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In his Father's Day email, President Obama challenged fathers to have their kids “turn off the videogames and pick up a book.” The President of the United States refers here to what a new European study calls the “incapacitation effect” of videogames: if your mind's mired in Cyrodiil or Liberty City or wherever-have-you, it's easy to neglect other avenues of imagination or application unless reminded. But the study also stresses that the incapacitation effect isn't all bad for society: time spent playing, after all, is time that can't be spent lawbreaking.
Above: Not pictured: actual criminality
Crime in the US has been dropping since the early 90s and continued to fall even in the economic strife of recent years, says the BBC. “Researchers in Texas working with the Centre for European Economic Research,” the article adds, found that the incapacitation effect of games “more than offset any direct impact the content of the games may have had in encouraging violent behavior.” Other factors cited include the proliferation of cell phone cameras and the election of Obama himself. So... zoned out in front of games to avoid prying eyes, or exploring a brave new world where citizens control their own wellbeing? Which are you in this totally non-loaded argument?
Jun 21, 2011
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