Latest Research on Computers Games

A Japanese Professor has produced evidence to show that computer games can have a bad effect on children. Many parents and grandparents have been saying this for years, but they were largely ignored, being regarded as technophobes.

Parental worries about computer games often relate to their effect on their children's health and on their social skills. They feel that they should be outside getting exercise and enjoying the fresh air while playing with their friends. Since many of them usually play by themselves, they may be very poor at communication.

Parents are also worried in case the violence of many of the games will cause their children to become more aggressive and violent themselves. This anxiety also applies to television, which often shows scenes of extreme brutality.

There are fears, too, that the popularity of computer games has added to the dumbing down of the information and material used by today's generation. Because children often choose to play computer games instead of reading or doing their homework, the games are thought to have a bad effect on their education. Parents are also worried that video games will prevent their children from developing their creativity, if they spend all their time in front of a screen instead of drawing, writing stories, and so forth.

Professor Ryuta Kawashima of Tohoku University shares parental concerns about the bad effects of computer games, but for different, and considerably more scientific reasons. Using state -of-the art technology, he has conducted research which, he believes, shows that computer games may stunt the development of children's brains.

He has been able to show, by means of brain scans, that playing computer games stimulates activity in only part of the player's brains, the part associated with vision and movement. The frontal lobes of their brains, associated with learning, memory, emotion and self-control are remaining underdeveloped.

If the children's ability to control their behavior is being underdeveloped, then they are more likely to become violent. Unfortunately, Professor Kawashima's research appears to indicate that parental fears about computes games are justified.