Our parents, our teachers, and even our politicians are convinced that video games turn kids into violent sociopaths. Fortunately, they couldn’t be further from the truth. There have been several scientific studies that have been conducted in this field and the conclusion is that video games are actually good for us! Some examples are:
- Super Mario can aid brain development: German scientists conducted a study where they asked a group of adults with a median age of 25 to play Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes every day for a period of 2 months and there was a control group who did not play any video games at all. Scientists found that within the group that played video games regularly, there was a rise in grey matter in the right hippocampus, the right prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum. These are areas that are responsible for spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning and hand-eye coordination. The implication is that video games can have therapeutic uses for people with schizophrenia, PTSD and Alzheimer’s disease!
- Being evil in video games can actually make you a better person in real life: According to popular belief, conducting evil deeds make us morally reprehensible and can probably make us want to act out such deeds in real life. However, research shows that conducting immoral activities in video games create a sense of guilt in our subconscious that forces us be decent to human beings in real life!
- Video games can help relieve pain: In a study conducted in 2010 by the American Pain Society showed that immersing oneself into the virtual world of video games eases the pain faced by a wide variety of patients, such as those undergoing chemotherapy treatments or even burn victims. Patients have reported a reduction of pain from anywhere between 30 to 50%. In a separate study conducted by Keele University in the UK, showed that playing violent video games increased people’s tolerance for pain by 65%.
- Playing strategic video games can raise your intelligence: Queen Mary’s University in London and University College London did a joint study where they asked one group to play “Starcraft” for 40 hours over a period of six to eight weeks and asked the other group to play “The Sims”, a life simulator over the same time period. After the test period, scientists subjected both groups to psychological tests and found that people who played “Starcraft” displayed a greater “brain flexibility”, which the study describes as a “cornerstone of human intelligence”. Scientists are not sure exactly how or why the changes occur or whether these changes are temporary or permanent. However Brian Glass, one of the researches stated that once scientists have a clearer understanding, then they can use strategic games like “Starcraft” to help treat people suffering from hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder (ADD) or even from traumatic brain injuries.
There you go, I have given you four more reasons to power up your X Box right away. You are welcome!