The Many Faces of Video Games

I’m not going to lie, I love reading articles that contradict themselves.
There was an article in “The Australian” newspaper that began stating that video games can improve cognitive function, creativity…etc etc (you know the spiel by now).
Then immediately afterwards it cites that “video games can increase violent tendencies in adult males after one week” and that ” Video game play has been linked to obesity”.
First of all: REALLY?! Definitely disappointed in the Australian News industry– but anything to get a story, right?
Obviously with certain samples of participants, a study will find a link between video games and obesity– but then we are talking about selection bias resulting in a correlation– not causation. And by now we all now that the link between video games and violence is tenuous at best.

So the question I put forth is this: Why do newspapers do this?
The main answer I can conjure up is because they want to appeal to the public– their readers. Much of society is still subscribed to the moral panic of video games, shunning any evidence to the contrary in favor of avoiding a disturbance in they way the conceive of video games and their place in the world.
I don’t necessarily think that video games alone will change the world for the better, but I do think they can be useful in both a leisurely and an educational context. If trying it out won’t kill us, then why not give video games a fighting chance?
Just Saying….


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