Do MMOs make you stupid?

We all know that MMOs can be addictive but does playign an MMO actually dull the brain? I followed a link from Tipa's end of year review to a post in her West Karana blog that I missed while I was away during the summer. The post is a personal reflection on various topics following Tipa's tragic loss of her father (many condolences Tipa) but one phrase caught my attention:
MMOs (I have said this) make me stupid. They also take valuable time.
Is this true? Is WOW the soma of our time? Are our middle aged brains being numbed into insensiblilty with a diet of mindless clicking through virtual fantasies?

I have no doubt that my own brain is not as sharp as it was when I was 20. Surely this is a natural part of life. I like to think that this is more than made up for by experience (real world kind) that I have accumulated since then so that on the whole I perform more effectively. I would not be happy to think that I am accelerating the decline into senility by playing games.

In fact I know of one case of a lady we know who has started playing games in an effort to re-awaken her brain - she invested in a Nintendo DS and Brain Training for that very purpose.
Anybody got any thoughts on this?


Anonymous said…
The more time spent each day being "entertained" -- whether by TV, MMOs, or just in general being a passive consumer of someone else's creativity -- makes you less able to do so for yourself.

It's also time taken right away from your life. Sliced right out.

Where a game can bring people together, can spark that human spirit, can make people want to DO SOMETHING, then it's a success. A game that rewards mindlessness can only produce mindlessness.

My niece has Brain Age. Everyone starts out at around 60 years old and ends at around 28 -- even my nine year old niece.
Anonymous said…
I spend much more time writing about games etc than I do playing them...I have had that pointed out to me on a number of occasions & to some degree I think it is true.

Comparing my brain now to the one I had when I was 20...there's no contest. It works better now than it did 20 I was chasing women & drinking while seeing a huge amount of music gigs & festivals.

I'd rather game than watch TV but which is more 'mindless'?
mbp said…
Don't worry Tipa I am not about to invest in Brain Training myself - The last thing I need is for a computer to tell me I am stupid!

DM - you inspire me with your assertion that your brain works better now than when you were twenty. Perhaps I am being too complacent about this middle age thing.
Anonymous said…
I'm not like most people, mbp so take heart!

I was lazy with my brain in my 20's but I'm trying to make up for it now...

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