Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


The Positive Side to Gaming

posted by Linda Mintle

Most of you know I am not a fan of children, teens and young adults spending long hours a day playing video games –especially the violent and sexually exploitative ones. We know from studies that playing violent video games changes the adult male brain after just one week of playing. The brain regions associated with emotional control become depressed. And there is an association with compulsive gaming and obesity, depression, and being more introverted. Furthermore, a meta-analysis conducted by Iowa State University found violent video games to make people more aggressive and less caring to others.

But is there any up side to the research on game playing?

Apparently YES, according to the Tuesday, March 6, 2012 issue of the Wall Street Journal. Even when  violent games are played, these benefits were noted compared to those who didn’t play games:

1) Those who played action video games were 25% faster at making decisions.

2) Those who played Starcraft II were faster thinkers.

3) Middle school kids who played electronic games scored higher on creativity.

4) Surgeons who played video games for at least 3 hours a week made 37% fewer surgical errors.

5) Hand-eye coordination improved.

6) Players could multitask better (University of Rochester).

7) Women improved on their ability to mentally manipulate 3D objects.

The games played were engaging but most often violent and researchers do not know if the violence matters. So while there are positive benefits noted, there are also positive benefits to other types of learning that engage the reward systems in the brain.

For me, the jury is still out in terms of the overall impact of violent video games. But at least we know there is also an up side to time spent playing video and computer games.

 

 

Dr. Mintle is the author of Raising Healthy Kids in an unhealthy world. The book includes a chapter on the impact of video game playing on children in terms of childhood obesity.

 



Previous Posts

Could Visualizing Food Make You Eat Less?
You are on your way to work and feel hungry. The morning rush caused you to skip breakfast. You pass the bakery as you walk to your office. The smell of freshly baked croissants is tempting. As you look in the window, those croissants are lined up in a row, oozing with chocolate and inviting yo

posted 6:00:56am Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Mean Girls or Is It Mean Boys?
Perhaps you've seen the movie Mean Girls. If so, you remember the popular clique of girls who ruled the social scene by backstabbing and being verbally mean to anyone they didn't like. The movie reminds most of us of those one or two girls in middle school who could use their verbal aggression to

posted 6:00:47am Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Treating Binge Eating With Medication?
Every day Sally vows she will not eat herself sick. But today is no different. She is distressed, eating past full and feeling as if she has no control. Sally suffers from Binge Eating Disorder (BED) which has been recognized as a psychiatric disorder. To date, there are no medications approved f

posted 6:00:35am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Is Binge Drinking Just College Fun?
In the throws of January, college students begin dreaming about Spring Break. Those plans often include partying on a beach with nonstop drinking. Binge drinking is "a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for w

posted 6:00:57am Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Does the Cold Make You Catch a Cold?
My mom used to tell me to put a hat on my baby when the weather was cold. I used to argue, "Mom, babies don't catch colds from the cold. They get them from viruses. I'm not putting a hat on the baby." But now it seems that my mom could have been on to something. Could the cold weather actually p

posted 6:00:36am Jan. 21, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.