Posts Tagged ‘Gaming Science News’

Gaming Brain Studies & Who’s Behind Them

Turns out there's only so many times you can read violence before it looks REALLY weird.

A number of people have got in touch to let us know about a new study that has been published, identifying once again that violent videogames may have an effect on the brain of the player. It’s a finding that, in general, is worth taking notice of – last week I wrote about a meta-analysis discussion conducted by Nature that showed a consensus amongst researchers that there is a noticeable change in the brain after prolongued exposure to violent videogames. However, things get more interesting when you dig into who was funding it. Which turns out to be a campaign group who have some dubious claims of their own.

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Ban “Call Of Duty 3”, Cries Keith Vaz

Oh shut up, Keith Vaz

Oh sigh, as soon as we report some balanced coverage of the effects of gaming, of course Keith Vaz appears once more to make everyone feel stupid again. He’s tabled an Early Day Motion to condemn Modern Warfare 3, presumably after some careful analysis to make sure such a thing would bring him maximum attention. Well, actually he’s condemning “Call Of Duty 3”, which is perhaps a bit late. But heck, why know the name of the game you’re wasting Parliament time over? Where he finds time to play all these games between chairing so many parliamentary committees I cannot imagine. Because of course he’s played the game he describes as having “gratuitous acts of violence”, right? More than that, he’s even finding the time to do his own scientific research, because his (as yet unpublished, I presume) study has found that “there is increasing evidence of a link between perpetrators of violent crime and violent video games users.” Which is a remarkable finding!

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Nature’s Neuroscientific Review Of Games


The presence of videogaming matters in scientific papers has, of late, become a somewhat depressing prospect. With both formerly respectable/respected scientists making unsupported claims without evidence, and published papers basing conclusions on woeful errors and contradictions, the one place where you’d think you could look for balanced, reasoned thought on a subject sometimes seems to have abandoned us. But there is light. Nature, surely the most respected and popular scientific journal, has published a “Viewpoint” discussion on the subject of gaming’s effect on the brain in its Nature Reviews Neuroscience journal. Brains On Video Games is a collection of leading experts looking at the published material and discussing the matter with open minds.

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Is Baroness Greenfield A Nuclear Bomb?


No. No she is not. But Baroness Greenfield recently came under some considerable fire for making inaccurate and unevidenced claims about gaming’s effects on the brain. The once highly respected scientist has now become a go-to for the worst sorts of anti-scientific scaremongering. It’s one thing when a Melanie Phillips type writes any old rubbish that falls out of her face, but when it’s the former director of the Royal Institute, it’s especially sad and frustrating. So how did the member of the House of Lords, and professor of synaptic pharmacology at Oxford, respond to the widespread criticism debunking her claims? She produced more of the same, this time in the form of an edited extract from a forthcoming book, published in the Times (requires subscription) on Saturday.

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FPS Players Make Accurate Decisions Faster

This is how the eye of the Internet sees your thoughts.
More medical news from University of Rochester, NY, who have long been experts in gaming science. Their most recent research shows that action games help us with quick decision-making. The study by Daphne Bavelier, Alexandre Pouget, and C. Shawn Green shows that shooter-playing gamers make faster decisions that are no less accurate than their The Sims-playing counterparts. “It’s not the case that the action game players are trigger-happy and less accurate: They are just as accurate and also faster,” Bavelier said. “Action game players make more correct decisions per unit time. If you are a surgeon or you are in the middle of a battlefield, that can make all the difference.”

Full release here. Have a read of that for the methodology, before speculating about the methodology, eh?

Gamers “Can Control Dreams”

Jim Rossignol in a dream, yesterday
Some fascinating stuff about gamers and lucid dreaming is reported over on LiveScience. The piece discusses the work of Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. She seems to have found a connection between gaming and “dream control”. Relevant bit below.
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Gaming Science News

Hello! Welcome to Gaming Science News, the blogpost that happens when there’s a load of gaming science news to report. Are all those grants for research into the science of electronic gaming finally producing some useful insight into the favourite pastime of the 21st century human-person? Can gaming help you be the best at thinking? Should you play Tetris immediately after a terrorist attack? Let’s find out…
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