London: Violent video games are "rewiring" young brains, so that when a real confrontation was combined with alcohol it created a "toxic formula," a leading child psychologist claimed. According to Dr John Irvine, "hundreds of hours" of playing violent, realistic games was not only desensitising young minds but programming them to respond aggressively.

"It's impacting on the thinking of young kids and they really feel like they're in the game," the Telegraph quoted Dr Irvine, as saying.

"So really it's rewiring kids' brains so when they get to a real situation where there's a confrontation I think their brains are flicking into the games they spent hundreds of hours playing."

Dr Irvine said that children exposed to violence at home were the most likely to respond aggressively but video games - when combined with "alcohol and a bit of bravado" - were responsible for an increase in referrals for aggressive behaviour.

"I've been in the game probably longer than most child psychologists and I have seen the change. "It's a real toxic formula, even for the kids that are pretty well balanced. What all the violence does is it gives them a tolerance of violence, it doesn't repulse them," he said.

(Agencies)

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