Report: Study Claims First-Person Shooter Games Cause Brain Damage

We here at MP1st love our shooter games. Heck, some might automatically think of first-person shooters when you see the word MP (I know I do). but a recent study claims that it has linked brain damage to first-person shooter games.

Research from the University of Montreal claims it may have found a link between brain damage and first-person shooters. The experiment was done on 100 test subjects who were asked to play 90 hours of FPS’ like Call of Duty, Killzone and Borderlands. According to the report, after playing these games, the participants showed a noticeably smaller level of grey matter in the brain compared to someone who doesn’t play video games at all. 

Furthermore, scientists are saying that playing first-person shooters activates the “autopilot” part of our brains, thus diminishing the size of our hippocampus, which can lead to depression, memory loss and more mental issues. For comparison’s sake, playing puzzle games are said to increase grey matter and strengthens the hippocampus.

Before anyone panics, researchers do caution against overreacting to the study, given it’s just one look at the experiment with a small group of test subjects. 

You can read more about the report right here.

Do you agree with the study? Does playing first-person shooter and action games make people more susceptible to brain damage? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: University of Montreal via COGConnected

  • sircolby45

    Yeah, I don’t put much stock in these “studies”. 90 hours over 100 people isn’t really a meaningful sample size, which basically means the research is worthless. You can’t determine an accurate pattern from 100 people.

    • Mack Ashworth

      Yeah, and none of these people are truly “blank slates.” Meh, I’ll take this with a truckload of salt!

    • Badboy, Inc.

      I wouldnt say worthless. It is obviously the start of more research. You have to start somewhere, to see if there are any results in order to justify continuing on.

      It is definitely interesting that there were any results at all, in such a small period of time. Though, it could be attributed to anything, really. Less stimulation due to the two dimensional tunnel vision, basically making your brain think it is in a more relaxed state. At any given time, in the real world, we are seeing and processing thousands of objects… along with size, shape, movement, distance, etc… when we are staring at a screen, we dont have the same luxury. We are looking at whats immediately in front of us and objects in the distance are too blurry to make out. Basically limiting brain function and stimulation to whats immediately in front of you on the screen.

      Ill be interested to see more detailed results and long term effect, if they continue the study for any length of time that allows for compilation of data over years of research.

    • yowzagabowza

      What if 100 of 100 people had the exact same reaction? Then I’d have to say it’s a valid argument at the very least. Then you can expand the study to include more and more sample–er, human test subjects-uh,… volunteers!

      • sircolby45

        Yes, everyone step right up to the Aperture Science testing center. 🙂

        “Good work getting this far future-starter! That said, if you are simple-minded, old, or irradiated in such a way that the future should not start with you, please return to your primitive tribe and send back someone better-qualified for testing.”

        • yowzagabowza

          Haha, awesome!

  • yowzagabowza

    Ha! My wife just showed me this report a couple days ago (get on the ball, Alex!)
    It didn’t mention brain “damage” but more like increased growth or activity in one area or the other, depending on which type of game you play. Shooters strengthened one part while slightly diminishing another, while platformers had the same effects but reversed. I suppose the best thing, like always, is moderation.
    She’s way more learned in stuff like this than I am, but i still find it pretty interesting. She blames every single problem we have on games, though, haha.

    I’ve been playing games since I was a kid. I’m 36 and have a great marriage and a great job and a great daughter. Games havent had a single negative affect on me aside from the wife saying I play too much, haha.

  • Jordache7k

    This sounds like MULARKEY. They didn’t factor in the weed the players were smoking at all.