Video games provide a fun escape from reality;though, they're often portrayed as violent, lazy and a waste of time by some.
The debatehas raged on for years – So are there any positive effects? Can video games actuallymake you smarter? Video games provide a fun escape from reality; though, they're often portrayed as violent, broccoli.
Seriously, extremely high doses broccoli can actually be toxic.
Heck even water toxicity exist.
So if you binge anddo nothing but play video games, the risks probably outweigh any benefits.
In fact, wehave an entire video devoted to what would happen if you stopped going outside, and thenegative effects of sitting – link in the description! Having said that, many studies have actuallyshown increases in cognitive function after playing video games.
One study in particularhad participants play Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes a day over 2 months.
Afterwards, thebrains of these participants saw an increase of grey matter in areas associated with memory, strategic planning, and fine motor skills of the hands, compared to those who had notplayed.
These are particularly encouraging results for mental disorders which cause thesebrain regions to shrink; using video games as a therapy.
Surprisingly, action games can also increaseattention to detail in individuals.
Take a look at the following words on screen, andyell out what colour the word is as fast as you can! So: green, blue, orange.
Ok, nowtry a bit faster without me.
As we continue, it becomes more difficult because there isa conflict between the word itself and its colour.
Chances are, if you play more than5-10 hours of action games a week, you're able to solve these problems much more quickly.
This is because your brain is actually more efficient in the regions associated with attention.
Of course, video games can also be incrediblyeducational! And while you may not be playing some of your favourite games for this purpose, there are certainly many games that are used as effective teaching tools for both youngand old.
They may even help kids who suffer from dyslexiaread more effectively.
In a small study, dyslexic children who played regular video games endedup reading faster and more accurately – once again relating to improved attention skills.
Meanwhile, other studies have found improvements in eyesight.
Not only can they see smallerdetails more clearly, like tiny writing, but they have an easier time differentiating levelsof grey.
Very practiced action gamers were 58% better at perceiving fine differencesin contrast.
Which is important as this is one of the first things to diminish with age.
Even in the elderly, improved memory and focusis seen.
More importantly, specially designed brain teasing video games have been shownto slow the aging process of the brain by up to seven years.
This is because they arecognitively complex and require mental energy! Think you're able to keep track of what'sin front of your eyes? Keep an eye on the blue circle here.
Eventually it will turnyellow like all the others.
I will then point to a circle, and you tell me if it was originallyblue.
If you knew this ball wasn't blue, then you're a functioning human being.
But letsmake it harder.
Staring at the middle of the screen can help to keep track of the bluecircles.
Was this circle originally blue? If you said no, you'd be right.
One more time, but with 5 blue circles.
Was this one originally blue? Yup – it was.
It turns out, the averageperson can track about 3-4 objects, while a practiced action gamer can track around6-7.
Finally, as technology continues to transformmedicine, surgeries are being completed with the insertion of cameras and remote controlledtools.
And these surgeries have very clear parallels to video games, with a screen andcontrolling device.
Not surprisingly, young doctors with previous exposure to video gamesshow fewer errors and faster completion than those without.
Of course, all of these skills are only usefulif you use them; which you can't if all you do is play video games.
So enjoy your downtime and relax with your games in moderation, but get out there and keep your life diverseas well.
Because that's how you'll win at the game of life.
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