Thursday, May 21, 2015

Call of Duty - Probably Not Going to Give You a Mental/Physical Ailment

You're more likely to develop a mental illness if you play Call of Duty, according to the NY News Daily.

Well. Crap. I could have told you that years ago. Have you ever tried to hold a conversation with a CoD player? If they're not talking gun specs, they're wandering around aimlessly in a WalMart, looking for more Mountain Dew. Clearly those gamers have a mental condition.

All kidding aside, the title of the "story" had me rolling. Of course I had to read it. Unfortunately for Melissa Chan, it's a pretty crummy article. At least link to the source you are using to twist the story to fit your perception. The claim is that Canadian researches in Montreal have found that habitual gamers are more likely to develop mental and physical illnesses over time. The biggest shift in brain power was during high-action games like AssCreed, and GTA.

Comments were quick to point out Chan's flaws in the story. I just find it highly amusing that the story specifically railroaded against CoD. I wonder if NY News Daily is related to Fox News. Hmm...

For those who want the real story, there was indeed a study conducted by the University of Montreal in Canada. Taking 26 gamers and 33 non-gamers, they saddled them through a series of tests where they monitored brain activity and eye movement. The gamers were more likely to use the area of the brain called the caudate nucleas, which has been known to lead to the loss of grey matter (the area where memory is accessed). This appeared more often when gamers and non-gamers were playing action related titles that focused more on instant-gratification rewards.

What the study focuses on is only a short-term sample. Many are looking at the results and seeing confirmations of what they already knew, but not in a negative way. Such as gamers are more likely to view objects and scenarios differently then non-gamers by being able to comprehend and react quickly in time sensitive situations (Professor Chris Chambers, Cardiff University).

There are counter-articles already on the prowl, many of them noting that games have helped improved memory and cognitive reasoning in Alzheimer's patients. Again it's another study where there are too few subjects, too many flaws, too few variables to make it completely objective.

It's just amusing as all heck that the click-bate article for NY News Daily had such a great headline.

Call of Duty will ruin us all! It'll make us idiots, take away our brain cells, and we'll forget everything!

I'll sit here and wait while you all finish laughing at the absurdity. Other then suffering from a lack of taste of quality gaming products, you're probably not going to get a mental illness playing CoD.


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