I think both of the articles for tomorrow’s class are fascinating and have valid points. While I think it’s hard to argue that videogames have absolutely no effect on the player’s ability, psyche, minset etc., I think the extent of that influence is definitely debatable. A large majority of the Penny article discusses first person shooters and the fact that there are many real life simulators that help to improve the marksmanship of real life soldiers. While this is definitely valid, I don’t think that any videogame will ever make anyone a marksman or someone with a gun on a psychotic rampage. The real effect boils down to reflexes. Videogames help to train your reflexes visually and kinetically. So even though you are holding a gun in virtual reality, if approached with a similar situation in real life you would have a similar reflex to flip around and point/defend yourself against the object that is about to attack. (Regardless of whether or not you have a gun.)
I feel like this extends beyond first person shooters, because other games that require you to look for secrets or put puzzles together in your mind can have a real life effect as well. They help with things like multi-tasking and being able to assess a situation from multiple angles. Honestly, good reflexes and the ability to multi-task don’t sound too terrible to me.
Side note – I think it would be fascinating to play some of the games mentioned in the second article, if only from a psychological standpoint. Rather than being frowned upon, I think situational games of intense pressure and intensity like 9-11 survivor could be used to study the human psyche and learn about those people who go against the grain.