Tuesday, November 28, 2006

God Damn It

The mainstream media is at it again. A study shows short-term effects on brain activity when playing video games, and that these short-term effects are different depending on whether the game is violent or not.
"Our study suggests that playing a certain type of violent video game may have different short-term effects on brain function than playing a nonviolent, but exciting, game... What we showed is there is an increase in emotional arousal. The fight or flight response is activated after playing a violent video game," Mathews said.

No real surprise there, if you ask me.
Mathews said he hopes to conduct additional studies on the long-term effects on brain function of exposure to violent video games.

So what is CNN.com's headline on this story about (rather unsurprising) short-term effects, in which the researcher explicitly makes it clear that the results say nothing about long-term effects? Why, naturally, the headline summarizes the story thusly: "Study: Violent video game effects linger in brain"

Why, yes, that does seem to be precisely the opposite of what the study actually examined, thank you for asking.

1 comment:

JMC said...

In other news, watching a violent but exciting movie has different brain function effects than watching a non-violent, exciting movie, which in turn has different effects from watching a boring movie, or taking a walk, or reading a book, or standing on your head and playing Yahtzee. In other words, different activities produce different brain effects. Can I have a research grant now?