Category Archives: Psychology

Chris Rickert: Kindness at your gamer’s fingertips

Chris Rickert: Kindness at your gamer’s fingertips

UW Madison is, I think, the best institution on the planet addressing how gaming is applicable to and useful for many things other than just the fun of playing a game. The article is a snide, skeptical journalist’s take, still worth a read. A snippet:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is giving two UW-Madison researchers a $1.39 million grant to develop two video games to help teach eighth-graders compassion, empathy, cooperation, mental focus, self-regulation, kindness and altruism.

 

I can’t help but wonder, wouldn’t a puppy work just as well, and be a heck of a lot cheaper?

 

Besides, if your kid is going to be a mass murderer, derivatives trader or some other empathy-less sociopath, isn’t that mold pretty much cast by the time he’s 13 or 14?

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Study: Brain waves changed by game playing

Study: Brain waves changed by game playing

I’ll watch for more on this research:

Subjects who played the shooter videogame showed significant changes in their brain waves and also showed the greatest improvement on the visual attention task, something not seen in those who played the puzzle games, the university reported Thursday.
“Studies in different labs, including here at the University of Toronto, have shown that action video games can improve selective visual attention, such as the ability to quickly detect and identify a target in a cluttered background,” research psychologist Ian Spence said. “But nobody has previously demonstrated that there are differences in brain activity which are a direct result of playing the video game.

A Video Game Designed to Treat Depression Worked Better Than Counseling

RT @EduGamRes #Videogame designed to treat #depression better than #counseling #gamesforhealth#seriousgames #teens #SPARX

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/a-video-game-designed-to-treat-depression-worked-better-than-counseling/256324/

Researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand just published promising results of a study comparing a video game they designed to help treat depression in teenage kids against traditional face-to-face counseling. Called SPARX, the game guides the players through a number of challenges that help practice handling various life situations and emotions that come with them.

The study, published in the latest issue of BMJ, has shown that the game was at least as effective as counseling in helping treat depression and anxiety in a study group of kids averaging 15 years old. [Editor’s note: In fact, it worked better, reducing symptoms of depression more than treatment as usual.]