back to article $8.2m study to probe medical benefits of videogames

The alleged negative effects of videogames have been well documented. But a multi-million dollar research fund has been created to discover if they could be used as an alternative form of clinical therapy. In the first round of funding, 12 research teams, including the Maine Medical Center and University of Southern California, …

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Unhappy

suffering from depression

Don't think BF2 is going to help, all those bloody children with cat-like reflexes just get me down.

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Anonymous Coward

it's all

it's all lies - it's obvious that playing a game, looking at a picture or reading a book makes you commit crimes, is bad for your mental health and can have no positive benefit ever, also any sport game in the UK should only train critical government supported skills of a: goosestepping or b: pant dropping.

I'm curious, how long until c&c gets banned for being terrorist training material?

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Thumb Up

surely...

this is just obvious isnt it?

as a 33 year old who has been playing games most of his life i know the positive effects of games.

1) driving games help you appreciate things like skids in cars - most newbie drivers dont understand you steer into skids etc.. but games know :)

2) my hand to eye coordination is better than most people 10 years younger than me

3) i can have a shitty day at work, come home, boot up gta iv and have some random violence. others will just lamp smack someone on the way home from work

4) SOME online games help teamwork etc...

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Coat

Manhunt to treat vilonet psychotics?

...hmm maybe not.

> mines the one with the arms tied behind the back.

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Paris Hilton

Surely, can help

Surely, videogames can help against a lot of diseases, the first one being to be bored like hell at work, or recover from a hard day working hard on a doomed project that won't even pass the budget phase, despite anal middle management insisting on everyone to rush like hell on the design phase ...

I've been using a fair dose of half-life 2, recently, to cure that.

"Using Mindless Eating Challenge, the study is designed to examine the ways that persuasion in a videogame can be used to promote healthy eating habits in kids."

This one sounds scary to me. So, it's about brain-washing kids, as a diet treatment ? Geez. Mindless indeed.

Anon, 'cos even anal mgmt have been known to read sometimes.

And Paris icon, 'cos I'm sure she knows that stuff.

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Silver badge

keep the hype going, while the science dies quietly

Given the quoted objective of spending all this money:

> The RWJF has set aside a total of $8.2m (£4.1/€5.2) to help “strengthen the evidence that videogames can be used to improve players’ health behaviours and outcomes”.

An outside observer wouldn't be blamed for thinking they've already drawn their conclusions and are desperately looking around for research teams to give them some evidence to support their views. It sounds a lot like some of the studies that the tobacco lobby used to fund: with the stated aim of "proving" that smoking was not bad for you. I look forward to seeing their peer-reviewed, unbiased, objective aqnd thoroughly reproducible results being published - probably as in something like "shoot 'em up monthly"

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@Pete

It's just the same crap the other side have done before, starting off to prove that they did.

Good on these guys for fighting the good- if admittedly unscientific and biased- fight!

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@Pete

I take it you've never read anything of Jack Thompson, the world's craziest lawyer from (and I'm ashamed to admit this) Florida.

Look... from your PoV, which is safer after an exceedingly crappy day--polishing your rifle muttering depreciations against your idiotic co-workers, or blasting some noob's head off in multi-player HALO?

Mine's the SPARTAN-II armor, thank you...

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Heart

Non-Traditional video game uses

Just last week my non-profit organization announced the winner to our first video game contest. The idea was to create a flash-based video game about Teen Dating Violence without the use of violence. Here's the link if you're interested: http://www.jenniferann.org/2008_game_contest_winners.htm

We received a fair amount of publicity mostly due to the novel (to some) concept of using video games to contribute to the "Social Good." It continues to surprise me that many don't recognize the value that video games can play in affecting positive change. Hopefully studies such as this will help to sway public opinion about the place that gaming can play in our society.

Drew Crecente

Director, Jennifer Ann's Group

http://www.JenniferAnn.org

ps. the HEART for my daughter, Jennifer Ann Crecente, whom the organization is named for; murdered at the age of 18 by her ex-boyfriend.

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Flame

@ Pete

Oh yeah nothing like the asshats that the contray views getting funding oh no...

Let me guess you come down the "games cause todays social ills side" yes?

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The good, the bad, and the ugly

First it was witchcraft. Then it was communism/socialism. Then it was music. Now it's video games. We're always looking for something or someone to blame whenever someone does something bad. Quite simply, bad people will do bad things. It might be a video game that sets them off, it might be a movie, or it might just be a bad day at work (remember the incidents in the US where postal workers were killing people?). As I recall, there has only been one idiot who even remotely linked video games to violence -- that idiot who killed somebody and said something like "Life is a video game; everybody dies." Yeah, he was the picture-perfect representative of sanity, so it must have been the video games that drove him to murder.

After so many "studies" "proving" video games to "cause violent behavior", isn't it time to do a proper study? Survey as many people as possible. Ask if they have played video games (currently or in the past). Ask how often. Ask what games they played. Here's an important one -- ask them why they played those games. Ask them what, if any, effects they personally felt from playing. If possible, ask friends and family members if they noticed any other effects or changes when the person played the video games. Now here's the most important thing -- do the same study for other activities (smoking, drinking, driving, reading, visiting the park, talking on the phone, going to the mall, etc). Then you can see what effects and behavioral changes were evident in those people playing video games, and (by comparing the studies) see if those same effects and behavioral changes occurred less, more, or the same as people engaging in other activities.

That is, as I see it, the most fair and balanced method. Then again, those people against video games don't want fair and balanced. They just want a reason to get around that pesky first amendment.

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