New studies have shown that videogames can affect future development of children whilst in the womb. The ten year study, carried out by the Royal Ventousian College, University of Tromper, Ontario, carefully selected a group of couples who regularly took part in the hobby.
Dr Mear Tomar, a specialist in fetal cognitive transference, explained his methodology: “After determining the gaming habits in terms of duration spent, time of day played and genre of game preference, we split the couples into three control groups, including where either the man, the woman or both played, and monitored the progress of the child, socially, physically and mentally at periodic steps in the their early years.” Results were surprising, and in some cases, concerning.
“It appeared that there was a rough correlation between the types of videogame played in the household, as well as the frequency and duration, and the resulting personality and social skills of the child during their developmental years.” continued Dr Tomar
“We found that despite some minor aberrations, overall, there was a tendency for certain behaviours to become clearly exhibit by children who were part of clearly defined groups”
“It appeared that foetus that experiences extended exposure to violent shooters, such as Call Of Duty, Halo or Uncharted, were more likely to be expelled from school from violent behaviour, whilst women who played, or whose partners played, more sedate games such as Brain Training or The Sims produced children more passive and quiet in personality. There was even a faint correlation in creativity, with Creative games like Simcity and the more recent Minecraft yielding a greater ability in the child to engage in creative play.”
Despite the empirical evidence the study shows, there is a word of caution:
“I must stress that this study took into account only the videogames played in the household as a control factor. We wanted to focus the effects of these games and specifically ignored the contributing influence of others factors such as films, music, television and social aspiration.”
Mindy Appleton, who took part in the study along with her partner, Rob James, feels responsible for her son’s problems in his first years at school.
“It’s awful. Rob used to sit by me on the sofa yelling at the TV when he played Halo 2. All those explosions and guns going off. It kind of makes sense how Tobias has turned out, all the fights he’s getting into and such. Rob plays his games in the attic now.”
Not everyone participant in the study was convinced – John Dixon refused to lay any credibility in the part videogames played in his daughter rapid development in her first years at school. He and his wife Mary prefer to look for a variety of other causes.
“It’s not just the games we played during pregnancy we considered, we really tried to make an effort with music, food, temperature, the whole sensory environment really. It can’t just be the games that helped our daughter’s development can it?”
The jury may be out, but will we soon see videogames labelled with pregnancy warnings, as well as age rating and content information? Only time will tell.