Contrary to what many might think, video games have many benefits for brain function. So say various clinical and academic studies that have investigated the effects that video games have on the human brain. We collect some of these studies and tell you what virtues playing video games offers us.
Improves the ability to solve problems
The brain of those who play about 20 minutes a day has better abilities to draw complex strategies in the face of a problem. Players tend to identify that the same problem can have multiple solutions. Gamers are capable of starting from a set of clues and displaying better probabilistic skills in the face of an obstacle, according to an article in the Media Psychology Blog. Another study, carried out by Dr. Daphne Bavelier at the University of Rochester in the United States, reached a similar conclusion. This research, shared by Acer (which sells various devices for gamers), showed that video games improve our effectiveness in everyday activities such as ‘multitasking’ at work or study, driving, reading fine print, identifying acquaintances in a crowd and navigating in a big city. It can also help you to wind down, and games such as sports betting and it’s good for socialising.
Games are a way to stimulate the brain through experiences such as otherworldly settings, wars in outer space, alternative cities, and beings with supernatural abilities. These types of experiences in video games stimulate the hippocampus. And in the long term, this stimulation helps prevent cognitive losses caused by age or degenerative diseases, according to a study from North Carolina State University.
It increases memory capacity
Similar to the previous study, according to other evidence, gamers tend to have better memory. According to a study from the University of California, 3D games stimulate the hippocampus more, compared to two-dimensional games. In the research, the participants played traditional games in their conventional version and in 3D version. Those who used the three-dimensional version showed improvements in their memory skills compared to those who played in the 2D format.
Tetris helps control trauma
Research from last year revealed that the popular game Tetris may be helpful in treating traffic accident trauma. The patients studied playing Tetris for 20 minutes for a few weeks. Another group of patients did not play this video game, but instead did other activities such as puzzles. Tetris players reported far fewer episodes related to the mental trauma of their accident than those who did other activities, as reported by Science Alert.
Helping kids! Is it possible?
A 2013 study investigated the effects of video games like ‘Rayman Raving Rabbids’ on children with dyslexia. The researchers concluded that these games have the same or better results than traditional treatments to improve reading. So video games turn out to be just as ‘good’ as conventional therapies, only the latter tend to be more time consuming and not as fun for children.
Surprisingly, research on the brain foundations associated with these benefits is visible. Towards the end of the last century, the massive use of neuroimaging techniques to observe brain activity in real time, confirmed that video games mobilize specific gears of this organ.
In every sense of the word, playing represents a pleasant activity at any stage of life. Playing in childhood, for example, gives the first impetus to the development of a physically and psychologically healthy life. Playing video games, on the other hand, activates various regions of our brain linked to pleasure, such as the left ventral-striatum circuit. In this sense, a greater volume of gray matter located in that region was identified in people who play more than nine hours a day.
- They fine-tune hand-eye coordination. The information in the video game is perceived mainly by the sense of sight; however, the reactions of the players are manifested by the movements of the hands and fingers on the controls, the screen or the keyboard. As the game progresses, the little one will need to be more precise to get to the next level or achieve the objectives and rewards that are sought. For this reason, eyes and hands have to act as a team, developing their coordination to the maximum.
- They enhance logical reasoning. Many games have complex storylines or puzzles for which you need to think carefully about the steps to take before you can solve them. These games put into practice children’s ability to reason, as well as the ability to solve problems by analyzing the data provided. In this way, they will work on logic without even realizing it, something that will be very useful in the long term, both for studies and for everyday life.