Violent games don’t compel gamers to commit violent acts, researchers say

A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology by three Florida State University psychologists suggests that playing video games won’t make people smarter. The study also argues that violent games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 don’t damage gamers’ brains or compel them to commit violent acts, the Associated Press said Friday. The research is on a par with studies performed by Texas A&M International University clinical psychologist Christopher Ferguson, who has found “nothing” after researching whether or not violent video games may compel gamers to commit acts of violence. Other scientists have spoken out against the Florida State report, however, and while they didn’t discuss the effects of violence, they did suggest that playing video games actually can increase a gamer’s cognitive function. Read on for more.

Scientists from Rochester’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Science and the University of Minnesota argued that playing games actually can result in “a wide range of behavioral benefits, including enhancements in low-level vision, visual attention, speed of processing and statistical inference.” Still, more research is required before any conclusions are made about whether video games make gamers more violent or whether or not games have the ability to increase our cognitive abilities.

“Play these games because they are fun and you enjoy doing them, and let’s kind of wait for more research to suggest whether or not they are actually good for us,” Walter Boot, a Florida State University psychologist involved with the study said. “Don’t sit down and play a game. Go out there for a walk,” he added, noting that exercise is the best proven way to boost one’s brain power.

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