June 7, 2022

How Do Video Games Help Our Brain?

Video games are often accused of many evils. Incitement to violence, sleep disruption, addiction, and even obesity due to lack of physical activity! A modern researcher has compiled all the latest studies on the subject to unravel the true from the false. The result is rather reassuring: if video games shape our brains well, it’s not always for the worse!

For example, you will become more attentive with such a platform as Game Karma. The effect of video games on attention is one of the most studied fields today!

Various studies show that the practice of video games increases the size and improves the functioning of the areas of the brain responsible for attention (including the anterior cingulate cortex).

The improvement concerns all types of attention, both sustained and selective. This results in:

  • increased vigilance
  • the ability to focus on a single task by eliminating parasitic “noises”

In addition, when the level of attention required becomes greater, there is better recruitment of neurons in the brains of “gamers” to meet this demand than in that of non-players.

It is action games that further develop attention skills, compared to role-playing, strategy, or puzzle-type games that rather require organizational skills.

If online games bring you pleasure and you relax, this is a great tool to relieve stress. Moreover, if you devote no more than an hour a day to this hobby, games do not pose any threat to your mental and physical health.

Improved Sense of Orientation with the Help of Gaming

What if we stopped getting lost thanks to video games? Players are used to locating, recognizing, or manipulating many visual stimuli. Their perception of space is better, and they know how to orient themselves better. Again, studies have shown increased coordination between different parts of the cerebral cortex.

Do People Become Smarter with Video Games? 

Video games also improve cognitive skills, that is, different processes related to memory, reasoning, learning, or decision-making. Indeed, the player is subject to many problems that they must solve to advance in their game; from there, to increase intelligence, there is only one step.

And it is never too late to optimize the capabilities of the brain: structural brain changes have been observed in volunteers after only a few weeks of training.

Video Games for Teenagers 

As you know, virtual play spaces are places of self-expression and self-realization that contribute to normal mental functioning.

Through online games, teenagers often strive to reach their potential and limits as well as compare themselves with others. They seek rewards to make themselves known as a player, such as social status. Thus, games are reduced models in which the child finds values,

In addition, the need to meet with peers is characteristic of adolescence. Here, again, video games offer an interesting area of ​​experience. Now you can play with people on the other side of the world. Thus, video games are fertile ground for the implementation of socialization and contribute to the emancipation and empowerment of adolescents.

What About the Risk of Addiction? 

This is the big downside pointed out by the study. As in the context of drug use, the practice of video games activates the part of the brain linked to the reward. The result is a risk of addiction — the gamer tirelessly looks for his/her pleasure in the game. Addiction to online games is also becoming a recognized psychiatric pathology.

Could video game addiction lead to an addiction to violence? This is a question that the study does not answer. However, there is no doubt that if you play online games for less than an hour a day, this will not entail negative consequences.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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