by Tracy Mayor | Boston Globe Magazine | February 20, 2005

One of the more worrisome effects of video games is desensitization. Seeing violence repeated over and over can make kids more willing to
choose and tolerate violence.

“As a society, we can inoculate against aggression, but we don’t have the same set of social checks and balances
against desensitization”, says Dr. John Murray
, a visiting scholar at CMCH.

“Murray uses MRI technology to map the brains of children as they experience violent media images. He found that though
children consciously know they’re being entertained, their brains store those violent images in the area reserved
for significant events, the same place where events that can trigger post-traumatic stress disorders are stored.”

“This begins to explain why kids who watch a
lot of violent images are more likely to lash out in a confrontational situation,” Murray says.

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