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The Ghost in the Shell in the Monkeyball - August 24th, 2011

I have written an article! It’s here on Gamasutra, and it’s called “The Top 10 Weird Children of Video Games and Neuroscience.” I’m glad so many people are finding it useful and informative. :)

Several people have asked me for the list of studies I referenced, so I’ve listed them all at the end of this post. For the most part only the abstracts are available publicly, unless you belong to a school or workplace with access to academic journals. Or, you’ve got a good friend from university willing to do you a favor (Thanks Effie :) ).

In the article I mention my high school psychology teacher, Max. Though I haven’t talked to him in years, I decided to send him the article. If you ever have the chance to do something like this, do it! Teachers sometimes don’t know the power of their words until years down the road. I heard back from Max within a day.


Aww. Good old Max. :}


Articles referenced in Article:

1: Replaying the game: hypnagogic images in normals and amnesics [link]

2: Bupropion sustained release treatment decreases craving for video games and cue-induced brain activity in patients with Internet video game addiction [link]

3: The efficacy of playing a virtual reality game in modulating pain for children with acute burn injuries: a randomized controlled trial [link]

4: Television and video game exposure and the development of attention problems [link]

5: A feasibility study using interactive commercial off-the-shelf computer gaming in upper limb rehabilitation in patients after stroke [link]

6: “I feel more connected to the physically ideal mini me than the mirror-image mini me”: theoretical implications of the “malleable self” for speculations on the effects of avatar creation on avatar-self connection in Wii [link]

7: The effect of internet video game play on clinical and extrapyramidal symptoms in patients with schizophrenia [link]

8: The development of attention skills in action video game players [link]

Improved probabilistic inference as a general learning mechanism with action video games [link]

9: Brain training for silver gamers: effects of age and game form on effectiveness, efficiency, self-assessment, and gameplay experience [link]

10: Oscillatory brain responses evoked by video game events: the case of super monkey ball 2 [link]

4 Responses to “The Ghost in the Shell in the Monkeyball”

  1. Erin Robinson : « The top 10 weird children of video games and neuroscience » » Groupe Compas Says:

    [...] L’autrice a aussi mis en ligne, sur son propre site, la source desdites études : [...]

  2. Brian Says:

    Wow, that Gamasutra article was a good read. Thanks!

  3. André Marí Coppola Says:

    Hi Ivy,

    First of all: awesome article, must be said. The gamers are in desperate necessity for this kind of material, so they can understand in a deeper way the whole implications of playing a game, so that article was like water for all of us who are thirsty in the desert!

    But enough metaphors for now!

    I’m interested on the second point in the article.

    When you say that you can use the same drug for both, the heroin addict and the game addict, that is obvious since the nature of any adiction is not, at least on first stages, about chemistry. There are a huge amount of addictive behaviors and just because one persons drinks wine, for instance, that does not mean him/her will turn into an alcoholic.

    What I’m trying to say here is that the nature of the addiction has to be with the propensity of the subject to fall into an addictive behavior, and the root cause of that basically comes from their life experiences, as a child and/or adult.

    I’d love to talk more about this but it’s a really extense topic. I’m not studying the subject formaly but I’m interested in behavior.

    You can check the work of the Dr. Gabor Mate, he’s an expert on the field.

    See you around,

    By the way, awesome games!

  4. Ivy Says:

    Hi André,

    Glad you enjoyed the article! Thanks for the kind words about my games too.

    I cannot resist a good neuroscience discussion. :)

    There is considerable debate about whether or not gaming ‘addictions’ really meet the diagnostic requirements of addictions. I think there many important differences between someone who plays too many video games and someone who abuses drugs. It may be better to talk about gaming ‘overuse’ rather than call it addiction. However, the fact that both ‘addictions’ respond to the same drug, and have patterns of brain abnormalities in the areas related to impulse control, means there are at least some important neurobiological similarities.

    I’m not so well-versed on the root causes of people’s behavior, especially in regards to developing harmful habits (I’m more interested in what happens to the brain once they do). Usually we can’t say what ’causes’ these things, we can only look at the correlates. And for cases like addiction, it’s usually a long list. You’re definitely correct to say that people’s life experiences play a part, and their genetics do too.

    I’m making these up as an example, but a list of correlates would look something like: “15% of people with drug addictions also abuse alcohol, 12% didn’t complete high school, 8% are from broken homes” etc. I’ve seen lists of correlates that are 30 items long, and they’re not very good at being predictive. Like, someone might have 20 of the risk factors and never use drugs in their life. Still, correlates are a good statistical way to measure tendencies if you have a large sample size of people to study. The more you know. :)