Atheists and Video Games

I’m a little unsure of what to make of a post by Connor Wood over at Science on Religion. Wood follows a study published in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion titled, No Other Gods Before Mario?: Game Preferences Among Atheistic and Religious Individuals.

According to Wood, the authors surveyed 220 students at Ontario University and found that while most students preferred video games to table-top games, atheist students preferred them to a greater degree than religious students. The authors, and Wood, believe that this supports certain conclusions about atheist personality types:

This research, which has been covered elsewhere on this blog, demonstrated that atheists showed less intense emotional responses to stimuli than their religious peers, and were less capable of reconstructing the subjective details of memories. At the same time, atheists were more articulate about their emotions and experiences. Burris interpreted these findings to suggest that atheists may simply have less capacity than religious believers for internally simulating emotionally detailed environments. In other words, atheists may have imaginations that are good at relating facts and labeling things, but which aren’t as good at generating rich sensory or emotional detail.

Oddly, about the same time I became an atheist I also began to drift away from playing video games. I attributed it to growing older: loss of hand-eye coordination, less patience for repetitive tasks (grinding, platform jumping, etc.) and more interest in “warm” media (text, audio, etc.).

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