You Give Me Irritability

Games – just one big irritation!

Ain't scientists great? There they are in their labs with beakers pipettes and electrodes that measure all kinds of stuff. Well, do you know what the eggheads have come up with now? Do ya, huh? Wait for it"Video games cause irritability! I know, I know, it's all revolutionary stuff. Thank God for scientists, otherwise we'd never have known that.

It seems the boffins at Tokyo's Nihon University have conducted a study. In true boffin style, they examined the brain waves of 240 people over several months. The researchers studied the alpha and beta brain waves (you have to be dead clever just to know what they are) of children and adults between the ages of six and 29 before and while playing games.

The subjects were divided into three groups depending on how long they regularly sat at a console. Those wily scientists discovered that people who played between two and seven hours every day were more likely to be short-tempered, experience problems concentrating and have trouble getting along with friends.

Today's buzzword is "video game brain" children. Apparently, this is a syndrome in which key parts of the brain's frontal region become unused, altering moods. This affliction, my friends, is of course found in children who devote hours to playing video games.

I completely agree. Video games do make you irritable. In fact, irritable doesn't even cover the rage I get into every time Konami Boy beats me at NHL Hitz. He ALWAYS wins"every, single time. It's sooo unfair. I mean I've only won like once. In fact he doesn't like playing it with me anymore. Little does he know, I'm engaging in full on NHL fever, then when he's least expecting it, I shall strike. Wha ha ha! So, yeah, I'd say it's a fair comment from the brains in Tokyo.

I mean, who hasn't screamed at Lara Croft when controlling her in water – "Get out of the water, you stupid bint! God woman, don't flounder against the wall, can't you see the huge crocodile"it's like, right there!?!"

I wonder how many of the tests were done using Tomb Raider? I'm sure my alpha and beta waves were off the scale the third time she stumbled off that particularly high precipice in Egypt. The developers must have given her some kind of motor neuron disease, but just failed to mention it. Nothing else could explain her inability to just do what she's told. Either that, or it's a sticky control pad – must look into that.

Then there's always Metal Gear of course – just thinking about that Brrrring noise, accompanied by a cartoon exclamation mark, has me bristling with irritability. It's at that point that you realize if you're not in the vicinity of a box or a locker to hide in, you're doomed. It has to be the most annoying game noise ever – many an irritable moment to be had there.

Video games cause irritability indeed – like, yeah, we know, duh!

I mean, is there a gamer alive who hasn't hurled their control pad across the room in a blind rage? The following minutes consist of shouting abuse at the machine, game and everyone in the general vicinity. After going hoarse, said gamer stands up and marches purposely towards the machine, intent on switching it off, only to find the pad at their feet. They glare at the offending implement for a moment and eventually pick it up, do a quick systems check and grudgingly sit back down to start the whole joyful experience over again. But all is forgotten when they make the jump, get the license, open the new character, costume, whatever.

One has to wonder exactly which games the participants were playing. I mean anyone with an ounce of sense would be irritable after playing Dark Summit for instance. And how exactly do you measure brain waves anyway? Sounds like a bad movie script to me, worthy of the Sci-fi Channel.

Come on scientist-type people, tell us something we didn't know already – games are the modern path to spiritual enlightenment and leave long term participants in a state of earthly Nirvana. Er".no wait, that would be kind of positive and that wouldn't do at all now, would it.

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