The effects of playing video games on the brain is a much speculated area, not just in the formal research arena, but also among parents who are concerned that their children are spending too much time on their devices, playing video games. However, there is very little exchange between the two interested parties, resulting in baseless apprehensions on the part of parents.
They see their child engrossed in tablets and unresponsive to their calls, and they are certain it is the video game that is responsible for what they perceive as impertinence. Moreover, parents being from the generation that believed looking into a screen too much could be bad for the eyes are also afraid of the repercussions of gaming on their children’s eyes, not aware that research has proven that playing first-person shooter games have been found to improve eyesight! This is what research conducted by University of Rochester revealed.
Contrary to popular belief, research shows that not only are there no adverse effects, there are in fact several health benefits of playing video games in a regulated, balanced manner.
Health Benefits of Playing Video Games
Motor skills: Video games improve pre-schoolers’ motor skills, suggests a study conducted by Deakin University, Australia. The study conducted on 53 pre-schoolers between the age of three and six years, demonstrated that children who played interactive games had better object control motor skills, such as kicking, catching and throwing of a ball.
Mental Health: Children who are prone to depression or anxiety have been seen to benefit from playing video games. A study published in the Washington Post clarified that the effects of playing video games on people of a certain personality type could lead to relaxation in a state of relative mindlessness by preventing them from achieving states of high stressful arousal. Given the amount of school pressure on children these days, it is not uncommon to see them stressed. Games could help them alleviate the stress, while at the same time accruing personality benefits that will help them to cope better.
Confidence: There are two aspects to how playing games could help children to build confidence. The first is by actively eliminating stress and anxiety as mentioned above. Secondly, it is seen that children who have been playing fast paced video games, go on to develop better decision making skills in life. Another study published on NBC News and conducted by the University of Rochester proves this.
Pain relief: In a very interesting experiment by the University of Washington, it was discovered that one of the effects of playing video games could be pain relief. They developed a game called Snow World to help hospital patients in severe pain. It was seen that not only did the patients complain less because the game distracted them, they also needed less pain killers when they kept themselves preoccupied in this way.