Wednesday 26 July 2017

Not only do video games not make you violent, they can enrich your life as much as any literature

Video games in 2017 make for a broad church. Photo: Depositphotos
Video games in 2017 make for a broad church. Photo: Depositphotos
Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Pick any upstart cultural revolution and I'll show you a scapegoat for society's ills. The internet, rock'n'roll, television - hell, even opera in its time - have been demonised as the road to perdition by self-appointed moral guardians.

Today's bête noire remains video games, a medium that for many young people has long since eclipsed in importance its peers of music, books and TV. But games incontrovertibly make adults and children violent, according to the research, don't they? And what mass killer isn't fond of a session with 'Call of Duty'? Or so go the folksy, anecdotal, unsubstantiated theories of the chattering classes.

But when a fresh and more rigorous scientific study demolishes that notion, denial is the predictable response from the commentariat. Kudos to Dr Gregor Szycik and his team at Hannover Medical School in Germany for taking a more perceptive approach to the research. The scientists used MRI scanning and a long-term time frame to assess the effects on the brain. The study, published last week, found players fond of violent games were no more desensitised or aggressive than non-gamers.

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