Cognitive Daily

i-d22d0cb0de714cf95632d3b16d33fddb-junethumb.jpgThe second edition of Cognitive Monthly is now available. “Duke Nukem Comes to Dinner: Do Violent Games Make Violent Kids?” synthesizes and expands on our coverage of the impact of violent video games.

Whenever kids are involved in a violent crime, speculation about their upbringing inevitably takes center stage. Were they abused or neglected? Is there something their parents could have done to prevent the tragedy? Most recently, video games have been targeted as the possible root of the problem. But are video games really to blame for horrific massacres like the shootings at Columbine and Virginia Tech?

This month’s report considers the growing role video games play in our kids’ lives — and whether the playing violent games might really cause kids to be violent themselves. We assess the latest research on violent games and how it impacts kids. Researchers have found that playing some violent games does result at least temporarily in aggressive behavior, but games themselves are complex, and sorting out how they affect kids can be difficult.

Aggression and violence clearly aren’t the only ways games affect kids, so we also discuss research demonstrating how gaming can be beneficial. Do the benefits of gaming outweigh the many potential harms? We also describe how we’ve managed video games in our family, and offer some guidelines on how parents can approach gaming in their own homes.

PDF / iPhone version (full-color) $2
Amazon Kindle version (black and white) $2
Length: 9,295 words, 33 pages

Cover photo: Casey Fleser

Cognitive Monthly is an in-depth mini e-book that you can download and read on your computer, iPod, iPhone, e-reader, or any device that can handle a PDF. Each month we cover a different cognitive psychology issue. Although based on posts that have appeared in Cognitive Daily, it goes beyond what’s in the blog, synthesizing and incorporating interviews and other insights.

Comments

  1. #1 Adam
    June 2, 2009

    Duke Nukem? Really? I suppose you just outed yourself as someone who knows nothing about contemporary gaming. Maybe this certifies you as less geeky, but it takes away from your credibility.

    The only major Duke Nukem title in development was in development for more than a decade and then was canceled. Wired.com even calls him an “antiquated action hero.” If the kids are playing games, it sure isn’t Duke.

  2. #2 Dave Munger
    June 2, 2009

    I know, I know. It’s actually about par for the course for video game research — by the time a study actually makes it to press, the video games they studied are totally out of date.

  3. #3 Lazy Reader
    June 5, 2009

    I didn’t get to download last month’s Cognitive Monthly and I see that it’s not on the Lulu site any longer. Any possibility that this will go back up?

  4. #4 Dave Munger
    June 5, 2009

    Lazy Reader:

    I don’t know what happened there — I guess Lulu automatically retires books after a certain period of time; sorry about that. I’ve restored it and you should be able to buy it now.

  5. #5 Mark Tyrrell
    June 10, 2009

    Maybe specific research on cause and effect re violent games are concerned is inconclusive but there have been reams of research to show how primed the brain is by its environment, from people behaving more competitively when a brief case is in the rooms to people being tidier in the presence of a faint whiff of cleaning fluid and I’m thinking about the amazing study that showed that young students exposed to (just) words denoting frailty walked more slowly after hearing them.

    I think the question here is how can people not be influenced