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Study reveals the impact that violent video games actually have on your brain.

There is a catch, however.

Violent video games. They're super fun. And more than a little bit controversial.

Great teamwork, guys. Anyone else thinking Cheesecake Factory for dinner? Photo by BagoGames/Flickr.


When a young person commits horrific act of violence, as in June's church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, or the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting, or the Columbine attack, there's often a rush to hold video games responsible.

It's hard to deny that the connection between violent video games and real-life violence makes a certain amount of intuitive sense. It just feels true.

Scary. Photo by FireFishMike/Flickr.

But as it turns out, if something feels true, you don't have to just believe it! You can actually study it.Which is what Stetson University psychology professor Christopher J. Ferguson did.

Ferguson conducted three studies on 12- to 18-year-old gamers, which was published in September.

Basically, the studies found no correlation between shooting fake people on a computer monitor or TV screen and real-world aggression.

“Following violent tragedies involving young men, many frequently point to violent video games as a cause for the behavior, but the research does not back this up," Ferguson said. “As violent video games became more popular, it was understandable for them to fall under intense scrutiny, and claims about their harms and benefits may have been exaggerated including by the scholarly community."

When a person pretty much says that he shot a bunch of people because he's a huge racist asshole — as in Charleston — or because he daydreams about being a super famous terrorist psychopath — as in Columbine — he might ... actually mean it much of the time.

So violent video games aren't bad for me after all? Awesome! BRB playing "Call of Duty" all weekend.

Hold up a second. It's not all good news, unfortunately. While holing up in your basement and shooting at pixelated Nazis for eight hours straight won't necessarily make you run out and punch your neighbor's ferret — or shoot up a movie theater — video games are still maybe not, like, exactly totally good for you either.

Though TBH, the ferret has it coming. Photo by Scott Oves/Flickr.

Another series of studies show sedentary activities, such as sitting with a video game controller in your hand for an entire holiday weekend, might lead to an increase in anxiety.

Conducted by Deakin University's Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, the studies are among the first evidence that a lack of physical activity might affect mental health.

"It was found in five of the nine studies that an increase in sedentary behaviour was associated with an increased risk of anxiety. In four of the studies it was found that total sitting time was associated with an increased risk of anxiety. The evidence regarding screen time (TV and computer use) was less strong, but one study did find that 36 percent of high school students that had more than two hours of screen time per day were more likely to experience anxiety, compared to those who had less than two hours per day."

While it's not, like, proof proof, it is a cause for concern, and something no gamer should take lightly. Because while occasional anxiety is normal, actual anxiety disorders are serious stuff.

OK, do I play violent video games then? I don't know what to think anymore!

Yes! You shouldn't be worried that it's going to lead you inexorably down the road to ferret or human assault, and you should never feel any sort of shame for taking a few minutes to just do completely absolutely nothing.

That said, to stave off that subtle, inexplicable sense of ever-increasing worry and dread you get from just sitting around for long periods of time, it might not hurt to copy my coworker Angie's daughter's innovative method of playing her Nintendo DS:

GIF by Angie Aker/Upworthy.

Your brain may thank you later.

Happy alien-blasting!

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

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AMC Theaters/Youtube, Variety/Twitter

AMC announced that it would be implementing a new three-tier ticketing system.

AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced on Feb 6 that it will be adopting different ticket prices based on seat location.

Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.

In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



The company’s announcement was met with both criticism and approval. While some feel the move follows a well-established business model, others have found it to be taking away a valued aspect of the moviegoing experience.

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Pop Culture

Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.

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via Pexels

A mother puts a fresh diaper on her baby.

Scientists at Penn State University have devised a “smart diaper” that alerts parents when their baby is wet. The diaper is made of paper, treated with sodium chloride (salt) and has a circuit board drawn with a pencil.

When the humidity level rises in the diaper, the graphite and the urine are absorbed by the paper and it turns on a sensor powered by a small lithium battery. The sensor then sets the alarm on an app that parents download onto their phones.

“The hydration sensor is highly sensitive to changes in humidity and provides accurate readings over a wide range of relative humidity levels, from 5.6% to 90%,” the researchers at Penn State said in a statement.

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Pop Culture

Kelly Clarkson and Pink's gorgeous unplugged 'What About Us?' duet came with a timely​ message

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for a sweet acoustic version of "What About Us?"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

"It's a me."

Pedro Pascal and HBO seem to be a match made in pop culture heaven. His role in the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” shot him to notoriety. He’s currently starring in “Last of Us,” which also boasts a massive viewership.

And now, thanks to one epic “Saturday Night Live” skit, fans are clamoring to see Pascal take on a new role—a brooding, hardened, princess smuggling Mario.

The faux trailer imagines the video game Mario Kart as a quintessential HBO drama. Mario (Pascal) has to use his driving skills to get Princess Peach (played by Chloe Fineman) through an apocalyptic Mushroom Kingdom.
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