I was intrigued by this article enough to start a discussion:
Let me tell you something after about 16 years of games (on Sega, PS 1 and PC, in that order)
1. “reduced attention'' it's not a total factor in the total sum of your life's actions, I personally have noticed and am aware of my “reduced attention'' when studying, doing repetitive tasks, BUT not at all while listening to my teachers at school and later in college, or any task that required even a little of imagination or personal involvement.
My conclusion, as a well educated 23 year old, was that gaming only made me more selective of the way I used my minds resources and at tasks I liked I used them all, at ones I don't I run on autopilot.
This is also correlated to a more and more specific taste in games and movies for example. *Today it takes me mere 1 - 2 seconds to tell you if a movie is A or B class or if I would play that game or not. This can also be contributed to a lot of experience with each, but without comparison to other people with similar age and gaming age I can't say for sure which is it.
2. ''enhanced abilities'' yes. On my own I have noticed not just faster visual processing (as mentioned above*) that comes with playing FPS games, especially online MP modes, but also a far more analytical approach to every decision that I have to make in life. When playing sandbox open ended strategy or simulator games(Cesar, Tropico, Anno, Settlers type games) you have to keep juggling anywhere from 5 - 20 aspects of the game at the same time, equivalent to making a lego on a boat while riding 10 m waves while blindfolded.
Also ad :
Better hand - eye coordination,
faster problem solving,
more often out of the box thinking and
3. ''desensitising'' and ''reduce empathy''. I agree and disagree on this point.
Yes, I have noticed my self, that I have become desensitised and even have reduced empathy for other people, BUT not all other people. For strangers, people I have little contact with, even my relatives that I only ''know of'' and not ''know them'' I have extremely little empathy. ''extremely little'' as in even if I saw them run down in front of me by a car I would call for help, help them my self but would otherwise not be emotionally moved in anyway. As for people close to me, people I know very well like me parents, close relatives I spend a lot of time with, grandmother, grandfather, old childhood friends, long time girlfriends I have full empathy and am not desensitised from them even a little.
Now there is a quote from Yoda in Star Wars that I like to follow in these things: "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."
4. ''human aggression'', as long as you as a person who understands that your killing bits of data, textures, simulated imaginary constructs, you will be fine. As long as you know that after you hit the exit and shutdown your game that your not in the game anymore you can't possible transfer aggression in a game to any live beings around you.
I would like to say that since games only look a little bit like real life and are in 99% of time massively obviously made up ( Shooting some one with a RPG from 2 m away, leaping onto a dragon and slamming your enchanted sword in his fire breathing head, fighting daemons, undead, dwarfs, elfs, orcs, and 1000 other creatures from books, myths and legends) you will have a hard time transferring aggression to real life.
But now take a look on your TV where you see real, flesh and blood children, man, woman killing, maiming, butchering, and doing all sorts of other not normal behavior while living in their worlds that look 100% like your own. Now you tell me what is more likely to make you be aggression.
Something that looks barely real that even a 5 year old can see its not real, or something that looks 100% real.
Only thing I can ad is that all this is only a fraction of the life that influences you from the moment your conceived, even in your mother's womb your still influenced by the world around you. To say games do this or that and make you do this or that is kinda incredibly closed minded.