02.08.12

Does gaming help us relive our adolescence?

When I was sixteen, I got a speeding ticket. I knew I shouldn’t have been driving sixty-five miles per hour in a thirty-five mile per hour zone, but on the other hand how awesome was it (until I got pulled over)? Pretty awesome (until I got pulled over)! Wall Street Journal explains:

Recent studies in the neuroscientist B.J. Casey’s lab at Cornell University suggest that adolescents aren’t reckless because they underestimate risks, but because they overestimate rewards—or, rather, find rewards more rewarding than adults do.

Think about videogames, which present only rewards. If my mom’s Honda had been merely a batch of pixels in Forza, I could have pressed that magical rewind button the game gives you and gone back thirty seconds and slowed down, saving myself $675 and several weeks of grounding from my parents in the process. Ah, if only.

-Drew Millard

[via Wall Street Journal]