Research ‘Proves’ Violent Games Alter Your Brain

A study from Indiana University School of Medicine has found conclusive proof that playing violent video games alters the brains of young men.

“For the first time, we have found that a sample of randomly assigned young adults showed less activation in certain frontal brain regions following a week of playing violent video games at home,” said Yang Wang, M.D., assistant research professor in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.


“These brain regions are important for controlling emotion and aggressive behavior.”

The research has shown that the areas of the brain that control emotional response and cognitive functions showed a ‘definite change in brain activity’. Dr. Wang  claims that his findings show ‘a long-term effect on brain functioning.’

So there we have it: conclusive proof that a group of men who played ten hours of violent video games over a week long period, at home and seemingly not under any strict clinical conditions, have had their brains altered by violent games!

So Dr. Wang, what does this brain altering change mean?

“Clinically, we don’t know what these changes mean, but it does affect your brain somehow.”


Tracy Dennis, a child development expert and an associate professor of psychology at Hunter College in New York City, welcomed the study: “This study is a good first step. It shows that if you do something over and over again for a period of time, it will affect your brain.”

“But, what that means in the real world isn’t clear.”


The research is backed by The Centre For Successful Parenting, a website “designed for you to learn about the negative effects of violent video.” Step six of their ‘ten simple steps’ in raising children is ‘Do not let children play violent video games’ which, given the industry’s own age ratings, seems like sensible – if a little unnecessary – advice.

Dr. Wang’s research was conducted using  ’22 healthy young adult males aged 18-29′.

Source: Game Politics



  1. If I read a book over and over again, then my brain does something too. It starts to learn the words.

    Wow, wonder how much money went into this “research”.

  2. 22 people. Enough said.

    • Conclusive proof of games making gamers’ brains act violently is the 22 students and doctor I brutally murderlised last night in Indiana after a solid bout of SimCity.

      • And eyepet made me torture some poor granny. Not my fault, he told me to do it.

      • And no control group not playing games, and no control group plaing non-violent games.

        The research I “write” on paper is more worth than this (off a roll, 3-ply)

    • 22 people, 10 hours of gaming spread out across one week… paid for by a group with a particular outcome in mind. Don’t even get me started!

  3. I do hope Dr. Wang is co-writing the paper with Dr. King.

    • hehehe.

    • & Professor Furiously. Lets not forget him now.

    • then it’ll be a joint King Wang paper, what’s so funny? o_O

    • King Wang, I don’t get it.

  4. So wouldn’t less activity in these areas of the brain result in less violent behavour, I CAN’T TELL AS IM SLOWLY THROTTLING THIS LITTLE KITTY!!!!! GRRRRR

    ….no kitty’s were hurt in the writting of this comment :)

  5. And the testing results of similar studies covering exposure to violent film/TV is where?

    As a related note, after 10 hours of work, all I want to do is go home to play violent video games….stupid work

    • I think the key sentence is “This study is a good first step. It shows that if you do something over and over again for a period of time, it will affect your brain.””

      Something. Not video games. Just something.

      • That’s my favourite line. Of course if you do something over and over again it will affect your brain.
        I personally think they should try banging their heads against a brick wall and see if that affects their brains over time :)

      • so If I watched violent porn for 10 hours, does that mean I want to go out and do the same???

        Yes…oh, hold on.

      • Nope – If you watched porn for 10 hours straight (violent or not), you would probably be somewhat tired, incapacitated & with a concerning case of RSI in your wrist (maybe both!) which makes you resemble ‘The Claw’.

        Or is that just me?

      • It demonstrates that it’s as applicable to anything else as much as it is to video games.

    • And the testing results of similar studies covering exposure to.. my little pony/sex in the city/damn, anything else.

      I’m sure anything would change your brain after 10 hours of exposure, the whole point of this bullshit study was just to get more of a bad rep for violent games.

  6. Wouldn’t The Sims alter teh brain? O.o

    • Reading this article altered my brain!

  7. Wang :)

    • I notice you joined this month – Welcome to TSA. :D

      Please tell me you signed up today just to make this one comment. That would be priceless. :)

      • We certainly value “creative” comments here :P

  8. Dr. Wang… If my last name was Wang, getting a medical degree would also have been on the top of my to do list in life. Priceless.

    • Near where I live there’s a place called Wang’s Massage ;)

      • “Where the only thing happier than the prices is the ending!”

      • Haha awesome. Can’t help but think lewd thoughts now.

  9. Can’t wait until they figure out what it all means in the ‘real world’. ‘Till then we can all go back into the virtual world and have fun altering our brains!

  10. Every time you ‘learn’ something new your brain changes by making new connections between neurons, and the more you ‘learn it’ the more new connections are made and the stronger they are too.

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