Playing video games is good for your brain

Video games have always been a mode of entertainment for kids from the age of four until into their late teens and even adults alike over the last few decades. There has also been a lot of bad press about children playing video games such as Need for Speed, Runescape Gold for long hours that have the same bad effects on the body as it does when watching long hours of television or listening rock-and-roll and heavy metal music for too long such as addiction, hostile behavior, obesity.

New research in psychology related to this subject has come up with new surprising results. For instance, in a dissertation published by Vikrant Bejjanki in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he had mentioned that children playing action-packed video games improve their perception, observation. This study has also shown that it increases the learning capabilities of individuals. An experiment was done upon a few teenagers who had never played video games ever before and were given time to practice and play. It was seen that they can outperform the traditional video game players with more than average skills.

It has also been seen that these video games can be put to educational and curative uses. Playing games improve the hand-eye coordination, mentally rotation and also manipulate two- or three-dimensional objects. Research in Germany has shown that the games can be used to treat mental health problems where the brain sizes reduce to a significant level such as schizophrenia, PTSD. It can be used as a form of physiotherapy. According to an experiment it has been seen that child cancer patient, who play video games after the chemotherapy session in hospitals require less number of painkillers after a rigorous amount of exposure to radiation as compared to the normal patients who do not play.

Research has also shown that video games are a great tool to teach students on how to have undivided focus and attention on a particular task and particularly in an educational context. This was because while playing video games it was noticed by conducting MRI scans that while playing these games, the cerebral function of the cerebrum (largest part in the front of the brain)  along with the cerebellum’s (largest part at the back of the brain) muscle memory together which enhances the cognitive functions.

A new study was published in a leading magazine on psychology which stated that playing video games to enhance the growth of neurons in the brains, otherwise known as neurogenesis. An experiment conducted on a group of teens who had played video games since a long time against a control group had a larger sized gray matter (the part responsible for the neural activity in the body)  compared to the teens in the control group. Due to neurogenesis, the parts of the brain responsible for forming memories do planning, coordinate motor skills, navigation skills see a high level of improvement which leads to improvement in the levels of intelligence. A study published by Max Planck Institute in Germany proved this. They had some of their patients play a game, SiperMArio64 for around half an hour every day for two months. They had the brains of the patients scanned under the MRI machine and observed the increase in gray matter in several parts of the brain compared to those who have never played.

Games can be designed in such as manner as to address a particular problem or teach a particular skill. It has been observed by various medical professionals over the years during their tenure of treating patients with different ailments have accepted video games as a medical therapy over other interventions.

A good old game Tetris has been found out to be an excellent mechanism to help trauma patients to overcome their pain. In an experiment conducted at a hospital in Oxford, the UK where several patients who had suffered from road accidents at various points in time were admitted. They were asked to play a game of Tetris while the control groups (the other set of patients) were asked to continue with their normal activities. It was being noticed that patients who played Tetris recalled the incident a lot less than those who did not play. Henceforth it was concluded that interventions could help patients cope up with their trauma in a much quicker and effective manner.

A study published by a leading scientific article has explained that playing video games help dyslexic children read faster compared to the traditional methods used to treat them. The research suggests that due to the fast pace in games, kids could broaden their concentration time.

After the overall study from various scientific articles and journals regarding this issue, it can be said video games are not always as bad as we think it is supposed to be or how it has been presented to us over the past three decades. Too much of it although bad but we can’t neglect its immediate benefits due to the fears of addiction or fearing that children would be spoilt due to the same. What guardians/parents can do in this case is, however, limit the time their children spent in front of the screens with these games. Video games are here to stay and it has always been it will always remain a mode of entertainment but along with good scientific benefits.

Raul H. Powel is a well-rounded blogger who has a wide variety of interests and specializes in doing in-depth research for video games coin. He notorious Writer, Editor, Blogger. Love to play games. He currently is a blogger for in a genuine effort to provide the best quality content to his readers.

What do you think?

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  1. LOL… Some games train the brain, so I don’t see why they aren’t good
    but of course that’s if you don’t get addicted

    Anything when addicted/excessive is bad, even for exercise and work…

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