As a parent we want our kids to enjoy life. There are times also when we ourselves have a lot to do, and so we need our kids to be occupied. Nowadays one way to keep them busy is with computer and video games.
This can be a very dangerous practice.
The typical American child consumes media outside of school for more than 38 hours a week on average, which comes to nearly five and a half hours a day, according to a major national study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation. For children eight years and older, that amount is even higher by more than an hour: nearly six and three-quarter hours a day.
“Watching TV, playing video games, listening to music and surfing the Internet have become a full-time job for the typical American child,” said Drew Altman, Ph. D , president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “This study really underscores the importance of paying attention to the messages and the information kids are getting from the media, both good and bad.”
There was a time when a home was nurtured almost entirely by the parents and older siblings, and if you wanted to know what the children were like, you looked at the parents. Nowadays, this doesn’t exist for the most part. The media has become the new parents of your children. And parents cannot control what kids learn from the media.
What happens when things go bad? Like when kids start spending too much time with violent video games? In fact, there’s a dark side to brain development induced by the utterly shocking brutality of some of these games. New evidence shows that violent video games can actually alter brain functioning.
Researchers at Indiana University, Indianapolis, used Magnetic Resonance Imaging, (MRI) to map out which parts of the brain are stimulated when kids play different types of video games. One group played a violent game called “Medal of Honor,” while another group played an equally exciting, but non-violent game called “Need for Speed.”
After half an hour, doctors collected the MRI data. The teens playing the non-violent game showed activity in the frontal area of the brain. This is the area associated with concentration, inhibition and self-control.
The teens playing the violent video game showed no activity in their frontal area. Instead, they activated the amygdala. This is the “reptilian” brain. It’s associated with emotional arousal – especially anger. The reptilian, or limbic brain, is the least cerebral and most animal-like part of your brain. It’s where your most basic instincts reside. Instincts like feeding, survival and procreation.
In history, man had used this well in times of crisis. Starved? Your reptilian brain will drive you to find food. The enemy is chasing you and your life in danger? Your brain will put you into “fight or flight” mode- either fight or run away.
Problem is that this area of your brain has no capacity for logic, reason or objective decision making. It has no way to express tolerance, understanding or love.
Now think about it: millions of kids and teenagers are over-stimulating this portion of their brain – for hours every day.
Research has shown that both repetitive actions and repetitive thoughts hard-wire your brain, reinforce whatever you’re practicing and make it more likely you’ll repeat that activity in the future. That’s the problem.
In your brain you have something called dendrites, which are connections between brain cells. Repeated activities stimulate dendrites and create neural pathways between different parts of your brain. The more you practice a certain activity, the stronger that neural pathway becomes. These structural changes are the physical mechanisms of learning. Unused neural pathways eventually atrophy.
An extreme example of this occurred when authorities discovered a teenage girl who had been locked up in her bedroom her entire life. Her parents never spoke to her, never touched her – never even acknowledged her. They kept her alive by sliding trays of food under her door.
When they arrested the parents and rescued the girl, she was already twelve years old. She was unable to communicate with words, as she had never spoke or been spoken to. The fascinating part is that when psychologists tried to teach her speech, she couldn’t learn it. After running brain scans, they discovered that the area of her brain that rules speech had atrophied. Due to lack of use, the neural pathways had collapsed – in this case, irreversibly.
Understanding this, we can suspect that children who spend a lot of time with violent games and therefore firing up their reptilian brain may be more prone to violence – and less likely to show self-control.
I’m not suggesting that all kids who play violent video games will turn violent and lose their ability to be rational. But the nature of the human brain is clear: Practiced behavior becomes dominant. Functions that are ignored get cut off and dry up and die, sometimes forever.
How Fat Is Your Child’s Brain… Is It TIME For A Strict Internet Diet? You may want to think twice before allowing your kids to buy (consume) that latest version of World Of Warcraft, God of War, Halo, Mortal Kombat, Quake, Doom, Metal Gear, Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty, etc..
The media, video game makers, and all those in the business of entertainment, especially Mainstream Hollywood promotes gun violence, gossip, hearsay and rumors and make heroes out of people that are really not true hero’s they are just making tons of money with this type of media formula. Then they’re the first in-line to say we need gun laws; teens are out of control and where are the parents, etc.
Hollywood Hypocrisy on Guns
- Matt Damon has never been shy about his political affiliation, but it’s surprising to learn that an actor who’s handled a pretty enviable amount of firearms has a problem with them. Nevertheless, Matt Damon was quoted as saying, “I actually hate guns. They freak me out,” in a January 2003 edition of The Sunday Herald.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his prime, Arnold was recognized as one of the elite Hollywood tough guys for his roles in movies like “Predator” or “The Terminator.” Back then, he was a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but it’s funny what politics can do to someone’s beliefs. When he began his gubernatorial campaign in 2003, Schwarzenegger seemingly did an about-face – as politicians seem to do quite often – supporting the ban on assault weapons in the U.S., as well as the Brady Bill. In fact, in a 2003 issue of Time, the Governator was quoted as saying, “I’m for gun control. I’m a peace-loving guy.”
- Sylvester Stallone, while Rambo had no qualms firing a few thousand rounds at his enemies, Stallone would prefer to take a different approach. Some actors and celebrities may hope and wish for gun control, but their takes aren’t as totalitarian as Stallone’s. In response to the shooting death of Phil Hartman in 1999, Stallone – who was living in the UK at the time – was shown on Access Hollywood saying, “Until America, door to door, takes every handgun, this is what you’re gonna have. It’s pathetic. It really is pathetic. It’s sad. We’re living in the Dark Ages over there.”
Source: Hollywood Hypocrisy on Guns
IN REAL Life: Not everyone gets a RE-Start or new life… then what makes us think that our kids understand the consequences of using guns in the real world… Bang, Bang your DEAD… Game Over!
Part I: What is this generation being taught? About Guns, Violence and Disasters!