They say that video games are bad for you because they can cause addiction and even increased aggression. There are also some health consequences, including weight gain and strain injuries due to repetitive actions. However, new research shows that video games can actually be good for you as they make your life better.
Action Video Games for the Brain
According to the study published in Scientific Reports journal, playing video games, particularly action video games (AVGs) can help improve your brain. This is possible through bettering both focus and sensorimotor skills. If you are an expert in AVGs, this is good news for you because the mentioned research learned that players like you have better connections in the areas of the brain that contain networks for focus and sensorimotor.
Expert vs. Amateur Players
The study looked into the brains of 27 expert players and 30 amateurs through functional MRI. The researchers discovered that expert players have higher attention connections with more active parts of the brain to promote sensorimotor activities. This further proves that video games can really be useful for both therapeutic and educational purposes. Action video games have the ability to sharpen focus and improve reasoning. There are also other studies that reveal how video games can enhance reaction times as well as improve hand and eye coordination.
Scientific research showed that playing video games does have plenty of health benefits, particularly for the brain. Some of them are the following:
• Volumetric Brain Increase: According to a study conducted by German researchers, people who play regularly have an increase in gray matter found at their right hippocampus, cerebellum, and their right prefrontal cortex. These three areas are responsible for our ability to form memories, plan strategically, and navigate spatially. There is also direct link between volumetric brain increase and playing video games, which means that it is possible to train specific regions in the brain through playing.
• Brain Flexibility: A study discovered that playing some video games, such as StarCraft or The Sims, can improve performance on psychological tests and even finishing cognitive flexibility tests more speedily and more accurately.
• Slowed Aging: Brain-teasing games, according to a study conducted at the University of Iowa, can slow down mental decay, which is linked to natural aging process.
Action and other genres of video games require the players to plan their movements first and act accordingly to accomplish their goal. This and other strategic methods in playing can have a positive impact on the brain.