Dr. Bill says there is more troubling research on the impact of violent video games on kids. Show Notes

Friday, April 04, 2014 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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There’s more troubling research on the effect of violent video games on kids.

UPI is reporting on new research from Iowa State University that found that children who play violent video games over and over again are “perfecting aggressive thought patterns” in their brains.  In fact, they compare it to the type of learning that occurs when a child practices a piano or learns to pitch a baseball.  

Lead author Douglas Gentile says the repeated practice of aggressive ways of thinking appears to drive the aggressive long-term effect of violent games.
 
He says “If you practice over and over, you have that knowledge in your head. The fact that you haven’t played the piano in years doesn’t mean you can’t still sit down and play something.”
 
Dr. Gentile says it’s the same with violent games – kids practice being vigilant for enemies and thinking that aggressive behavior is the best way to respond when provoked.   He points out that this type of thinking also desensitizes kids to the real-life consequences of violence.
 
The researchers tracked more than 3,000 children in third, fourth, seventh and eighth grades for three years.  They looked at how much time the kids spent playing video games, the violent content of the games, and actual changes in a child’s behavior.
 
They found that kids who repeatedly play violent video games start to think more aggressively.  If provoked at home, school or other situations, they kids react much like they do when playing the violent game.

To learn more about this issue and the other ways that technology re-wires our brains, check out the book Digital Invasion by Dr. Arch Hart.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.
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