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Researchers Prove Violent Video Games Change Your Brain

Scientists at Indiana University (IU) believe to have delivered the first crucial piece of evidence that violent video games have, in fact, a long term impact on brain functions.

The project team supplied 28 males between the ages of 18 and 29 with laptops and instructed 14 members to play a "shooting video game" for 10 hours per day over a period of one week and refrain from playing the game in the following week. The second group of 14 people was told not to play a video game at all.

All males were examined with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis at the beginning of the study, with follow-up exams at one and two weeks. Additionally, the scientists analyzed participant behavior with a so called emotional interference task, which included "pressing buttons according to the color of visually presented words. Words indicating violent actions were interspersed among nonviolent action words. In addition, the participants completed a cognitive inhibition counting task."

The result showed that the one week of violent video game play caused a decrease in activity in the left inferior frontal lobe and the anterior cingulate cortex during tests that evaluated the ability to control cognitive flexibility and attention. After one-week of refraining from playing the game, the changes to the brain "returned closer to the control group," the researchers said.

"These findings indicate that violent video game play has a long-term effect on brain functioning," said Yang Wang, assistant research professor in the IU Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences. "These effects may translate into behavioral changes over longer periods of game play." However, Wang did not say what kind of behavioral changes are to be expected and whether people who play violent video become more aggressive or violent by default.

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  • 35 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2011 11:11 PM
    Wow what a dumb experiment. It couldn't just be playing video games that changes brain functioning, it has to be VIOLENT video games. Get your life together and do some real science.
  • 28 Hide
    geminireaper , December 3, 2011 11:14 PM
    Daltron2000Wow what a dumb experiment. It couldn't just be playing video games that changes brain functioning, it has to be VIOLENT video games. Get your life together and do some real science.

    exactly. it showed playing 10hrs a day of video games changed the brain..not necessarily it being violent.
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2011 11:12 PM
    how about watching porn?
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    crinkdude , December 3, 2011 11:07 PM
    change for the better :D 
  • 35 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2011 11:11 PM
    Wow what a dumb experiment. It couldn't just be playing video games that changes brain functioning, it has to be VIOLENT video games. Get your life together and do some real science.
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2011 11:12 PM
    how about watching porn?
  • 28 Hide
    geminireaper , December 3, 2011 11:14 PM
    Daltron2000Wow what a dumb experiment. It couldn't just be playing video games that changes brain functioning, it has to be VIOLENT video games. Get your life together and do some real science.

    exactly. it showed playing 10hrs a day of video games changed the brain..not necessarily it being violent.
  • 23 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2011 11:14 PM
    Hell I could have told them it effects the brain. Mine feels a lot better after gettin' the lead out ;) 
  • 23 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2011 11:15 PM
    Wow. So, one to 2 weeks equates to a long term study now? That's impressive! Such foresight in the researchers is absolutely amazing! I'm surprised he didn't just scratch the whole study all together, and just jump to conclusions!

    Seriously though, I hope no one takes the "results" of this research and runs with it. Although, anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together can probably see that nothing will come of this. It's like, spending money and 2 weeks to say that "If you heat up metal with a blowtorch, it gets hot." What a ridiculous waste of time. What would be more informative is actually stretching this research over a longer period of time.
  • 26 Hide
    intel4eva , December 3, 2011 11:18 PM
    from the article:
    "Wang did not say what kind of behavioral changes are to be expected"

    Play video games for 10 hours per day for a week and of course brain activity will change. If that's all their experiment verified, then it's pure fail. A worthwhile experiment would have been to gather objective evidence as to what (if any) is the effect on patterns of behaviour or thoughts. You do ANY activity that intensely for a week and an MRI will reveal some kind of change. You think if you played tennis for a week they wouldn't detect anything? And as for the control group, shouldn't they play a non-violent game for the same amount of time? What if Hello Kitty Island Adventure has the same patters of brain activity changes? Can they state that they verified this is not the case?

    Oh science, how I weep for you. You were ridiculed and punished for thousands of years, and now the general public accepted quasi-science in your stead. Acupuncture, homeopathic "medicine", mediums, studies that don't properly isolate the factor they're trying to test for. Will your time ever come?
  • 21 Hide
    11796pcs , December 3, 2011 11:27 PM
    10 hours a day isn't even healthy. I would say doing ANYTHING for ten hours would cause you to lose focus and decrease ability to control cognitive flexibility and attention. Stick them in school for 10 hours listening to someone lecture and I'm sure the exact same results would appear. Also it says on the game packaging to take a break every hour for 15 minutes. In school, when you change classes, you have about a five minute break also. I mean who actually does something for ten hours without stopping? That's like watching the movie "Titanic" (which is 3 hours and 14 minutes long) three times in a row. Obviously they're going to lose the ability to pay attention. And for 7 days in a row? This is one of those studies that they say on TV whichout very much info and when you actually look the study up it's a load of crap.
  • 12 Hide
    psychobob , December 3, 2011 11:56 PM
    "These findings indicate that violent video game play has a long-term effect on brain functioning"

    How can they determine it has a long-term effect when the researcher even states their changes returned close to the control group? It's more short term and reversible.

    Also, the sample size is tiny and is not representative of the population. I think the average age of gamers is 33.
  • 1 Hide
    hotsacoman , December 4, 2011 12:06 AM
    I think Yang Wang is jealous of Lo Wang.
  • -2 Hide
    igot1forya , December 4, 2011 12:08 AM
    They need to do a more thorough test... have yet another group actually perform violent acts other people for 10h a day for a week strait and see if that has the same effect. I can predict with a fair amount of certainty that this other group will be far outside the norm, even from the the video game players and the control group.
  • -2 Hide
    igot1forya , December 4, 2011 12:09 AM
    hotsacomanI think Yang Wang is jealous of Lo Wang.

    "Oh! Sticky bombs like you!"
  • -2 Hide
    hotsacoman , December 4, 2011 12:10 AM
    Igot1forya"Oh! Sticky bombs like you!"


    I knew one person would recognize :) 
  • -3 Hide
    rohitbaran , December 4, 2011 12:10 AM
    10 hrs per day? That's like smacking a pound of cocaine everyday. Of course it will degrade anyone's mind!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 4, 2011 12:17 AM
    reduced activity in those areas could also mean those areas became adept at resolving said functions and perform tasks with ease compared with the control group
    in layman's term (mine, too), they GREW in their abilities

    and everyone who played video games knows (including my 70 yo father) that hand-eye coordination is only one of those abilities

    so yes, it changes the brain. for the better
  • 6 Hide
    applefairyboy , December 4, 2011 12:19 AM
    Sad part is that someone wasted their money funding this study.
  • 2 Hide
    FloKid , December 4, 2011 12:20 AM
    I think it also depends on if you are a newb : )
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 4, 2011 12:24 AM
    11796pcs10 hours a day isn't even healthy. I would say doing ANYTHING for ten hours would cause you to lose focus and decrease ability to control cognitive flexibility and attention. Stick them in school for 10 hours listening to someone lecture and I'm sure the exact same results would appear. Also it says on the game packaging to take a break every hour for 15 minutes. In school, when you change classes, you have about a five minute break also. I mean who actually does something for ten hours without stopping? That's like watching the movie "Titanic" (which is 3 hours and 14 minutes long) three times in a row. Obviously they're going to lose the ability to pay attention. And for 7 days in a row? This is one of those studies that they say on TV whichout very much info and when you actually look the study up it's a load of crap.


    Star Wars marathon, LotR marathon, Matrix marathon...

    Make those same people play Pinata or Barbie... for that time period...
  • 5 Hide
    laxduck26 , December 4, 2011 12:28 AM
    applefairyboySad part is that someone wasted their money funding this study.


    Not wasted if they can use it to fuel their propaganda machine. This "study" is a crock, plain and simple.
  • 1 Hide
    hetneo , December 4, 2011 12:30 AM
    geminireaperexactly. it showed playing 10hrs a day of video games changed the brain..not necessarily it being violent.

    Doing anything for 10 hours change the brain activity, and that's what they actually found. Counting beans would most likely show even more pronounced difference.
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