This video is only meant to show the good things about video games and how they can make our lives happier, healthier, and more productive. So let’s get started.
Improve our memory
We have proof that video games help us remember things and use our eyes to get around. The University of California did a study in 2015 that compared gamers to people who didn’t play games. They found that people who played 3D games did better at memory tasks than people who played 2D games like Angry Birds or didn’t play any games at all. A group of people who didn’t play games was also split into three groups.
- The first group played the 3D game Super Mario 64,
- The second group played a game called “Angry Birds 2D,”
- The third group did not play any games at all,
They also found that people who played the 3D game for half an hour every day did better on some memory tasks.
The ability to solve problems
Second, there is good evidence that video games help us learn how to solve problems. This 2013 longitudinal study found that people who played more strategic video games were better at solving problems and also did better in school.
People who play video games tend to be better at dividing their attention. According to research from the University of Rochester. Dr. Daphne Beverly AL did a functional MRI study to find out how the brain decides where to put its attention. She found that attention is controlled by the parietal lobe, the frontal lobe, and the anterior cingulate cortex. People who play video games did all of these things better than people who didn’t.
They also did some simulations of the brain and found that the brains of people who played video games were better at using visual and auditory information to make decisions than the brains of people who didn’t play video games.
All of that makes sense, but we also know that video games require some level of cognitive performance, so it makes sense that if you play a lot of video games, you’d be better at doing these kinds of tasks in real life as well.
Reduce cognitive decline
It’s really interesting that there’s some evidence that video games can help slow the natural decline in brain power that comes with getting older. This study from the University of Montreal is really interesting. They split up people between 55 and 75 years old.
- One group learned how to play video games, such as Super Mario 64,
- The second group learned to play the piano,
- The last group had nothing at all,
The study found that the only group with a significant increase in grey matter in the hippocampus was the gaming group. The control group, on the other hand, had a significant decrease in grey matter. This is interesting because the grey matter in the hippocampus acts as a marker for some neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, and if it gets worse over time, it could mean that the disease is getting worse. These neurological diseases are more likely to happen to you. So much for trying to stay young.
There is also some evidence that video games might help with conditions like anxiety and depression. For example, this New Zealand study used a specially made game called Sparks to help teens with depression. They found that the rate of remission was much higher in the Sparks group (43.7% vs. 26.7%) than in the “treatment as usual” group. So, what they found was that the teens who played the video game were much more likely to be cured of their depression or have it go away than those who just got regular therapy. B ut it does show that maybe there is some potential for video games to help reduce depression, anxiety, and other things like that.
Lastly, let’s talk about how games can bring people together. There’s a common idea that people who play video games don’t know how to get along with other people and just stay home all day. And yeah, it’s pretty clear that playing video games too much or doing nothing but video games is probably bad for your social life. But, to be honest, everything is kind of bad and it’s hard to get to. And there is some evidence that playing video games in moderation can actually help you make friends.
This 2017 UK study, for example, looked at 708 people who played massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft and Fortnite. Playing these games improves mental and social wellness, they discovered. According to their study, MMO participation, gamer identity, and online social capital are linked. Researchers found a relationship between gamer identity and self-esteem, social skills, and loneliness. So maybe gaming is social.