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Why reading is different than gaming

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

Reading vs. gaming: the never ending debate. Is one better than the other? Gaming, when used excessively and with addictive tendencies, can be detrimental to the brain. It can foster addiction, numb your brain and feelings, and when used in excess, can destroy personal, real life relationships. However, gaming also has positive effects on the brain. It can improve hand-eye coordination, can introduce children to technology, and can provide pain relief to patients undergoing painful procedures or those living with chronic pain.

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How gaming can act as a painkiller

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

If you think that video games can’t provoke real, physiological responses, think again. A research article covered by NPR talks about Sam Brown, an Afghanistan veteran that was severely burned in 2008 during his time of service. His body was horribly burned and his life is not the same as it used to be before that day. After several treatments, burn grafts, and other painkillers that simply can’t manage the level of pain he experiences at times, Brown talks about a game called SnowWorld, a virtual game that was created by researchers David Patterson and Hunter Hoffman.

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How is The Hunger Games affecting our culture today?

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

If you’ve read The Hunger Games series, you know that the books are suspenseful, intense, and hard to put down. And if you’ve seen the movies, you know that they are just as powerful and imaginative. The Hunger Games will have you on the edge of your seat the whole time.  It is a fun and entertaining experience to read the books and see the movies, but looking deeper, The Hunger Games and other movies like it have become affecting our culture in different ways.

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Using creativity instead of technology

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

The creativity of two parents has been circulating all over social media in the past couple of weeks: every year, they devote a month to bringing their children’s plastic dinosaur figures to “life” each night as their children sleep. Parents everywhere are embracing this idea and in homes all over now, dinosaurs are coming to life every night. The phenomenon has even been nicknamed “Dinovember.” Every morning, the kids wake up to something new. Maybe one night the dinos get into the fruit bowl and the next night they get into the carton of eggs on the fridge and make a mess.

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Tetris Effect and how it can be used for bad and good

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

What happens to our minds when we dedicate hours upon hours on a specific task or activity? What does it look like when we give our brains over to a video game for hours or even days at a time? Dr. Robert Stickgold and his research team at Harvard University published an experiment in the research journal Science illustrating that people who played the video game Tetris for seven hours over a period of three days experienced hallucinatory replay of the activities as they fell asleep. This phenomenon is referred to as “The Tetris Effect”.[1]

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Gaming can turn into a digital drug

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

There is much controversy surrounding gaming and the addictive nature of video games. Many people deny the power that gaming has on the mind and brush it off as an easy, harmless way to pass the time. For others, their marriages, their jobs, their health, and ultimately their lives are on the brink of complete destruction because of an addiction to games. Video games are like digital drugs that rewire the brain for good when used appropriately and moderately; however, like pharmaceutical drugs, can also harm if overused.

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Violent kids: parents are being attacked by game-addicted children

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

If your kids play hours and hours of video games every day, their brains are likely absorbing images of violence. These images are becoming engrained into their minds and after a time, can change the way they act, the way they process normal life issues, and the way they interact with you as parents. If your child has become addicted to their game console and you try taking it away from them, you may have experienced threats from them, and sometimes even threats of violence.

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New report: doctors see benefit in setting limit for screen time

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

The laundry is piling up. The dirty dishes are stacked in the sink. You have at least five e-mails that you need to respond to and you just need a little bit of quiet time in order to catch up and keep your sanity. So, you pop in a DVD and turn on your children’s favorite cartoon. Sound familiar? It is fine to do this every once in a while, of course! But if the TV, your laptop, your Kindle, or iPad, is your go-to for entertaining your kids so you can get things done, there’s a problem.

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Monitoring your child’s video game intake

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

There are always new video games being created and released.  Many of these video games are graphic, violent, or have other explicit content in them that simply are not fit for little kids, yet many parents don’t take the time to review them before purchasing.

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Limiting screen time in the fall and winter months

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

The fall and winter months are officially here and that means that the weather is getting chilly and outdoor activities aren’t as easily found.  School is back in session and your kids are probably keeping busy with homework now, but after their homework is done and they’re stuck inside on a rainy evening, what activity will they turn to?

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Grand Theft Auto as an MMORPG: What does this mean for addicted gamers?

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

Rockstar Newswire recently confirmed the details of the multiplayer component online for Grand Theft Auto. It will support up to 16 players at a time and players will be able to customize their cars and characters.  The report also confirmed that the longer the gamer spends playing it, the greater their reputation will be and they will be able to gainer higher ranks, gain access to coveted new weapons and other new features.

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Video games shown to help brain power for the elderly

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

A recent study published in Nature showed that after 12 hours of playing a road game that was created to help bolster focus and attention, healthy 70 and 80 year olds scored just as well as individuals that were 50 years younger.