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 Violent games emotionally desensitizing

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Date posted: 14/10/2011

After excessively violent events, shoot 'em up games regularly come under scrutiny. In Norway, several first-person shooter games actually disappeared from the market for a while after the killings. Does intense fighting on a flat screen display also result in aggressive behavior in real life? Researchers from the University of Bonn found brain activity patterns in heavy gamers that differed from those of non-gamers. The study's results have just been published in the scientific journal Biological Psychology.

"First-person shooter" games have been discussed in connection with violence over and over. Participants take on the role of a shooter fighting opponents in a war-like situation using different weapons. The Norwegian killer is said to have participated in such worlds intensely before he killed dozens of people in Oslo's government district and on the vacation island of Utoya. And after the shooting sprees in Erfurt, Emsdetten and Winnenden, the debate whether violent games lower the inhibition threshold and result in violent behavior was revived again. Psychologists, epileptologists and neurologists from the University of Bonn studied the effect of shoot 'em up game images and other emotionally charged photos on the brain activity of heavy gamers. "Compared to people who abstain from first-person shooters, they show clear differences in how emotions are controlled," reported lead author Dr. Christian Montag from the Institute of Psychology at the University of Bonn.

See the full Story via external site: medicalxpress.com

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