Saturday, March 14, 2009

Are Video Gamers more Violent?

A salesgirl in a typical CD shop in Male says they sell on average about 30 video game CDs per day. There could be about 100 such shops in Male. Just start multiplying and the results would be mindboggling: 3000 games sold per day, 90,000 in a month and 1,080,000 in a year.

Video games are popular in Male because of several reasons. One, there is no space in the island for outdoor games for all. Two, parents are scared of sending children to outdoor activities because of the drug menace. Three, some forms of entertainment like music and dance are frowned upon by conservatives. Four, many parents think video games are harmless entertainment for kids.

But are video games really harmless?

A new study employing state-of-the-art brain-scanning technology says that the answer may be no. Researchers say that brain scans of kids who played a violent video game showed an increase in emotional arousal – and a corresponding decrease of activity in brain areas involved in self-control, inhibition and attention.

This brings us to the question: is there a link between the violence we see today on Male streets and video games like, "Call of Duty," and "Medal of Honor: Frontline?" While researchers have seen negative effects in the brains of kids who play these games, such results cannot be extrapolated to the Male situation without doing specific research here.

What about non violent games? Could there be a link between non-violent but high-octane games like "Need for Speed: Underground" and "Gran Turismo?" and the increasing spate of accidents on Male streets and Addu Link Road? Again country specific research is needed to establish such a link.

For now, based on available scientific evidence, parents should be aware of the relationship between violent video-game playing and brain function.


Anonymous said...

The few psycologists of the Maldives should take this article seriously and do some original research that can help us understand the behaviour of our children and perhaps shed valuable light on the increasing levels of juvenile delinquency in the country.

NOSF3R4TU5 said...

well i like the article..good approach to the topic.

but i hav to disagree in certain i myself was a gamer and is a gamer and hopefully will be a gamer....i like high octane games and violent(fighting) games but it didnot hav any effect on me

you can say to me i am one of the 1st generation of gamers in maldives as MORTAL KOMBAT, NEED FOR SPEED, STREET FIGHTER, DOOM, QUAKE, UNREAL, WOLFESTINE, these were the games tat i started and still i my self as i am studyin abroad i play these games online so much....but didnt hav any effect on my grades nor to my behaviour and never to my way of thinkin, well children who are more prone to these kinda of psychological effects are children who lost their parrents or divorsed. well tat also has small effect...well i was lucky or i was braught up by good ways of living and was thaught whats right and bascially all this goes to parental skills

Abdullah Waheed's Blog said...

To NOSF3R4TU5, actually I also used to play video games. And I do not advocate a blanket ban on them. But I wanted to hilight that there is a possibility that they coud induce undesirable effects at least in susceptible individuals

Stop Piracy said...

"... There could be about 100 such shops in Male..."

This is a lot of software/game piracy going on in a country that has almost signed all International trade laws. Kinda hypocritical if you try to talk about game ratings and such when the more obvious crime (video/software/game piracy) just runs rampant in the society.

It's pathetic to see the Government talking about game ratings and parents checking on what their children are playing when "daylight robbery" happens everyday at these shops?

Government of Maldives, try to honor International trade laws and stop this open piracy. This is petty thieving by Maldivian traders. Millions of dollars and creative hours are spent to bring all these games to the market. Like all other products, try to honor the creators and buy ORIGINAL games ... stop this piracy before it is too late.

hashi said...

another issue maybe growing online community, some hangout sites are not very safe like passing information to other sources, i think local sites cud become useful.

Anonymous said...

lets assume that the organic brain damage caused due to years of heroin abuse far outweighs the damamge violent video games may cause..let us also think about the population who is engaging in violence in the country...any connection with chronic substance abuse with other comorbid disorders? ....wonder what long term heroin abuse does to the brain cells....any temporal lobe damage???? any damage therefore to the emotional arousal??????
you are the ofcourse know better....than to deviate from the real issues.