Last week, we debated the effect of violent video games on behavior. The discussions were centered on if prolonged exposure to such games negatively impact one's behavior causing the user to become more aggressive and prone to hostile crime. This is clearly a current hot topic, but like computational analyst Joshua Lewis remarks, "There has been a lot of attention wasted in figuring out whether these things turn us into killing machines." Lewis, of the University of California, San Diego who has studied 2,000 computer game players, further states, "Not enough attention has been paid to the unique and interesting features that videogames have outside of the
So what features is Lewis referring to? Well, multiple research studies referenced in the article "When Gaming is Good for You" of the Wall Street Journal, indicate that gaming improves creativity, decision-making and perception. One specific study researched 491 middle school students over a three year period found that "the more children played computer games the higher their scores on a standardized test of creativity."
A world featuring the juxtaposition of trained killing machines and creative geniuses develops in my mind. I ask you to imagine that both sets of research are found completely conclusive. That is, it is completely proven that violent video games cause at least some migration to aggressive behavior in the user. However the activity also trains one to make "decisions 25% faster than others without sacrificing accuracy" and "act on them up to six times a second--four times faster than most people." Does this change your outlook on the effects of gaming? Why or why not?