Gaming Benefits: Video games not necessarily harmful


From top: Playstation 3 and a controller, Xbox One and a controller, “Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3,” “Rachet and Clank All 4 One” and “Rayman Orgins”

Video games have come a long way since the 1970s, when they were rare and hard to come by. Now, they have become an undeniable part of our modern world, and are more popular than ever.

Yet some parents consider all video games a bad thing and a waste of time. This is due to media coverage of the violence in games. Many politicians also claim some video games can lead to real world violence.

However, while several games do contain violent situations, games can, in moderation, be beneficial, especially puzzle and strategy games. The benefits include improved cognitive flexibility, stress relief, and improved decision making.

Improved cognitive flexibility can help with multitasking and learning new things. According to a study published in the journal Nature, researchers concluded that adults between the ages of 60 and 85 were better at multitasking and retained more information in a short time after playing “NeuroRacer” for 12 hours a month over a six-month period.

Stress relief is provided by giving another world to think about instead of the real world. Games break the pattern of everyday life, and give the brain a mental break. According to a study conducted by a Texas A&M International University professor, it was found that gamers handled stress better than non-gamers.

Fast-paced games can improve quick thinking, according to researchers from the University of Rochester. One study had one group of participants play 50 hours of “Call of Duty” while another played 50 hours of “The Sims.” The study found that participants who played “Call of Duty” made accurate decisions 25 percent faster than those who played “The Sims.”

In conclusion, despite what some might say, video games, in moderation, can be a good thing. They can improve cognitive flexibility and decision-making, and relieve stress.