There has long been an argument as to whether gaming is good or bad for our brains, with some saying too much can be damaging while others say that in moderation it can be extremely beneficial. So who is right?
Are they both right in certain ways?
Well yes, too much of anything can be bad for you and this is the same with computer games but if played moderately each day, they can actually be of great benefit in many areas of our brains. This can lead to benefits such as better concentration, focus, reaction times, cognitive ability and it can even help to prevent mental disorders such as depression.
With all that in mind, let’s go and take a look at some of the games where studies have actually proven that they are beneficial to us and can make us far more productive. Each of the below games have been shown to have some form of benefit to our brains when being played regularly but in moderation.
Games that offer up intensive action might seem like they’re not going to do a child any good but studies have actually shown that they can improve their attention span and focus. Games with violence are usually thought to breed brutality in children and while there might be a case for that, a study has shown that players can have physiological benefits such as being able multi-task faster than those that do not play the games. See how to play Halo and this guy has a donwload file available for you.
All those free mobile puzzle games that you can play on your tablets and cell phones such as Peggle and Candy Crush, will not only help you to pass the time, but they will also help you to decrease the likeliness of getting mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
Any regular player of these type of games that commits at least 30 minutes of game time a few times a week, will reduce their chances of showing the symptoms by almost 60%.
Call of Duty
Action games like Call of Duty are also known for providing some benefits to players. Who would have thought that running around shooting others on FPS games would have much benefit? Well, you’ll be surprised to learn that they do, as a study revels.
A bunch of people who were not gamers were used for this study, with half of them playing 50 hours of Call of Duty across a week and the other half not gaming at all. At the end of the week they were asked some timed questions.
Now, while both sets of people scored about the same in accurateness, the gamers on average answered the questions 25 percent faster. Essentially, this shows that gaming can prove reaction times and allows them to make faster decisions.
Brain Age 2
Brain training games like Brain Age 2 are a little less of a surprise when you consider they are actually designed to help improve the cognitive abilities of children. However, its still always nice to find out that they are actually working.
One recent study showed that kids who played the game for at least 15 minutes a day before going to school, did better in a math test against non-playing children. A math test was also conducted before the start of the study and it is shown that the gamers were those that improved the most in the test that was held after the study.
Another benefit of intensive action games such as Unreal Tournament, is that they can sharpen up a players vision. Pre and post visual exams were conducted on a group of people that were split into two groups.
One group played Unreal Tournament for an hour each day and the others did not and when the final test results came in from the post visual exams, the players, on average, were 20% better at recognizing characters at distance compared to the pre test.
Rise of Nations
Players that love to play classic strategy games probably do not realize that they could actually improve their ability at making executive decisions.
Studies have actually been shown that games such as the classic Rise of Nations also saw improvements in being able switch between tasks in a more efficient manner. Additionally, its has been said that the more a player plays, the further this improves.
Even the classic puzzle game Tetris has big benefits for our brains after a study showed that those who play the game will actually get a bigger brain. The study centered on about 30 adolescent girls, with each of them being asked to play 30 minutes of Tetris a day for three months.
Each of these girls as well as a same number that did not play the game had MRI scans before and after the exercise. During tests, the girls that had played Tetris showed a much more efficient brain function as well as an increase in the size of their cortex.
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It has long been know that classic games such as Chess can be good for our cognitive development but there has always been an argument for and against the apparent benefits of online gaming. While it is quite clear that playing on a computer all day could be considered unhealthy and not being beneficial to the brain, moderated use has clearly been shown to be beneficial to us all.
Essentially, this means that an hour or two a day is not going to cause us problems and perhaps even promote improvements in our brains, much more than that and we’re not doing ourselves any favors at all. So just remember to keep your gaming in moderation and you might just start to get smarter and more productive.