Your parents were wrong. Video games are not bad for you and, in actuality, improve your life. Despite many people trying their hardest to find direct correlations between video games and violence (Nothing conclusive has ever been found), numerous academic studies indicate gaming to actually have myriad benefits. From psychological to physical benefits, playing video games can actually make you into a better, smarter person.
Gaming . . .
Makes Your Brain Agile
Scientists from Queen Mary University of London and University College London (UCL) conducted studies that proved certain types of video games increase brain agility and improve strategic thinking. The study involved 72 volunteers who had their cognitive flexibility measured. This can be described as a person’s ability to adapt and switch between tasks, and juggle several ideas at once in order to solve problems.
Two groups played StarCraft, and one group played The Sims. All of them played for over 40 hours over the span of the 6 to 8 weeks, and participated in various psychological tests before and after the studies were conducted. All participants played for less than two hours per week during their regular lives. The research concluded that those who played StarCraft – a game that is all about strategic planning – were significantly faster and more accurate in performing cognitive flexibility actions, as opposed than those who played The Sims.
Increases IQ Scores Among Children
A noteworthy gaming industry vet, Gabe Zichermann, discussed the benefits of gaming during a TED Talk, wherein he theorized that gaming is responsible for increasing IQ scores among children. He maintained that the general increase in intelligence over the years is a direct result of a societal rise in problem-solving abilities and intelligence caused by gaming. Increasing such intelligence relies on challenge and creative thinking – among other things – that gaming promotes.
Slows The Aging Process
Playing brain-teaser games for just two hours each week can significantly decrease the degree in which mental decay affects one’s brain as a natural part of the aging process. The University of Iowa conducted a study of 681 healthy people ages 50 and older, during which they played 10 hours of a specifically designed video game. This study concluded that doing so was able to stall the natural decline of different cognitive abilities by up to SEVEN YEARS, in some cases.
Improves Reading Skills Of Dyslexic Children
Italian researches proved that playing fast-paced games can actually improve the reading skills of Dyslexic children. During the studies they conducted, children aged 7 to 13 were split into two groups, with one playing an action game and the other playing a lower tempo game. When the reading skills were tested after, those who played the action-packed, fast-paced game had faster reading abilities and higher reading comprehension. The researchers concluded that the fast-paced action games helped children increase their attention span which, in turn, improved their reading abilities.
May Serve As Therapy For Patients With Mental Disorders
Several studies concluded that video games have the potential to be used as therapy for patients with mental disorders that cause various regions of the brain to shrink of adversely alter. Such disorders and diseases include Schizophrenia, PTSD, and Alzheimer’s. Gaming increased the brain regions responsible for spatial reasoning, memory formation, strategic planning, and even fine motor skills. Furthermore, because of physiological and other psychological effects, it improved the mental state of those with PTSD and other related mental disorders.
So, the next time your parents or significant others try to b**ch at you about spending your time playing video games, show them this list. If they want you to improve your cognitive abilities, motor skills, and stay (mentally) young for longer, they’ll leave you be while you mash out on Destiny.