Jump to content
LCVG

Brain sees violent video games as real life - Study says


Recommended Posts

Heck - just last night I was hitting some hooker over the head with a Louisville Slugger right after I banged her to get my $20 back. And I can tell you, it sure feels a lot better than that crappy GTA game. No way would I mistake that for reality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The pattern was the same as that seen in subjects who have had brain scans during other simulated violent situations.
So he's found one simulated event equals another simulated event, and extrapolates that 2 simulated events = reality. :confused: Anyone else see a flaw in this logic?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry but you dont see me acting like Sonic and trying to roll all over the place, or going around killing people . How many of us have played games all our lives and we arent violent. These studies proove nothing. There are bad people in the world no matter what type of entertainment they play or watch

 

capt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blaming video games for lack of parenting/proper social development is a scapegoat solution to a very real problem in parenting today.

 

Anybody that has played SWAT 4 with me can attest to the violent mean things I've done in the name of vigilante justice, yet I've yet to show up at work, handcuff somebody and shoot them in the back of the head.

 

I play video games as a form of entertainment only. For me it is impossible to think of a normal person not having that moral sensor inside of them that knows the difference between right and wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is this starting to feel like the evolution vs. creationism arguement to anyone else? No matter how much fact, logic, reason, or evidence that mounts on one side, the detractors just dig in their heels and block it out. So then you eventually just have to dig in your heels and block out their bleating just to stay sane?

 

It suggests that video games are a "training for the brain to react with this pattern," Mathiak says.

 

No, it states that the brain reacts in that fashion when that stimuli is applied, via videogame or real life experience. It's not clear at all whether the brain is 'learning' or altering it's future behavior on the stimuli or simply reacting to what it is experiencing right now. It's like saying that the lying down and resting is "training for sloth", where any sane person would just call it relaxing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, one thing is for certain, you won't get any useful information, one way or the other, from an article as short and vague as that one. I googled the scientists name and found a different article that mentions his research (near the end):

 

As the man blasted his way through Tactical Ops, the MRI scanner mapped his brain activities with such precision that the researchers could determine what it was doing at any given point in the game, frame by frame. The scientists focused their attention on a sliver called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a beehive of emotional and problem-solving activity. Feelings such as fear, sadness and aggression originate here and send out marching orders to other parts of the brain. One study, for example, revealed that when Vietnam vets with post-traumatic stress disorder are shown words like ?bodybag? and ?firefight,? their ACCs react far more aggressively than normal.

 

There's slightly more information to go on in this article than the one in the first post. But still not enough to evaluate exactly what the study is finding or not finding.

 

My sense is that they are suggesting that the way certain brain areas respond after many hours of playing 'violent' games is similar to the way those areas respond after a person is exposed to real violent situations. To me this is the only way to make sense of the claims.

 

This is not the same as claiming that people playing violent games 'believe' they are actually in a real situation with real guns and ammo and really killing people.

 

What you consciously believe about a situation, in many cases, may have little or no bearing on how it affects various brain areas responsible for dealing with specific kinds of input.

 

Conversely, things you are never aware of can have profound effects on brain systems designed to attend to certain kinds of input. Sometimes if an input is important enough it becomes conscious after a certain threshold of activity has been reached. But the brain's response to the input will be well underway before you are aware of it. This is the case with all fear-based responses, for example.

 

I think we naturally tend to believe that what we are aware of is all there is in terms of mental and emotional states...but this is very far from the truth (actually it's largely the opposite), and it's an empirical matter, not one you can solve by simply thinking about how you feel in a given situation. Because by definition you can only think about the things you are aware of.

 

I'm not necessarily agreeing with the claims in the study, but I also can't discount them, there's not enough to go on to decide. I do think that neuroscience and neuropsychology are the best ways to get to the bottom of this question.

 

The main weakness I see with (what I assume are) the claims is that looking at a single brain structure is probably not enough to make sweeping judgments like this. We may be able to accurately target the ACC as a place with abnormal activity in people with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). And we know that it is implicated in stress and emotional processing. But that doesn't necessarily mean that this is the only brain structure affected in people with PTSD. It's more likely that, in true PTSD, it's one of several brain areas affected as a group by the traumatic experience (of the Vietnam war, as in the above example).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stepping away from the Violence issue for a second (it's cooler over here), I've got a nice force-feedback wheel, GT4 and a biggish telly hooked up to a half-decent sound system. I can, however, inform you that losing the back-end on a turn and skidding unceremoniously to a halt facing sideways triggers an entirely different response than it did the one time I performed the same 'manoeveur' in real life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stepping away from the Violence issue for a second (it's cooler over here), I've got a nice force-feedback wheel, GT4 and a biggish telly hooked up to a half-decent sound system. I can, however, inform you that losing the back-end on a turn and skidding unceremoniously to a halt facing sideways triggers an entirely different response than it did the one time I performed the same 'manoeveur' in real life.

 

This is a good point, one which came up when PGR2 first came out and we were discussing lap-times on the 'Ring. You clearly will be willing to take more risks than if you were in a real car traveling at 150MPH on a blind approach to a hairpin.

 

But then again, I think it must be the case that some part of the brain takes the situation seriously, so to speak. At a bare minimum, you are able to leverage your visual system and the assumptions built into it to interpret how to navigate the environment of the game.

 

There is also a question of how animate beings are treated by the brain compared to inanimate. I've read that this is one of the earliest distinctions made by children, although there is confusion at first, with the application of 'animate' to many objects that are not. If it could be somehow proved that characters in video game are interpreted as animate beings, that could shed light on how violence in game affects people. I think such a discovery is not out of the question either, as afflictions like autism are fairly close to this. It's thought by many researchers that autism is an inability to 'see' other beings as having internal states, like thoughts, emotions, goals. Autistics see other people as if they were just another moving object in the world. Is this how gamers see 'people' in games, or is there more to it?

 

I know for myself I do sometimes feel a sense that I want revenge on a game character for 'hurting' me in the game. I come back (sometimes after dying, which brings up a whole other set of issues) with revenge in mind. If I didn't take it at least a little bit seriously, would I ever try to exact revenge?

 

This isn't to say it's an all or nothing kind of thing, which I think a lot of people assume, on both sides of the issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...