video games

How Playing Video Games Can Boost Cognitive Behavior

Do you remember when your parents would shout at you for playing on your PlayStation for too long?

They were probably worried about the damage hours of playing video games could do to your health.

Even though there is evidence to show that video games encourage a lack of physical exercise. This can have a negative impact on the development and growth of children.

However, when it comes to the mind, playing video games has been shown to boost your brain. Therefore, the argument about whether playing video games is good for human health is much more complicated.

Keep reading to find out how playing video games can boost your brain and cognitive behavior.

Therapeutic Qualities

Video games have been demonstrated to have a therapeutic influence on children. This is especially the case for kids with chronic illnesses, such as depression, autism or Parkinson’s disease.

According to researchers at the University of Utah, kids can display signs of improvement in terms of “resilience, empowerment, and a fighting spirit”. This trend was found to be particularly strong when children play educational and study games, such as CalcuNation.

This surprising discovery shows that allowing children and young adults that with certain conditions and illnesses to play video games can have a significantly positive impact on the rest of their lives.

Develop Motor Skills

Many parents complain that all their toddler wants to do is sit in front of the television and play video games. While this is certainly not recommended for the entire day, there are benefits to the muscle strength and motor skills of your child.

Researchers at Deakin University, Melbourne, have found that children who play so-called “interactive games” are more likely to develop, what they call, “object control motor skills”.

So next time you find yourself fighting with your 5-year old about playing Xbox, remember that there are benefits too.

Stress Relief and Combat Depression

If you suffer from stress or depression, you may find that playing video games is a great way to find relief from your stress and combat your depression.

Researchers found that people with mental health problems report improvements after playing video games. It is argued that the games allow you to vent frustration and relax.

It may be surprising that many people find that playing an active game that involves guns and violence can result in calmness and “mindlessness”.

Reduce Physical Pain

Did you realize that playing video games can not only relieve gamers from emotional pain but physical pain as well?

This isn’t magic! The video games serve simply to distract those suffering from pain from the sensation. It allows them to concentrate their mind on something else.

Researchers at the University of Washington put this theory into practice. They created a game called “Snow World”.

The premise of the game is really simple.

Gamers are set in a “Snow World”, in which they have shoot snowballs at targets, such as penguins. When they tested out the game of Military Hospitals they found that patients who played the game did not require as much pain relief medication as a result.

It’s surely only a matter of time before this technique is taken up by hospitals all over the country.

Improve Vision

Have you ever been told that staring at the television too long will damage your eyes? Yes, of course, you have.

But did you actually know that researchers have found that playing video games can have a positive effect on your vision?

At McMaster University, Ontario, researchers have shown that people with cataracts can improve their vision by playing video games.

This is particularly good news if you enjoy shooter games, such as Call of Duty or Medal of Honor. This speed and detail of these games require a great deal of attention. As a result, gamers develop an ability to focus their eyes and react quickly.

Quick Thinking and Decision-Making

Every gamer knows that you have to make decisions at the speed of light or you could risk losing the game.

The demand for quick reaction times and speedy decision-making in video games can be transferred to real life too.

Researchers at the University of Rochester, New York, found that the number of the decisions that gamers have to make in a short space of time is excellent training for the real world.

Employers should be on the lookout for gamers who can make decisions in split seconds.

Increase Happiness

Yes, video games can make us happy!

Researchers at Nort Carolina State University set about discovering whether there is a link between well-being or happiness and playing video games. They focused their study on senior citizens.

Amazingly, they found that senior citizens that played video games reportedly displayed “higher levels of happiness“. By contrast, many senior citizens who didn’t play video games more often reported feelings of depression and loneliness.

Boost Your Brain by Playing Video Games

Much of the research on the link between cognitive behavior and playing video games is in its infancy. However, there is increasing evidence that shows a positive relationship between the two.

You should always remember that next time someone claims that playing video games could damage your health and turn your brain to mush. You should tell them that the science shows that playing video games can boost your brain. At the very least, we should all be playing video games a lot more, rather than less.

To find out more about the benefits of playing videos games and other news about video games, check out our blog post on the top 10 best video games for kids.