Video Games and Porn: Rewiring the Brains of Young Men


By Brooke Strickland

A new article out by CNN asks the question:  is excessive video gaming and pornography usage causing the demise of men?   More and more researchers say yes – men become addicted to the arousal that these activities bring and begin sacrificing real-life responsibilities, such as work projects, schoolwork, family relationships, marital relationships, and more.  The article, written by Dr. Phillip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan, goes on to say that the young men who play video games excessively or use pornography regularly are rewiring themselves in a new way, to constantly need the arousal and stimulation. Dr. Zimbardo, psychologist and professor emeritus at Stanford University, has teamed with psychologist Nikita Duncan and has written The Demise of Men: Why Boys are Struggling and What we Can Do about It”.  It was released in May 2012 by TED Books.  [1]

With the Internet readily available to virtually anyone at any minute, these games and porn are available when they want it, day or night, and with a click of the mouse, they’re sucked into a world of continuous variety.  The newness of what they might find the next time when searching for porn or conquering a new level in a video game brings a new level of excitement, a new high of sorts – this high can be likened to what a drug addict feels when they use.  

These newly rewired brains are out of touch with reality and have difficulty connecting in real life relationships, whether they’re intimate or social.  In romantic relationships, they have difficulty trusting and often cannot suppress lust or bring unrealistic exotic expectations to relationships with women.   In addition, studies have shown that men who play video games excessively are often more aggressive in real life.  When day after day, hour after hour, men are immersing themselves into a violent role-playing character in an online game, their reality is blurred and begins to integrate with who they are in real life.  They begin taking on aggressive behavior in real life. When they’re frustrated, they become more violent than someone who doesn’t use video games excessively.   These behaviors – both aggression and the inability to connect with another human on a real, truly deep level – becomes detrimental to their life. They withdraw, they become depressed, and before they know it, they are sucked into a hole of all-consuming addiction to porn or video games. 

Internet addiction is real.  For more information, visit www.hooked-on-games.com




[1] Zimbardo, Dr. Philip G., Duncan, Nikita. ‘The Demise of Guys’: How video games and porn are ruining a generation.”  CNN.Com. May 24, 2012.  http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/23/health/living-well/demise-of-guys/index.html  Accessed June 2, 2012.