We're all familiar with the negative press surrounding video games. Despite the occasional controversy that propagates the idea that video games make you more aggressive and even give you blood clots, positive support for the medium continues to surface—including findings fromuniversity research that indicate many positive benefits of playing video games.
So what do video games do for the brain? They've been shown to improve hand-eye coordination, boost vision for night driving, and quicken decision-making by 25% without sacrificing accuracy. Even a gamer's attention span is better than the average non-gamer's, allowing people to concentrate on six things at once compared to the normal four.
Women who play video games, in particular, are better able to manipulate 3D objects—a skill that naturally comes easier to men.
While these studies also suggest the negative impact of games, such as affecting the brain regions associated with emotional control in otherwise healthy young men, the news cases of extreme violence as a result of gaming are few and most common in individuals who already suffer from mental disorders. And where there are studies that confirm the association between compulsive gaming and people who are overweight, introverted, and prone to depression, there are others that show video games help reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety in people with clinical depression.
Additionally, university studies are finding that the most worrisome, violent video games have the strongest beneficial influence on the brain:
"These are not the games you would think are mind-enhancing," said Daphne Bavelier, a cognitive neuroscientist who studies the effect of action games at Switzerland's University of Geneva and the University of Rochester in New York.
Talk about surprising.
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