This Is Your Brain on Alien Killer Pimps of Nazi Doom
Springen, Karen, Newsweek
Byline: Karen Springen
Symeohn Fuqua, 14, and his brothers don't play videogames anymore. This wasn't their idea; Symeohn had the bad luck to participate in a study by researchers at Indiana University that found that 30 minutes of slaying enemies on the screen affected the brain for up to an hour afterward. The study didn't look for or find permanent effects, but Symeohn's mother, Twila, didn't wait to unplug the game machine. Even if the effect is temporary, she figures, "by the time it wore off, they'd be playing again."
The study will fuel the debate over whether adolescent fantasies of mayhem should be fed by the powerful technology of videogames. "We suspected there was an emotional connection to these games," says Dr. Donald Shifrin of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "We now have anatomic proof."
Of the study's 44 subjects, half were assigned to splattering Nazis in Medal of Honor: Frontline, while the rest played a fast-paced but bloodless car-chase game. In brain scans afterward, the first group showed higher activity in the emotional centers of the brain, and less in the areas for concentration and inhibition. …