What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Playing Nonviolent Games May Not Make You More Sensitive

November 1, 2013, 10:10 PM
Shutterstock_129677678

What's the Latest Development?

In a paper published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, psychologists Stephen Loughnan and Ulrich Weger described two experiments: In the first experiment, test subjects were asked to report how many hours they spent playing video games before participating in a challenge that involved experiencing increasing levels of pain. Those that played more hours were more successful at the challenge than those who played less. In the second experiment, participants spent seven minutes playing either a nonviolent immersive game or a puzzle game before tackling the same pain challenge. Those that played the immersive game -- which involved them viewing a 3D world through the eyes of an avatar -- did better on the challenge. 

What's the Big Idea?

Loughnan and Weger say that both experiments demonstrated decreased sensitivity to personal pain, and they think it may have something to do with the avatars players inhabit. "[They] often have automaton-like, robotic characteristics … including a mechanistic inertness, rigidity, and a lack of emotionality and warmth." Further tests involving viewing and rating photos of people with different emotional facial expressions indicated a decreased sensitivity to others' pain as well. While the researchers don't suggest monitoring games, they recommend that, given increasingly vivid immersive games, people pay attention to their "awareness of what it really means to be human."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Pacific Standard

 

Playing Nonviolent Games Ma...

Newsletter: Share: