02 May 2011

Do Violent Video Games= Poor Social Skills?

When you play a video game, you might be improving your vision and some brain functions according to research. For years there has been controversy surrounding violent video games as to whether they contribute to or induce aggressive or violent behavior in the people who play them. Violence is usually defined as "acts of an aggressive nature with the intent of causing harm". The gaming industry looks strongly at research when designing games.

Things that are considered in designing/playing violent videos include:

*the level of involvement
*the depiction of the violence
*the effects of continued exposure to violence
*the justification of the violence
*the difference between fantasy and reality

Daphne Bavelier, an assistance professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science at the University of Rochester says that people who play the fast-paced games have "better vision, better attention and better cognition." Sigmund Tobias (State University of New York at Albany)said that an Israeli air force study found that students who played the game "Space Fortress" had better rankings in their pilot training than students who did not. He also said that students who plated "pro-social" games that promoted cooperation were more likely to help others.

It was generally agreed that video games (whether violent or not) test memory skills, eye-hand coordination, the ability to detect small activities on the screen and improve math performance and other brain tasks.