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Violent Video Games May Not Desensitize Kids: Study
Date:2/23/2011

es might be desensitized to violence, and if they are, they should not remember disturbing, violent pictures as much," explained Tracy Dennis, an associate professor of psychology at Hunter College of the City University of New York.

"And, while this is an important study, what they're asking people to remember isn't necessarily linked to video game memories, so I think it's important to draw only moderate conclusions," said Dennis.

"A lot more research needs to be done on video game violence," she said, adding that in the meantime, parents should try to minimize their children's exposure to such violence, particularly games that reward or reinforce violence.

Dr. Eric Hollander, a psychiatrist from Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said that some teens may be more vulnerable to video game violence. "Teens who don't get sufficient rewards or reinforcement from other activities may be vulnerable to the rewards gained from risky behaviors, such as video game or gambling addiction."

"With aggressive video games, teens are getting a high level of arousal and reward that they may not get with other games, and they may start to develop a more restrictive interest for one type of game," he explained, adding that a red flag for parents is if they see their child becoming less engaged in other activities that they used to enjoying doing, and they're only playing a certain type of video game.

More information

Read more about video game violence and its effects on children from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

SOURCES: Holly J. Bowen, doctoral candidate, Ryerson University, Toronto; Eric Hollander, M.D., psychiatrist, and director, the Spectrum Program for Compulsive, Impulsive and Autism Disorders, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Tracy A.
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