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"Supernanny" Takes on Violent Games

The Guardian.co.uk has a report on a research study suggesting playing first-person shooters desensitizes young people to violence, based on an experiment where 40 boys were asked to play games for 20 minutes, with half playing a football sim, the other half "a first-person war game." These kids then had their heartbeats monitored as they watched violent news footage, which showed that the boys who played the violent game "retained slower heart rates during the news footage," leading to the conclusion: "Shockingly, just 20 minutes of violent gameplay was enough to densensitise the boys." If this doesn't necessarily sound scientific, take it up with the "Supernanny" who is behind the whole thing, with the assistance of Dr Doug Gentile, a psychologist who apparently doesn't rate the "super" prefix. The Guardian shares our take on all this: "Finally, the underlying statistical nugget that haunts this whole debate: violent video games have been around for 30 years. If just 20 minutes of exposure is enough to turn normal boys into desensitised monsters, our streets should be filled with violence. They're not. Violent crime has plunged during that period. And of the violence that does take place, how much more would be prevented by restrictions in the sale of alcohol rather than of violent games? Police would scoff at the very question." Thanks GamePolitics.

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