Monday, March 30, 2015
VIDEO GAMES GOOD FOR YOU?!
For a long time now (since the 1980's) video games have been studied for their effects on people, and though at first it seemed that video games were bad for a person; video games are now being brought into a new light as good.
There's something to be said about the negative results of early video game studies; early studies on new technologies are often flawed, and there's normally more funding into studies that find negative effects as opposed to studies with more friendly findings.
One of the surprising finds in current video game research is that people who play video games on an average of 3 to 6 hours a day were healthier than those who didn't play. This is not to say that playing video games makes you healthy, but it's proof that video games are not a streamline cause for obesity.
Video game users also benefit from enhanced motor mechanics and hand eye coordination. Games have been proven to help develop physical skills or improve standard practices of every day life. A study on surgeons who practice microsurgery in Boston discovered that those who play video games were 27% faster and made 37% less errors than those who do not play video games. Vision is also improved especially in noticing subtle changes in shades which is useful for reading X-ray charts or even basic skills such as night driving. Another study found that people who played action games were better at perceptual tasks such as pattern discrimination that those that didn't play any video games.
Another standard enhancement seen in people who play video games is their ability to make decisions. People who play action games are especially adept at making decisions; making decisions 25% faster than others and are no less accurate. Video games also offer training in multitasking which is a good skill in every day life such as driving or focusing with distractions.
A new study has actually found correlation between video game usage and the thickness of certain areas of our brains. After controlling for sex and age, the researchers found that there is a strong positive correlation between video game usage and the thickness of our dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the left frontal eye fields (FEF's). The DLPFC is used for decision making and strategic planning while the FEF's are responsible for eye movement and visual spatial attention.
Evidence for gaming is psychiatric help is also becoming common; researchers at the University of Auckland prompted 94 young people diagnosed with depression to play a 3D fantasy game "SPARX" and in many cases the game was able to reduce the symptoms more so than the standard treatments.
Lastly there are actually video games being produced to enhance your memory and cognitive abilities such as "Brain age".
I'm not sure how everyone else feels about video games, but I'm certainly a fan and I'm glad I play video games.
~ Mitch (B)