Can playing violent video games affect your brain? - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Can playing violent video games affect your brain?

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Whether or not violent video games have a negative effect on gamers has been debated for years. But, new research shows playing violent video games could be changing the way your brain works.

"I know I've grown more violent playing Call of Duty and other games like that.. Grand Theft Auto," said Brian Spann, an avid video game player.

The study asked 22 males between ages 18 and 29 to play 10 hours of violent games per week.  Then, using Functional MRI tests, scientists found the part of the gamers' brains that control emotion had been decreased-- and that lasted for weeks.

"Modern video games are extremely violent. In many cases they're first person shooter games where kids are actually shooting, they're shooting people on screen," said ETMC professional counselor David Wheeler.

He said he is not at all surprised by the research. And that the games have a bigger effect on kids.

"If you're still forming a sense of who you are and you're given this stimuli... to an impressionable brain, it has a huge effect," said Wheeler.

Those shopping in Tyler said sometimes video game violence is hard to avoid, no matter what type of games you play.

"Whether it's comic book type, super hero type beating up in the game or whatever," said Dave Benefield after browsing video games in a Tyler store. "I think when it comes down to video games with kids, in general, it's all about the parents and really a balance," he said.

A balance between what kids want.. "Anything rated "M," said Spann.

M means "Mature" - with drugs, sex and violence.

"It's great, now I'm old enough to buy them so no more moms permission," he said.

And what the people in charge say is good for them.

Wednesday the doctor who organized the study will present his findings at a medical meeting in Chicago.

All data and conclusions are preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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