In US government-supported research, participants navigating the world of a first-person shooter see posters warning against dangerous behaviors – and the study’s findings appear promising

Imagine being trapped in a building overrun with alien humanoids. Your task is to shoot your way out. Kill or be killed. As you’re fighting for your life in this fantastical world, in the background are seemingly out-of-place graphic health warnings. “Don’t drink and drive”, reads a poster riddled with gun shots. “I’m just buzzed”, says another, depicting yellow caution tape draped across the scene of a car accident.

With your heart racing and adrenaline pumping, you barely notice these messages, but your brain is processing every one.

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