Video games were always controversial among older people. Games were often considered as ways to kill your time, physical and mental health. Moreover, there is an opinion that video games cause violence and addiction. However, nobody talks about their physical or educational benefits.
Tobi Lutke, the founder, and CEO of Shopify says that video games are small spaces where you can learn a lot. He believes that some games can help the brain rehearse thousands of repetitions of situations, which are very few in real life.
Disclaimer. Indeed, there are many cases of video game addiction. If you have one, it is better to look for the nearest rehab on AddictionResource.com and get a consultation. It does not mean you have to treat in an inpatient rehab – regular therapy also has nice results. However, this article only concerns people who do not abuse video games.
Video games make you stupid
Fact: After playing action video games, people make decisions 25% faster.
Playing games with a rapidly developing plot you need to make decisions faster in order not to be killed. There is a study, conducted by the University of Rochester, in which participants aged 18 to 25 were divided into two groups. The first one played Unreal Tournament and CoD, which are action-packed shooters; the second group spent 50 hours playing The Simp. The results have shown that the participants from the first group made their decisions 25% faster even in living situations. The reason is that shooter games need more right decisions in a row. When you are a surgeon in real life, it really can make a difference in a critical situation.
Fact: Video games help children with dyslexia read faster without any loss in accuracy.
Current Biology magazine published a study, that claims that action-packed video games help children with dyslexia improve their reading skills. After twelve hours of playing action video games, children were able to read both faster and with better accuracy. By comparison, unsystematic training for a whole year would bring worse results; and the results would be the same in a year of special reading programs, controlled by qualified doctors. Children’s reading skills improved because their concentration increased.
Fact: Even surgeons can improve their skills by playing video games.
Surgeons who need their laparoscopic skills to be improved, always do that playing Nintendo Wii. Laparoscopy is a modern surgery method that helps perform operations on the internal organs through small (usually 0.5-1.5 cm) openings. That is why the surgeons who use this method, need perfect accuracy. PLOS One study shows after playing High Altitude Battle, Wii Table Tennis, or Wii Tennis for at least a month, doctors showed better results in simulated situations which checked the accuracy and eye-hand coordination. Educational facilities should consider this way as additional training for younger surgeon students before performing real operations.
Video games are only for fun
Fact: Predictions of people with cancer get more positive after playing video games.
A shooter game Re-Mission came out a couple of years ago in order to help young cancer patients learn more about their diseases, believe in their ability to get well, and control their treatment. In a shooter, created by HopeLab, patients need to control a nanorobot, which fights with cancer. According to the study, conducted a year later, 375 cancer patients adhered chemotherapy more often than others and started to systematically take their medicine.
Fact: We can learn more about biological processes from video games.
Stanford scientists developed an action game collection that helps people find out more about most of the biological processes. The work was published in Lab on a Chip and even if the games look quite primitive, it is still a more interactive and interesting way to educate children.
Only teens play computer games
Fact: Elder people improve their concentration and memory playing video games.
In September 2013, the journal Nature published a study Video game training enhances cognitive control in older adults in which older people improved long-term concentration and short-term memory by interacting with traffic and making decisions on road signs. For 12 hours per month, people aged 60 to 85 played Neuro Racer. They were able to memorize more information in a shorter time, better cope with multitasks, and develop attention skills only in six months of playing.
Video games cause drug addiction
Fact: There are no studies confirming a direct relationship between playing video games and using drugs.
On the contrary, such disinformation may hinder paying attention to real reasons for developing drug addictions or hamper the ability to find a rehab facility on time. In the most common cases, people start using drugs because they want to escape from their problems or have a lot of life experiments. Teens usually want to look cool and catch the same vibe with their friends. So if anybody starts this conversation about “drinking alcohol or taking drugs because of video games,” just find the closest drug rehab and ask one of their specialists to talk to your family or friend.
There are no benefits of computer games
Fact: Preschoolers improve their motor skills after playing computer games.
Deakin University in Australia conducted a small study in which they found that children aged 3 to 6 acquired more motor skills after playing different interactive video games than preschoolers who played regular video games. The study showed that such skills as catching, kicking, throwing the ball along with hand-eye coordination got better.
Fact: Patients with burns are able to cope with pain better while playing video games
An experiment by the University of Washington showed that patients with burns can get more distracted from pain when they play virtual games. They switched their attention to a game that left their brainless ability for pain signals.