on doctor feelgood

04.20.06 • comment • trackback

Last week, the guys at Penny Arcade did a comic about a recently published study that demonstrates a link between playing videogames and the use of illicit drugs. The results were hilarious.

The comic’s premise is based on the content of a Reuters article. For two guys whose background in science is limited primarily to the hunt for metroids, Tycho and Gabe (or Jerry and Mike, whichever reality you prefer) actually hit some pretty solid points, particularly in the comic’s accompanying podcast.

Thanks to Google Scholar, I’ve got a copy of the study. It is titled “Impact of Violence Exposure on Hostility, Physiological Arousal, and Health in Youth,” which is significantly less glamorous sounding than the Reuters spin: “Violent videogames linked to risky behaviors”. Actually, the article to which Reuters refers is titled, “Effects of Media Violence on Health-Related Outcomes Among Young Men”, but that article is a significantly edited version of Dr. Brady’s doctoral dissertation, which is what I’m reading.

It’s often tempting to disregard videogame research like this, particularly if you consider yourself a “gamer”, and pretend that it’s all part of a vast conspiracy by the American Coalition for the Protection of Traditional Family Values Action Committee (or whatever they call themselves this week). The fact of the matter is that this is not one of th