From: Lamezia Terme (Italy)
The Hippocampus is responsible for the storage of long-term memory. A good example of a damaged hippocampus is the movie "Memento" (even if there is a plot-hole, i.e. he for this very reason couldn't have remembered the events of the attack, it is still a stellar movie).
Alzheimer, for example, hits the hippocampus hard.
Long-time stress, also, affects the hippocampus, but we are talking about PTSD-level stress, here, not about videogames.
For this reason, I don't see the connection between "violent" videogames and an incorrect growth of the hippocampus. I have played my share of them, and, if anything, in MP games you are trained to remember maps, tactics, what the enemy can do... (notice how it is the same with wargames ) if you have problems with long term memory, in every new game you would be a beginner - even after years.
I'm not saying that the article is incorrect: maybe it is true. But I'm curious about what the correlation between such two different thing could be.
There have been studies by various universities that point to a marked decline of empathy in the general population. Some say as much as 40%. Empathy is a must have in any stable human social system. None of the studies can put their finger on why.
Coming from the lowly countryside, I'll throw my 2 cents: modern life in moderate to big cities is too scattered. I sometimes develop more empathy with regular clients of my restaurant than with people I should know better. In the small village where I grew up everyone was a "relative" of everyone else. One of my fondest memories were the gatherings during the Summer evenings, to chat and exchange experiences, and the... dunno... village-wide feeling that it was Christmas. Lamezia Terme is not a metropolis: about 70,000 people live here. Yet, there never was such "feeling" since I came to live here.
My eldest daughter now lives and studies in Milan. I guess, given her age, that she is looking for a boyfriend, or maybe she already has one (I'll be the last one to know, of course - and anyway parents never understand things like breakups and stuff... ). However, one day she told me how she now has her circle of friends, but other people "come and go, like in a blur; it is so sad". Maybe she inherited part of my character, because this is how I felt when I was in the Navy. However, being enrolled should not be like living in a city. But I heard many times how, in big cities, people often say "Hi!" and nothing more to other people living in their condo.
Add to this the frantic pace of modern life and... when, and with whom, you can develop empathy?
"Yes darling, I served in the Navy for eight years. I was a cook..."
"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"
(My 10 years old daughter after watching "The Hunt for Red October")