Segments in this Video

Are Video Games That Bad? (02:16)


Video games create controversy and divide public and scientific opinion. Horizon will examine if video games make us violent or addicted and if there are any hidden benefits to playing video games. (Credits)

Violence in Video Games (02:51)

Jane Douglas explains that the video game industry in Britain is the biggest in Europe. Experts describe how the video game demographic grew, and now most gamers over the age of 35 are women. Released in 1997, "Carmageddon" attracted widespread criticism for the violence.

Does Playing a Violent Game Make you Violent? (05:08)

Professor Craig Anderson studies a video game's impact on emotion. In his experiments, participants are told they will receive a punishment if they do not push a button before another participant does. Brad Bushman explains that it did not matter what the punishment was, but violent video games increased a participant's aggression.

One Step Further (04:18)

Bushman and Anderson studied if exposure to virtual violence change the way individuals reacted to violence in the physical world. They determined that people who played a brutal video game were desensitized to images of real world violence. Anderson explains that it leads to behaving aggressively.

Not Everyone Agrees (03:37)

Doug Gentile explains that school kids who play video games interpret accidental behavior as intentional— the American Psychological Association concurs with Anderson's findings. Violence in America caused by young men has decreased by 83% in the past 20 years. Chris Ferguson explains that after the release of a popular video game, there is an immediate drop in violent activity.

Game Developers Discuss (04:01)

Ferguson and other academics concluded that family life, anti-social personality traits, poverty, and mental health contribute to youth violence, but video games do not. Douglas and Alexander discuss the bias towards gamers and the media's tendency towards sensationalism. Only 5% of all video games are rated 18 and up.

Frustration Makes One Aggressive (04:07)

Andrew Przybylski studies the psychology of motivation and what causes aggression. His experiment concluded that people who become frustrated playing games tend to act more aggressively toward others.

No Scientific Consensus (01:59)

95% of all video games are rated as suitable for children. Ian Livingstone, Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris, Daniel Kupra, and Schafer discuss how video games are emerging into an art form. Over 1.2 billion people regularly play video games.

Addiction to Video Games (02:28)

In South Korea, clinics have been created to help children with their addiction. Mark Griffiths describes the psychological and social rewards of playing video games. Dr. Valerie Voon explains how video gamers seek smaller faster rewards rather than larger rewards that take more time.

Voon's Experiment (04:48)

Sophie Bunson undergoes testing to discover if she is addicted to video games. Both the questionnaire and the MRI scan demonstrate that she has a healthy response to reward. Dr. Voon concludes that Bunson is not addicted to video games.

Play is Fundamental (03:40)

Video games can teach new skills. Dr. Hank ten Cate Hoedemaker designed "Underground" to teach surgeons how to perform laparoscopic surgery.

Can Video Games be Beneficial? (05:30)

Professor Daphne Bavelier performs experiments to examine whether video games can be used as a learning tool. She discovered that gamers can track more objects than non-players. First-person shooter games train players to monitor their environment while tracking specific objects.

Improving Quality of Life (03:55)

Professor Adam Gazzaley determined that playing "Neuroracer" improves older individuals multi-tasking, cognition, and attention span capabilities. BBC conducted its own experiment where senior citizens played a consumer racing game for 15 hours over a period of five weeks. Working memory improved by 30% and attention span by 25%.

Conclusion (01:59)

Gazzaley thinks in the future psychiatrists can prescribe video games instead of drugs to improve a patient's quality of life. Experts discuss the future of video games.

Credits: Should You Really Play Video Games? (00:30)

Credits: Should You Really Play Video Games?

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Should You Really Play Video Games?

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This BBC Horizon program seeks to find out if the brains and behavior of an entire generation are being shaped by the hours they spend playing video games. The film explores how developers engineer their games to make sure they reach the sweet spot between frustration and boredom for the gamer, and Horizon looks at some of the scientific tests being carried out around the world to understand the impact of gaming on behavior, physiology, and neurobiology. Do gamers who play the most violent games show more violent behavior? Are gamers better at spatial navigation? And just how addictive are video games?

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL124990

ISBN: 978-1-63521-927-2

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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