"Verlyn Klinkenborg asks, “What are you getting good at?” when you spend hundreds of hours playing video games (Editorial Observer, Dec. 16). Research is making one answer clear: killing.
New findings from the University of Indiana Medical School show that violent video games disrupt the functions of the frontal lobe, desensitizing the brain and making habitual players less able to understand the effects of actual violence. The brain changes are most apparent among heavy users.
We know, moreover, that the military has effectively used computer simulations for many years to desensitize soldiers and make them able to kill, overriding their natural human aversion to extreme violence. This same technology is now our fastest growing form of children’s entertainment.
This is not a First Amendment issue. It is child abuse, pure and simple. The marketers of these games, and the parents who buy them, should be held accountable.
Wellfleet, Mass., Dec. 16, 2002
The writer is a former editor of the Harvard Education Letter."