. Clinical psychologist Henry Owens says 'If they just play videogames on their own, they will zone out. When they play on this system, if they zone out [as detected by brainwave activity], the videogame doesn't respond any more' This is supposed to help the patient increase the ability to focus and concentrate."

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Great! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903062)

That's perfect for

Re:Great! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903150)

...perfect for ripping off my idea!

'If they just play videogames on their own, they will zone out. When they play on this system, if they zone out [as detected by brainwave activity], the videogame doesn't respond any more'

Almost the same as my [patented] technique:

'If they just play videogames on their own, they will zone out. When they play on this system, if they zone out [as detected by brainwave activity], they get an enormous electric shock

My system works prefectly - why just three years ago I wasn't able to concentrate enough to finish typing in a slashdot post. Thesedays

Re:Great! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903166)

Reminds me of a joke ...

Q. What's the best solution to deal with an ADHD kid?
A. Send them to concentration camp!

Re:Great! (1, Funny)

Descalzo (898339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903473)

Q: How many kids with ADHD does it take to change a light bulb?
A: I don't know, how ma
Q: Wanna ride bikes?

Re:Great! (4, Informative)

Intruger (637870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903594)

They're selling a crippled EEG machine for $500 which doesn't even give the read out of the brain activities. If you are semi serious about this, I would suggest you take a look at OpenEEG [sourceforge.net] . It's a opensource DIY modular EEG machine that costs around $200 to build (there is also a partialy build version available). There are several free games, and the best thing is, it's not limit to the Playstation (supports Win, Mac, Linux, PocketPC, etc.).

Of course if you want to make sense of the readings, you need to know how to interpret the brainwave patterns. There are several book on this subject; the more popular ones are:
Getting Started with Neurofeedback [amazon.com]
The High-Performance Mind [amazon.com]

Nice to see something unabigously good (3, Insightful)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903063)

Mabey this will shut up the videogame= hyperactive folks.

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903113)

No. Not really. I realize you spent about 5 seconds coming up with your comment, but there is a body of evidence linking hyperactivity and video games. It is fascinating how a certain group of people will laugh at head in the sand global warming deniers. They will laugh at new earth IDers. They will point to all the evidence and (rightly so) declare that they are denying obvious facts.

Studies have indeed shown a causal relationship between video games and hyperactivity, attention deficit, and violence. Does this mean we burn all games? Nope. I play video games, and my kids likely will.

I will, however, make decisions about what games and how much time based upon factors like age, social progress and scholastic performance. If my child is well adjusted socially, he'll have more freedom in this area. If my child is lagging, then I will encourage more social interaction. If school work is lagging, then I will restrict. Simple as that.

I think 95% of Slashdot would agree with this. It is called parenting.

However, when someone suggests that there is no link between the two, he opens up the "ban it all" type who can simply point at studies (such as ones that have appeared in new England Journal of Medicine) and show that you are full of it. It makes it that much easier to get their agenda forced on the rest of us.

MOD PARENT UP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903139)

Yes, do that indeed. /AC

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (1)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903236)

Studies have indeed shown a causal relationship between video games and hyperactivity, attention deficit, and violence.

Is that true? I thought studies had found a correlation with violence, but not cause and effect. The problem, IIRC is that it comes down to a nature vs nuture argument and real scientifically blind studies are extremely difficult to set up.

How would we perform such an experiment? If you find a correlation between people with violent criminal records and their proclivity toward violent video games, you still haven't shown cause and effect. They may have been violent without the games. It's a very difficult thing to prove.

Also, according to the FBI crime stats, there's been an overall decrease in violent crime over the past 10 years, yet violent video game sales have increased.

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903250)

Causal has been shown. I do not have the New England Journal of Medicine study. I do have a Summa newsletter that quoted from the study. Basically two groups were given video games --- one set with violent themes, another without. Behavior was studies afterward.

If it hadn't been NEJM, I would have more questions. This publication is one of the most respected and most thoroughly reviewed medical journals in the world.

If folks still question the implication, then I'd suggest that they fund their own studies to prove otherwise... the burden of proof now falls on the nay-sayers.

Again, all this means is that parents need to be parents. The study simply points out what to watch out for.

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (1)

LiquidMind (150126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903237)

"but there is a body of evidence linking hyperactivity and video games"

i've also heard that too much cartoon-viewing (esp japanime) is a big factor...the brain absorbs so much during those first few years...and if all you're given is flashy cartoons with half-assed dialogue and split-second scenes, well yea your brain is gonna adapt that into real life....cartoons back in the day actually had solid movement and a much slower pace (remember disney cartoons back in the 80s)

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903572)

Actually I use to watch quite a bit of Japanese cartoons (unknowingly) and I've turned out as non-violent as you can get without being a full blown pacifist. So I'll take that with a healthy grain of salt.

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (1)

LiquidMind (150126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903647)

i'm not implying that people end up violent, just that they don't have much attention span (hence, ADD)

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (1)

Jazon Bladen (938809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903293)

I can also use misleading statistics and math in order to prove that wearing pants make people want to play video games and then I could make the (false) assumption that pants cause hyperactivity. It's carefully subjecting evidence and making sure that all of this evidence makes your point factually true, when in truth, it is not. The only reason studies like this are coming out is simply so the government can attack video games. That is all they are trying to do.

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903320)

If you are really intersted:

http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/Vide o_Game_FAQs.html [iastate.edu]
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?ne wsid=31961 [medicalnewstoday.com]
http://www.youngmedia.org.au/mediachildren/05_07_v iolence_anderson.htm [youngmedia.org.au]

Yup. It is all misleading math.

If you are interested in disproving it, it is relatively simple. Science is an open process. Do your own study. But major studies by disinterested third parties have demonstrated a positive, causal relationship between video games and violence. Other studies have confirmed. Peer review has taken place.

If you simply say "I don't believe it.. politics", I will lump you in with global warming disbelievers, 6,000 year old earth believers who think smoking does not cause cancer.

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (1)

Lars83 (901821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903501)

I just about posted that first link. Glad I checked.

I know Craig Anderson. I graduated from his psychology department in 2004. He does some really great research, as does Brad J. Bushman, who is now at the University of Michigan. I wish more people would read this research instead of having the "I love violent video games" wanking session. It's not some conservative conspiracy to take violence and porn out of the hands of kids. In fact, knowing Brad Bushman, he's one of the more liberal guys around. His research definitely made me think a lot when I first started reading it in college.

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (1)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903306)

No. Not really. I realize you spent about 5 seconds coming up with your comment, but there is a body of evidence linking hyperactivity and video games. It is fascinating how a certain group of people will laugh at head in the sand global warming deniers. They will laugh at new earth IDers. They will point to all the evidence and (rightly so) declare that they are denying obvious facts.
Has it occured to you that videogames appeal to ADDers because there is always an immediate reward in videogames and that it makes it easier for them to focus on that than other tasks.

Correlation != Causation

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903346)

Studies have indeed shown a causal relationship between video games and hyperactivity, attention deficit, and violence.

You know, I get really, really tired of people pulling the "studies have shown" card. It would be nice (better than nice, it would decrease the flow of FUD on the internet and IRL) if people were held to the same standards that people publishing scholarly papers were held to; namely, publishing your sources. Watch and learn, kids:

Most studies [pbs.org] found a correlation, not a causal relationship, which means the research could simply show that aggressive people like aggressive entertainment.

Yes, I'm drumming the words of Henry Jenkins. But perhaps this [uchicago.edu] will help? Or this [iastate.edu] ? I mean, try these phrases on for size:

Even if we accept that there is a correlation between amount of time spent playing (violent) video games and aggressive behavior, there is no reason to think that games are the cause of aggression.

However, the correlational nature of Study 1 means that causal statements are risky at best. It could be that obtained video game game violence links to aggressive and nonaggressive delinquency are wholly due to the fact that highly aggressive individuals are especially are especially attracted to violent video games.

Now, I could attack your argument (and in a way, at least, I have) but I take issue mostly with the bandying of the phrase "studies have shown" without so much as a reference to the studies in question. It is the worst kind of sloppy intellectualism that presumes all people everywhere are aware of these studies and that their validity is a foregone conclusion; indeed, it smacks of my mother-in-law forwarding her latest round of AOL-Microsoft mergers and get-rich-quick email forwarding scams.

Re:Nice to see something unabigously good (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903428)

WHOA! STOP THE PRESSES! You mean, I can't just put my children in front of Linux computers as the sole healthy way to raise them? I mean, I'll at least feed them twinkies and soda like all good computer need...

Dude whats your deal, are you new here?

AD[H]D has gone way too far. (4, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903064)

How about encouraging the "patient" to go outside or do something constructive, instead of coercing him into repeating a mindless task for no real reward. Oh, right - because that's what he would have done ANYWAY if he weren't one of the majority who by about age six are infected [reciprocality.org] with an affinity for pointless busywork, and an inability to learn except by rote.

I have no objection to psychotropic drugs and behavioral treatments when used judiciously to relieve real suffering or addiction. But using these tools to homogenize children to the societal norm is absolutely repugnant. How we can get through to these deranged teachers, parents, and psychiatrists?

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (4, Funny)

zephc (225327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903126)

"How about encouraging the "patient" to go outside or do something constructive, instead of coercing him into repeating a mindless task for no real reward."

You repeat the tasks to gain experience points. Duh.

First you get the xp, then you get the gold. Then you get the women.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (2, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903130)

I find ADHD to be an interesting subject. Studies have shown that a male child without a father living in his home is ten times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than one who does have a father in the home.

Is this a medical condition or a societal condition? Or both?

Oh, it's both... (5, Interesting)

Garwulf (708651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903218)

It's definitely both.

There are people who honestly have a neurological imbalance that causes them to have difficulty completing tasks, and in these cases drugs like Ritalin are a godsend, allowing them to normalize their routines. I know one or two people who have that, and without their medicine, they can make a ferret look like the paragon of focus and concentration.

On the other hand, ADD and ADHD make for a wonderful scapegoat for when children are acting up. Bright children being bored out of their skull in class? Must be ADD. I know from personal experience on this one - when I was a kid I was misdiagnosed with it, and I thank God that I had parents who knew enough to ask for a second opinion. It turned out that I was bored in class and reacting to food additives. Once I got into a gifted program in school and I stopped eating food I was reacting to, I settled right down.

It really does drive me nuts. Back in the 1980s when I was misdiagnosed, the misdiagnosis happened because ADD was "fashionable." Now it's an excuse. Pump kids full of sugar and chemicals and of course they're going to be hyperactive. Make them sit still in a classroom doing boring things and of course they're going to get restless. I just wish more medical professionals would rule out the obvious causes first before doping the kids up for having AD(H)D that they might not actually have.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (4, Insightful)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903227)

Another potential explanation is that ADHD inherited, and fathers with it tend to not stick with the child's mother.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (1)

terrym2442 (960688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903377)

Excellent observation. That would also explain why so many parents of ADD kids have a tough time getting them off the computer and giving them more structured activities. AD/HD is a highly inherited condition- over 50% of adults with AD/HD will have one or more kids with AD/HD. When you have multiple family members with AD/HD, it's quite a challenge to get everyone focused, organized, etc. I wrote an article on this at http://www.addconsults.com/articles/full.php3?id=1 401 [addconsults.com] Regards, Terry Matlen, ACSW Director, ADD Consults

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903608)

Not to mention that adult ADHD is often associated with some pretty nasty stuff when left untreated, including spousal abuse. Can we say "divorce city"?

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903256)

That makes sense. A single parent is probably more likely to use the TV/Video game console to parent.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (2, Insightful)

uncanny (954868) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903159)

yay pump them full of drugs, that's a great solution. depressed? take drugs hyper? take drugs bored? you guessed it, gorge yourself!

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (2, Insightful)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903519)

I battled with OCD and Tourette's for a couple of years. These conditions were not the result of being sad, bored or having childhood trauma but of my brain chemicals being a little off. Because of the prevalent reasoning that "mental" disease is the result of weakness of character I refused to take any drugs. After wasting a couple of years of my life with needless suffering and after almost ending sleeping on a sidewalk and becoming the neighborhood nut I started taking pills skeptically. Today, I live an almost normal life.

The brain is an organ. It is not an abstract construct like the mind. Its health is not something that can be fixed with the power of will any more than being able to produce insulin by wishing it.

As long as the prevalent notion that mental health is nothing more than having a bad attitude exists many people will suffer.

I agree that many doctors give drugs as if it were candy, needless to say, many people do need them.

Do not underestimate the afflictions of the brain, and please, do not berate people that might be quite sick just because you don't understand their conditions.

Cheers,
Adolfo

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (2, Insightful)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903167)

Indeed. Back in olden days (i.e. the 1960s and 70s) "short attention span" was simply a personality trait, not a physiological flaw.

Many years ago (1993, actually) when my oldest son entered first grade, he was immediately tagged as an ADD kid. We went along with it simply because we didn't know any better. We eventually came to the realization that Ritalin and Adderall were nothing more than speed for little kids, and took him off the stuff.

We were told flat-out by the school "your son needs to be medicated or we can't have him here." So we took him out of public school and have home-schooled him (and his little brother) ever since. He's now a healthy, drug-free college-bound 18 year-old. Best decision we ever made.

Fact: the more ADD/ADHD kids that the schools have on their rolls, the more money they get from the government. It's a BIG scam.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (1)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903270)

Ritalin is speed for little kids?

What an odd statement. You do realize that Ritalin has the opposite effect on people with ADD/ADHD than it does on 'normal' people? In that it actually slows your brain down enough to work properly?

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903376)

Let him belive what he wants. There's nothing like a good social agenda to wipe out any semblence of respect for the actual facts.

Other than that, how is this 6000 year old planet doing?

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (1)

Luigi30 (656867) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903384)

Methylphenidate has many of the same properties as amphetamine.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (1)

JeffJewell (676801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903429)

You do realize that Ritalin has the opposite effect on people with ADD/ADHD than it does on 'normal' people? In that it actually slows your brain down enough to work properly?

This is not precisely true.

It's speed, but the first effect it has is to improve the brain ability to control itself. Instead of the mind wandering off a million directionless directions, the brain gets the stones to whip the thoughts into a line for a while.

In my experience, there was still very much a noticeable stimulant effect, despite the fact that I was, indeed, much better able to concentrate on some thing in particular. There were also problems of crashing in the evenings or upon missing a dose... even problems if I drank too much iced tea at lunchtime (yes, caffeine will also "help" ADD/ADHD to a certain extent, for a certain period).

I was greatful to be able to put the amphetamine prescriptions behind me, not because they "work differently" on those with ADD/ADHD and slowed things down, but because they work pretty much exactly the same as on everyone else and sped things up, too much, at times. Strattera worked for me, if anyone finds that helpful.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903443)

[Ritalin] actually slows your brain down enough to work properly

I certainly do realize that this is the desired effect. But it is a stimulant; that's its official classification.

My son took Adderall for five years (Ritalin was took strong). And while I can't speak for other parents' kids, with us eventually it got to where he simply couldn't make it from point A to point B in his life without being dosed. Plus it cut his appetite so sharply that eventually he just stopped gaining weight.

I'm not saying, necessarily, that there's no such thing as ADD, but that it is enormously over-diagnosed, to the benefit of (1) pharmeacutical companies, for obvious reasons, and (2) overworked, underpayed teachers who can't give personal attention to such kids, along with the 35 others they have in the room.

As someone who has Adult ADD (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903536)

Ritalin causes the same heart problems [onlinelawyersource.com] when taken over long periods. I have a friend who is 31 who has to take heart medications and all he ever did was drink coffee and take ritalin. Not an illegal drug user at all.

I use strattera for my adult ADD and I no longer drink 4-6 cups of coffee a day. My heart at rest is 70 bpm and my blood pressure is normal. Strattera has its own counterindications but they are far less severe.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903612)

With all due respect, wait until the kid has a year or two of college under his belt before you declare the experiment a success.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (1)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903357)

"How we can get through to these deranged teachers, parents, and psychiatrists?"

South Park. As screwy as the kids are, the adults on South Park are 10-times more deplorable.

The "problem" is - as you say - deranged teachers, parents, and psychiatrists. We can "get through" to them by using vicious mockery, social pressure, and (as a last resort) legal action.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903592)

How about encouraging the "patient" to go outside

That is not the be all and end all to raising kids. Jesus! I got in a LOT more trouble going outside then I ever did staying inside, and I was just as happy doing either.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903664)

You sir are just an idealistic moron. I know what's it's like to live with ADHD. To be smarter than everyone else in your class and get D's and F's in your report card just cause you can't force yourself to pay enough attention.

I fully support all efforts to help kids with this condition. Don't go blabbing about what you don't understand. Getting on those little pills was the best thing to happen to me in my childhood. I went from being the anoyance to being on the honor roll for 5 years straight.

If they can help kids without drugs then so be it. But you sir need to shut the hell up. Try parenting an ADHD child or being one yourself before going off on your fascist rampage.

Re:AD[H]D has gone way too far. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903671)

How about encouraging the "patient" to go outside or do something constructive, instead of coercing him into repeating a mindless task for no real reward. Oh, right - because that's what he would have done ANYWAY if he weren't one of the majority who by about age six are infected with an affinity for pointless busywork, and an inability to learn except by rote.

Fifty years ago it would have been taken for granted that some people are born spend their lives guiding people up and down mountains or breaking in horses; while others were born to spend their time adding up columns of numbers in a bank.

Now we are all expected to sit in front of the TV between 6:30 and 8:30 every night, to paitently wait in the back seat of the car when going away on holiday. We don't let our seven year old boys roam the streets with their friends because they might get taken by child molestors.

The behaviours available to us are much narrower than would have been available to children of the 50's or 60's. I think some ADHD cases are really just behavior.

Videogame features a painful slap to the face ... (1, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903076)

... everytime the little bastard thinks he can misbehave and not pay attention.

Re:Videogame features a painful slap to the face . (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903657)

Hardly, you just respawn again.

This is a really great article! Thank you slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903078)

Please kill me now.

Wait a minute... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903095)

Zoning out is a symptom of ADHD? Dang. I think I need see my doctor.

Neurofeedback and New Games (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903112)

The potential is huge for training in this field. Maybe good - maybe bad. stay alert, of course, but what singing instructor wouldn't be a little nervous about the new sing sing revolution game that's on X-Box, et al. I saw it 'cause a friends son was very excited to have it and asked if i'd like to play a round.

Anything once, right? (except uh, cyanide and hand-grenades, but i digress)

So what is really neat? As you sing, it shows you a little bar that reveals your fundamental tone (singing pitch) and updates in real-time to get you on key better. Now, i know that's a simple FFT thing (wanna do it your self? go look up csound!) But what is important is that it is an EXCELLENT device to train one to sing. This sort of neural feedback (hey - it's a game - it got crowds yelling approval when you're good, not if your not) is one of the most powerful available, and worthy of philosophical discussion (says I..)

How come not a single technological drop of education tech makes it in the schools. Okay - some parents still probably remember max headroom... but if we acknowledge that neuro feedback is extremely powerful for learning, then we can both use it when it is good for schools and training, and be able to recoginize the "bad stuff" that much better.

Like every single thing on the TV i don't have. Brainwashing is best when served slowly, don' cha' know.

If i get modded down cause I trashed your TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903152)

If i get modded down cause I trashed your TV viewing tit-sucking.. ah wait, this is the same group of people who claim to like linux but can't find a better use for a macmini then as a HD receiver.

get off the couch, folks.

Re:Neurofeedback and New Games (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903162)

This is not anwywhere near 'off topic'. The parent is pointing out the new biofeedback mechanisms (similar to the 'game' mentioned in the summary). Biofeedback is nothing new. However, medical science has made the measuring systems much more accurate.

Can you imagine saying 'I want to be more patient', and buying a product that would measure your respiration rate, blood vessel constriction, and activity in certain regions of the brain? It could then apply a small amount of pain when it measures certain of these going about pre-defined levels. In this way, you could train yourself.

There are a thousand ways to go with this. And as for "good or bad".... imagine one of these devices being permanently installed in your skull, and measuring response to the state of the union address... would really encourage GoodThink!

So, please mod parent up.

Incentive for Concentration? (1)

DarthChris (960471) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903115)

FTFS:

'If they just play videogames on their own, they will zone out. When they play on this system, if they zone out [as detected by brainwave activity], the videogame doesn't respond any more' This is supposed to help the patient increase the ability to focus and concentrate.

Personally, I find avoiding getting fragged a good reason for concentrating on the game.
But, each to their own, huh?

Re:Incentive for Concentration? (1)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903322)

I have ADHD.. I zone out when I play video games.. also, sometimes I hyperfocus (and that sucks also.)

When I play Counterstrike, I usually just zone out.. I play, but I'm not really trying. It's like I'm just relaxing and calming down even though the game is frantic for most. I end up on the bottom in the rankings usually.. until someone talks trash or something and gives me a reason to feel competitive.. and then I destroy and get within the top 3 scores every time.

Sometimes I get annoyed having a score of 3 kills to 10 deaths.. but usually I just don't care. Other times, I hyperfocus.. and that really fucking sucks because I end up playing a game I meant to play for an hour from like 8pm to 8am straight.. no food, no water, no breaks.. And then I 'snap out of it' and I'm like 'oh shit.. why'd I do that?'

I really would like to get my hands on this video game.. When I study, I typically have to stop and tell myself every few minutes that I'm studying and not just letting my mind go.

In related news... (2, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903116)

...doctors are now prescribing doses of Jack Daniels as a cure for alcoholism...

Perhaps the cause is also the cure? (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903120)

Certainly there's something to be said for focus feedback in video games, but video games perhaps also cause the problem by having participants enroll in polyphasic activities that invite scatter-gather activities in the first place. So much information is put onto a screen, that distraction seems an almost inevitable result.

I find it a paradox that the cure is also perhaps the cause.

Correct me if I'm wrong but... (1)

WML MUNSON (895262) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903128)

Isn't "zoning out" when playing a video game an indication that you're highly focussed/concentrating heavily on the video game in question?

Unreal Tournament 2004 doesn't work against that.. (4, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903142)

... as this kid [break.com] testifies? :-)

Re:Unreal Tournament 2004 doesn't work against tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903198)

That is very disturbing. There must be some more disorders going on besides ADHD. My husband is 34 and has severe ADD and I would crack him on the head if he ever acted like that. My daughter also has ADHD (genetic, i assume) but instead of trying to drug her or break her, we like alternative methods. Instead of watching tv all morning, we will go outside and have a race to rake the yard. When she gets bored with that she will ride her bike, then pick up bugs of the ground. Children need REAL stimulation, sitting behind a computer or television all day does not count.

Re:Unreal Tournament 2004 doesn't work against tha (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903202)

At first I thought the kid was semi-retarded, then I realized he was yelling in German.

I'm just glad he didn't accidentally hit F8 and boot into safe-mode.
.

Re:Unreal Tournament 2004 doesn't work against tha (1)

cnerd2025 (903423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903308)

I don't think yelling in German prevents one from being retarded...

Although, it would sort of fit. Hitler, and now this kid. For a good amount of time in my life, I lived in Germany. Germans can seem fairly blunt to those unfamiliar, but this guy tops all of them. Him murdering the keyboard was funny, though.

Re:Unreal Tournament 2004 doesn't work against tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903537)

I am german, and at first I thought he was german...

Re:Unreal Tournament 2004 doesn't work against tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903221)

For those not understanding what the kid is "going through";

First his game isn't starting, and he's flipping out cause he can't wait to start gaming.
"Start, bloody game! START! PLAY YOU MOTHERFUCKER! I ask you one more time, go... "
when the cutscreen comes up he's in joy "it worked! Start quicker! It worked! PLAY! PLAYYYYY!! PLAY YOU MOTHERFUCKER!"

To conclude it lives, and flips out until he reassures himself he has to think positive and nearly gets a stroke cause it "worked" and gets carried away in gaming screaming misc things as "I killed him, I will kill them all! MOTHERFUCKER!", "I don't need help",...

Until he appears to be killed in the game and trashes his keyboard (some more).

Re:Unreal Tournament 2004 doesn't work against tha (1)

JFitzsimmons (764599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903222)

I think that was probably counterstrike, or something else where you had to wait for the round to end to respawn.

Re:Unreal Tournament 2004 doesn't work against tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903481)

No, it's ut2k4. I recognize the music.

Re:Unreal Tournament 2004 doesn't work against tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903229)

The power of Christ compels you !! The power of Christ compels you !! That kid has a bright career waiting for him in motion pictures.

Re:Unreal Tournament 2004 doesn't work against tha (4, Funny)

mabba18 (897753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903230)

The funny thing is, he's actually playing solitaire.

Re:Unreal Tournament 2004 doesn't work against tha (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903446)

You know, the thing is, if you turn on the webcam on at the right time, I'm sure you'd catch most programmers acting that way at least once a month towards the computer when things don't just go right.....

hi nukle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903146)

sugar pnats!

-mb

Seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903149)

This kid needs this new game [ebaumsworld.com] .

A better treatment is this... (-1, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903187)

The patient should be taken to a society that tolerates no such behavior. In these societies, such behavior is met with punishment. Over time, the so called ADHD is made to get extinct. Has anyone asked themselves why ADHD and other disorders are unknown in the Arab or [black] African worlds?

Lack of psychological care (1)

RedHatLinux (453603) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903246)

maybe? or perhaps they are not reacting food addivites cause they aren't in their diet, or perhaps nobody has gone looking for it?

Re:Lack of psychological care (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903299)

I agree with you on this. One thing I know is that these societies have no food additives in their diets. In some cases, they are too poor to even afford fertilizer! I have lived in America and Canada and while there, I failed to find any natural cow milk with NO additives. By the way, milk with additives was linked to heart attacks in kids in one study done in Canada.

Apples to Oranges (3, Insightful)

PipeIsArt (800028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903273)

There could be many reasons why it is "unknown". But before you explore that, perhaps you mgiht want to state your evidence that it is even unknown. Personally, if I have never heard of any Thailand music artists before, I am not necessarily going to assume that Thailand does not have music artists.

Re:A better treatment is this... (1)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903278)

Success, government criticism, freedom of religion, and hygene are pretty much unknown in the Arab or African worlds also.

Re:A better treatment is this... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903318)

> Success, government criticism, freedom of religion, and hygene are pretty much unknown in the Arab or African worlds also.

It depends on what you define success as. On the other hand freedom in America has brought about cases in which mothers compete with daughters for men! Hello Jerry Springer!

Re:A better treatment is this... (1)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903340)

Yup.. we're all fucked up in America.. but at least we have the freedom to be fucked up. I feel like I'm appropriately fucked up and the government should not get to decide how fucked up I want to be. So, if mom wants to fight daughter for a boyfriend, let them.. It's between them.. not you and them.. so why do you care?

Re:A better treatment is this... (3, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903330)

The patient should be taken to a society that tolerates no such behavior. In these societies, such behavior is met with punishment. Over time, the so called ADHD is made to get extinct.

Actually, physical punishment, or aggression of any kind, exacerbates ADHD to a large degree. Every wonder why hyper kids who are beaten stay hyper?

Re:A better treatment is this... (2, Insightful)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903336)

Has anyone asked themselves why ADHD and other disorders are unknown in the Arab or [black] African worlds?

Perhaps because they refer to not conforming to a social norm as not conforming to a social norm, and not as a disease?

Slay Spyro (1)

computerdude33 (890573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903190)

"Whether speeding down a virtual street in Sony's Gran Turismo or slaying Spyro the Dragon, researchers hope games such as these will improve the lives of those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, or cognitive-processing difficulties."

Uh, what?

Sounds like lag to me (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903191)

... if they zone out [as detected by brainwave activity], the videogame doesn't respond any more' This is supposed to help the patient increase the ability to focus and concentrate."

Sounds like lag to me which is just a cruel joke. The best thing to help me concentrate is... hey look boobies! Maybe if there was a chick in the game who walked by and randomly flashed here and there... PROFIT!

Re:Sounds like lag to me (1)

wkitchen (581276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903394)

Sounds like lag to me which is just a cruel joke. The best thing to help me concentrate is... hey look boobies! Maybe if there was a chick in the game who walked by and randomly flashed here and there... PROFIT!
I recognize that was probably meant as humor, but...

I think the idea is to encourage willful focus. The kind of focus that is required for completing a project, or solving a complex problem. "Oh look, boobies!" does nothing at all to help with that, and may well reinforce the tendency to have one's attention driven primarily by outside distraction, tranferring focus from one shiny thing to the next, with no ability to stay on task unless the series of shiny things was specifically designed to coincide with the steps of the task.

This applies also to another poster's comment about his focus being encouraged by not getting fragged. The "focus" developed that way does nothing to help one's ability to, for example, study mathematics, or to accomplish pretty much any other useful thing in the real world. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that kind of focus is a bad thing. It's just that the ability to react quickly to a rapidly changing situation is useful in a very limited set of circumstances compared to the ability to ignore distractions and stay on task.

In other news . . . (0, Redundant)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903194)

. . . booze used to treat alcoholism.

-Peter

I don't see the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903206)

I have been diagnosed as having ADHD. I have absolutely no problems with concentrating on videogames (ok, computer games). When I play them, I concentrate on the game 110%, and I forget everything around me, including eating and sleeping.

So how, exactly, would this treatment help me?

Xbox? (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903213)

So, how is this different from an overheating xbox? It just stops responding after a while too. And if I've zoned out too much, the smoke brings me back to reality...

Hair of the dog? (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903233)

Sounds like bleeding someone to cure anemia.

I am tired of this "disorder" crap (5, Interesting)

PipeIsArt (800028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903239)

This is really starting to piss me off. Why is it that we must label everything that is not perfectly matched to our current society's customs as a disorder? I am ADHD. The main feature of ADHD is a different brain structure where the gap between neurons is larger (which is why only the strongest chemicals, i.e. the most impulsive chemicals, get through most of the time and why stimulants like Ritalin actually seem to calm someone wiht ADHD down). As such the brain of one with ADHD is does not think in the way that most people think. But that does not make us any worse than avg. Joe. It is not a disorder, but an evolution in the human brain. While it is harder for those with ADHD to stay focused in many environments put in front of us today, we have the uncanny abilities to: 1) be able to notice many different facets of our environment in a very short span of time and 2) we can hyperfocus. Hyperfocus is the concentration on a subject so intense that the rest of the world completely fades out (many programmers, such as myself, know what I am talking about). From TFA, it seems that scientists are trying to "cure" this "disorder". But why? How about focusing an creating teaching environments where people with ADHD can thrive and harness th advatanges ADHD gives them while minimizing its disadvantages? It has been said that some of the greatest forththright thinkers and creative minds of out time have had ADHD. Albert Einstein is theorized to have had the disorder. Also, the owner of Kinkos has ADHD and Dyslexia. It is not a disease, but a change. I hope someday the scientific community will realize that.

My Neurodisorder Is Cooler Than Yours :-P (1)

Cruxus (657818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903502)

You people with your attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder think you're the big shit with your ability to annoy the teacher, jump off walls, and forget what you were saying. It's not like that anymore. Enter Asperger's syndrome, the new heavyweight added by the American Psychiatric Association to their bible of mental conditions in 1994. Now you hyper freaks have true competition!

We aspies have an inordinate amount of interest in obscure things (for example, French phonology has been one of mine); we are utterly oblivious to our social environment; and we can be downright obnoxious for no good reason. Many of us are hypochondriacs who seem to have a lengthy list of other neurodevelopmental and even physical problems (not me, however). You just can't compare to us for patheticness and a sense of entitlement--needing to have the NeuroTypical (NT) world to adapt to our idiosyncrasies.

Re:I am tired of this "disorder" crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903659)

See, the problem is that that's bullshit. ADHD is a disadvantage, pure and simple--the idea that it correlates unusually strongly with positive attributes (creativity, awareness of environment, etc. etc. etc.) has been debunked repeatedly. Sure it isn't an entirely crippling disadvantage--people can succeed with it, just like people can succeed with dyslexia--but that's all it is.

Disclaimer: I also have ADHD. I am not ADHD, much the same way that I am not cancer, AIDS, or peace.

"Zoning Out" a symptom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903265)

I find this very interesting. I have a friend who is diagnosed with ADHD and he plays video games quite often. I often play them with him. He often plays video games when he's at my house too. I've never seen him "zone out." The only time he "zones out" is when he's on the medication they give him which restricts him to concentrate on the task at hand, disabling him from multitasking (i.e. if he "walks and talks" he will either mutter or trip...). So now I'm a little confused. Is "zoning out," as described in the article, a symptom of ADHD? If so, then I'm sure this "method" would not be effective on many kids/people with ADHD.

We should be teaching people to adapt not modify. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903266)

The current focus is teaching children and adults to modify their behavior. We should be teaching them how to adapt their lifestyle to meet their cognitive needs while itegrating into society. Being married to and having a child both with the "disorder" (I hate to call it that.), is very frustrating. Sometimes I wish their were a magic pill that would make them normal. But then I would miss out on the wonderful things that a person who thinks "alternativly" has to offer. Our life is exciting most of the time.

By adapting your lifestyle, not training the person to be something else, you can maintain a level of creativity. Case in point, ADD people can forget menial tasks. More than once our lights and water were turned off becasue my husband forgot to put the chack in the mail. Easy solution, I set up everything to be paid online twice a month. More than once he has forgot our aniversay, but the surprise vacations in the middle of the year make up for it.

What I am trying to say is that I would rather be married to unpredictable, creative man than a man who has lost all personality from taking medications. The same is true for our child.

Hyper-Focusing (3, Interesting)

Feasoron (939800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903289)

This article doesn't mention how this can relate to what is known as "hyper-focusing." Maybe this is what they mean by "zoning out" since the medical information is scarce, but there is a phenomenon observed in ADHD sufferers that shows while playing video games (and some other activities) they focus to the exclusion of all other stimuli, often for extended periods of time. I'm not sure if this is the same thing or a seperate symptom than "zoning out" but it might be worth looking into a bit more.

Reckless without knowing potential side-effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903298)

Shouldn't they stick with safe approaches like putting people on speed before they let people play video games?

*Slaying* Spyro the Dragon? (2, Funny)

bjepson (994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903301)

What kind of monsters are these researchers, anyhow?!
Whether speeding down a virtual street in Sony's Gran Turismo or slaying Spyro the Dragon, researchers hope games such as these will improve the lives of those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, or cognitive-processing difficulties.

Poor Spyro [wikipedia.org] ...

Well that does it. (1)

Dan9999 (679463) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903307)

Anyone who wanted to name their game zone-out is screwed.

They don't really get it. (1)

presearch (214913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903343)

You want an ADHD game?
Play one written by somebody that has it and that truly understands the ADHD mind: http://www.tqworld.com/ [tqworld.com]

The best and simplest way to treat 'ADHD' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903361)

Let natural selection take its course.

Re:The best and simplest way to treat 'ADHD' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14903402)

That is just silly. If we let "natural selection" take its course, the rest of us will become extinct. People with ADHD are considered to have a more evolved brain. We have much to learn from them instead of making them more like "us".

Didn't read... (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903412)

... too long.

I think it's a brilliant idea, actually - hopefully the portions of the brain dealing with attention are plastic enough to be retrained in this fashion.

Wow, it uses... (3, Funny)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903434)

...NASA technology ! That must be good right ? Just like the:

NASA mattresses [absoluteco...onsale.com]
NASA Chiropractors [yournorthhills.com]
NASA food [jumpstartinc.org]
NASA Anthrax detectors [udetection.com]
NASA Waterheaters [tanklesswa...online.com]
NASA shine [idbooth.com]
NASA golf clubs [nr-golf.com]
etc. etc. etc....

Heck, just write NASA in front of your name and your all of a sudden a brilliant, top performing (name your profession here).

NASA thrill12 (uses NASA technology).

Not useful against "real" AD(H)D (4, Insightful)

Gen-GNU (36980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903510)

This seems like an ok idea for helping children develop longer attention spans. It will probably be effective in those kids who are diagnosed ADHD for simply being normal children.

A lot of children are now being diagnosed ADHD simply for doing what children do. Namely running around, being active, jumping from one interest to another, etc. Children (under 10) do not have the same brain activity as an adult, and it is unreasonable to expect them to behave as adults do. Parents seem to not want their children to act like children, and are turning to chemicals to make them be what they want them to be. Children who are diagnosed ADHD, when if fact they are just normal kids, will eventually settle down as the brain develops.

For children who actually are ADD, the attention span problem does not go away with time. They will struggle their entire lives with tasks most adults have no problems with. For them, these excercizes will do nothing but frustrate, as their brains do not have the capacity for developing longer attention spans.

There are children who are put into classes now that are supposed to extend attention spans, and this is another example of that theory. It is useful, however, only in children who have the ability to develop normally, not in the true cases of ADD.

Re:Not useful against "real" AD(H)D (1)

mftuchman (66894) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903557)

It's great if we can begin to measure objectively what ADHD is. However, some of these posts take the attitude that ADHD isn't real and it's just a socially imposed disease without a well defined symptomology. I don't think this is true. The ability to pay attention is greatly enhanced by proper medication and support. I resent the tone of people suggesting that ADHD patients are just glorified drug addicts. You should know that pulling children off ADHD medicine in cases where it is indicated can lead to depression in adults. Furthermore, there are well defined protocols for separating normal child oriented behavior from ADHD cases. It's not perfect because the science is still evolving, but it is not merely based on guesswork.

Idiots make better slaves (1)

rvalles (649635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903549)

Again and again, smart kids who refuse to lose their time in meaningless repetitive tasks are diagnosed with a fake illness, then drugged to complete dumbness.

Reciprocality [reciprocality.org] .

When I was young... (1)

Taulin (569009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14903669)

...nothing like a good game of 'burn the ant with sunlight' to cure a case of ADHD.
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