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How Video Games Affect The Brain

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You Can Become More Physically Active As A Gamer

10 Ways Video Games Affect Your Brain

Most major consoles now have the technology to get gamers off of the couch and onto their feet. The future of VR gaming will take things to a whole new level. Mobile game programmers have also started to create games that are played across physical space, building them around real-world location data and inspiring gamers to relocate in order to advance in the virtual world.

Benefits Of Video Games

Many psychologists and scientists believe that playing video games offers some benefits, particularly by teaching higher-level and abstract thinking skills.

Playing video games changes the brains physical structure, similar to the way the brain changes when a person learns to play the piano or read a map. The brain is a muscle and can be built up with exercise. The combination of concentration and neurotransmitter surges when playing games helps to strengthen neural circuits, giving the brain a real workout.

Video games can improve mental skills, such as:

  • Problem solving and logic.
  • Cooperation and teamwork with multiplayer games.

Video Games Can Affect The Brain Negatively

Video games do not necessarily lead to mental health problems. However, you can be at high risk for video game addiction if you already suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental illness. This is due to the way video games affect your brain.

A study that looked at the effect of gaming on mental health found that problematic gaming habits correlated with maladaptive coping strategies, negative emotions, low self-esteem, a preference for solitude, and poor school performance.

While one of the benefits of gaming is an increase in the ability to concentrate, excessive gaming may lead to the opposite. A study done on 3000 children and adolescents from 12 different schools in Singapore found a bidirectional causality in play between video games and attention deficit disorders. While excessive gaming could contribute to a lack of long-term concentration ability, it is also likely that children who already show signs of attention deficit disorders would be more attracted to video games, due to the variety of experiences they can provide.

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Negative Effect Of Video Games On Academic Performance

If you are addicted to gaming, then your academic and professional success is likely to suffer. People who play games excessively find it challenging to pay attention to their jobs or school. It is quite common to turn to video games when your performance in these areas suffers. Games turn into an escape when the responsibilities in your life feel overwhelming.

A cross-sectional and longitudinal study of adolescents in secondary school showed a negative association of screen time with school achievement one year later, independent of their physical activity, age, gender, and socio-economic status. It suggests a link between increased gaming and poor academic performance.

You can have a healthy gaming habit and still maintain excellent performance at school or work. But due to the way games affect your brain, it is much easier to lose yourself in the virtual world then to try to tackle hardships in the real world. For example, many children and teenagers start gaming because they find a community that does not judge them for their socio-economic background or physical appearance. They get attached to this community and start to become disinterested in their performance in school, which leads to their grades taking a hit.

Playing Video Games Can Actually Change The Brain

How Video Games Can Affect the Brain

It’s official, gaming can, and does, change the brain of gamers. But it’s not all for the good.

Whilst games tend to get bad press whenever something anti-social happens amongst “youths”, it appears games are not the culprit. In fact, gaming, on the whole, can have some real-life benefits.

Obviously, like anything in life, they should be played responsibly and in moderation. You do need to get out of the house from time to time.

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Are Video Games And Screens Another Addiction

In our increasingly digitalized world, where most of us, and even our children, own electronic devices with screens, many parents and adults worry about the impact of screen use for themselves and their children.

There is much controversy over the effects of screen use and exposure to violence in video games. This year, the American Academy of Pediatrics rolled back some of the strict guidelines for screen time, citing that not all time children spend in front of digital devices is negative. The AAP sought to strike a balance between the increasing dependence on technology and what is healthy for young, developing minds.

Yet, a reason for concern and thoughtful monitoring of screen use remains. A 2014 study conducted by Zhejiang Normal University in China found that young adults who were addicted to online gaming showed lower volumes of gray and white brain matter than young adults in the control group who were not addicted to online gaming. Lower volumes of gray and white matter in some areas of the brain translates to increased difficulties with;decision-making, impulse control and emotion regulation.

In addition, recent studies have found that excessive video game and screen time interferes with sleep, mood and social learning in children and adolescents.

Is screen time damaging?

How can gaming become an addiction?

What can we do?

Jennifer Wickham is a licensed professional counselor in Behavioral Health in;Eau Claire.

Topics in this Post

Effects Of Video Games On Addiction

What is video game addiction?Video game addiction, like alcohol and drug addiction, is an impulse disorder. Gamers rely on their ability to play video games at all times. If they are unable to get their “fix,” they start to experience irritability and aggression. Rather than relying on a substance, gamers rely on the fantasy world that gaming provides to escape their own reality.

What are the types of video game addiction?There are two types of video game addiction. First is the addiction to single-player video games. Gamers get addicted to beating a certain score or completing a specific mission. If they are unable to do so, they become obsessed.

The other type of video game addiction has to do with multi-player games. Gamers addicted to these types of games get lost in their “virtual world.” They find a way to escape their own reality and become one with their online character and the people in it. When forced to leave this fantasy world, the addict can become irritable and/or aggressive.

What are the physical signs of video game addiction?Every gamer will exhibit different symptoms of video game addiction, but some of the most common include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Lack of caring for oneself.
  • Headaches.

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Effects Of Video Games On Behavior

Do video games affect behavior?The benchmark for negative effects from playing video games centers on the 3-hour mark. At that point, video game players tend to exhibit behavior issues, act more hyper, and lose interest in school and academics, more so than those who play less than 3 hours a day.

Do video games cause violent behavior?Violent video games have been tied to violent behavior, but to varying degrees. While it often shows decreased empathy in video game players, as well as a tendency to be more aggressive, there are no conclusive studies that show a direct correlation between video games and crimes committed. The feeling is that the longer a person is exposed to violent video games, the more aggressive they may become.

Can video games cause anxiety?A study conducted by researchers at Nottingham Trent University and University of Oulu found that video game addiction leads to anxiety among other mental health issues. As much as 9% of gamers experience some type of anxiety as a result of their game playing habit, although the numbers tend to be lower in children game players than adult game players.

The Effects Of Video Games On The Brain

This Is How Video Games Are Secretly Affecting Your Brain

The Effect of Video Games on the BrainIn todays society, the concerns for the effects of video games have acquired quite a terrible reputation. Worried parents around the world assume video games make their children do poorly in school, and create violent, desensitized, antisocial children. The increase in violent games, usually get the blame for aggressive behavior, shootings and violence in schools and young individuals. Most beliefs about video games effect on the brain and emotions are very

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In The Time Period That Violent Video Games Have Become Popular Youth Violence Has Declined

It’s easy to find video games that depict blood, gore, and violence. Yet studies show that youth violence has consistently declined as these games have become available.

One study out of Boston University found that youth violence rates dropped 29% between 2002 and 2014. Youth violence rates spiked from 1980 to 1994, according to the Urban Institute. But those rates started to plummet in the 1990s, dropping 34% between 1994 and 2000.

This is just a correlation it does not mean that games cause violence rates to drop. But it also doesn’t support the idea that violent games are “creating monsters,” as Trump put it in 2012.

Daphne Bavelier & C Shawn Green

Although the popular media has a strong tendency to produce breathless headlines about the effects of video games, it is worth noting that the term video games is far from a single construct and thus, has almost no scientific predictive power. One can no more say what the effects of video games are, than one can say what the effects of food are. There are millions of individual games, hundreds of distinct genres and sub-genres, and they can be played on computers, consoles, hand-held devices and cell phones. Simply put, if one wants to know what the effects of video games are, the devil is in the details.

Studies that have examined perception and spatial cognition have focused on one specific genre of games the so-called action video games. Indeed, playing this type of game results in a wide range of behavioural benefits, including enhancements in low-level vision, visual attention, speed of processing and statistical inference, among others. Furthermore, properly controlled training studies have repeatedly demonstrated a causal link between video game playing and enhanced abilities. Hence, it is not just that people who naturally choose to play games have better perceptual skills. The ability to improve ones abilities through practice has obvious practical ramifications, from rehabilitation of visual skills in individuals with amblyopia to the training of surgeons.

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Games Can Teach You To Be A Better Problem Solver

Open-world, mission-based, and multi-level games are designed like complex puzzles that take several hours to solve. Occasionally, the solution varies based on your actions in the game. Learning to think on your feet and strategize in a fast-paced fantasy environment is a skill that can translate to the real world. One long-term study published in 2013 showed that children who played strategy-based games showed an improvement in problem-solving skillsand thus, tended to get better gradesthe next school year.

Video Games Increase Brain Volume

10 Ways Video Games Affect Your Brain

A study from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus has revealed that playing real-time strategy games, such as Super Mario 64, can increase the brain’s gray matter. Gray matter is the layer of the brain that is also known as the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex covers the outer portion of the cerebrum and cerebellum. Increases of gray matter were found to occur in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum of those who played strategy type games. The hippocampus is responsible for forming, organizing, and storing memories. It also connects emotions and senses, such as smell and sound, to memories. The prefrontal cortex is located in the brain’s frontal lobe and is involved in functions including decision-making, problem solving, planning, voluntary muscle movement, and impulse control. The cerebellum contains hundreds of millions of neurons for processing data. It helps to control fine movement coordination, muscle tone, balance, and equilibrium. These increases in gray matter improve cognitive function in specific brain regions.

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Mri Analysis And Specifications

Of nine eligible studies, one study used resting-state MRI analysis, three studies used structural MRI analysis, and five studies used task-based MRI analysis. A study by Haier et al. used MRI analyses of two types . A summary of MRI analyses is presented in . The related resting-state, structural, and task-based MRI specifications are presented in , and respectively.

Violent Vacuous Or Vindicated

Video games come in many beguiling forms, but only a few subgenres have been examined closely in terms of their effects on the brain.

Dr. Daphne Bavelier, brain scientist at the University of Rochester and the University of Geneva, has prolifically researched homicidal first person shooter games such as;Call of Duty. Her research found that gamers brains show activity in multiple brain regions, indicating numerous and surprising visual-spatial benefits in areas like perception, attention, task switching, mental rotation, brain plasticity, learning, short-term memory, crowding acuity, contrast sensitivity, and perceptual decision processes.

Bavelier isnt an outlier, either: Italian, Polish, and Dutch researchers agree with her findings. In a 2013 study, for example, researchers found that FPS game participants showed a more flexible mindset and faster reaction time than non-gamers.

But wait: are these types of visual-spatial skills useful to anyone other than future assassins? Yes. Many bloodless vocations including engineering, mathematics, natural sciences, economic forecasting, architecture, art, and design require the eye-hand intelligence that video games develop.

In fact, many daily modern chores like reading maps, driving in heavy traffic, packing objects, and orienting yourself in a new environment, such as a school or office building demand visual-spatial intelligence.

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There Are Also Links Between Video

Some researchers have found that kids who played video games were more creative than kids who didn’t play and it didn’t matter which type of video game was used.

The same thing was not true for other technology use, like use of cell phones or the internet. But again, researchers aren’t sure whether games made kids more creative or creative kids were drawn to games.

Too Many Video Games Can Be Harmful

How Video Games Affect Your Brain

What are the negative effects of video games?Video games can negatively affect the brain, memory, and vision. They can cause stress, anxiety, and even isolation if the addiction gets severe enough. Video games can even kill brain cells and interrupt a person’s sleep.

How do video games affect the brain?Studies show that people playing “shooter games” damage the hippocampus area of their brain. This is the area used for spatial and long-term memories. Research states that this is because shooter games require excessive use of the caudate nucleus rather than the hippocampus. The caudate nucleus takes grey matter from the hippocampus, which can lead to illnesses like depression and Alzheimer’s.

How do video games affect your memory?A study conducted by Pyc and Rawson showed that “video gamers” lose some of their short-term memory, but have better long-term memory than non-gamers. The participants studied two pictures for 2½ minutes. After that time, half of the students played a video game for 15 minutes while the other half read a book. After the 15 minutes, each group wrote down what they could remember from the first picture. After 24 hours, they returned and wrote down what they recollected from the second picture. The “gamers” scored better on the 24-hour test, but worse on the test immediately following the video game playing.

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Video Games Can Improve Your Vision

As long as youre not staring at the screen for 10 hours straight , playing video games can actually make for better vision. In one study, 10 male students who were not gamers were trained for 30 hours in first-person action games and then tested against 10 non-gamers. The students who played were able to see objects more clearly in cluttered spaces because of improved spatial resolution. They were able to train their brains to see smaller details, because in each game, those details turned out to be important.

Effects Of Video Games On Health

Are video games harmful to child development?In a study conducted by psychologist Craig A. Anderson, it was proven that children who play “aggressive” video games often have aggressive behavior. They also have a decreased level of empathy for others. Others state that “violent video games” desensitize. This may make an adult less affected by violence as well as more likely to commit the violence himself.

How many hours of video game play is unhealthy?The “sweet spot” for video game playing is one hour or less a day. With this amount of video game playing, children have better social skills and enjoy life more. On the other hand, those who play more than 3 hours per day have problems with hyperactivity and attention, and have inept social skills.

So, it’s not that playing games is unhealthy, it’s that playing them for too long at one time is the problem. Mix it up, then choose a program like Mistplay, which makes the best use of your game time with loyalty rewards.

Does playing video games hurt your vision?Just like 3 or more hours of video game play can cause health issues, it can also cause vision issues. While playing video games for short times does have its benefits, playing for more than 3 hours can cause computer eye syndrome, eye pain, issues with focusing, and even headaches.

They think it’s because your eyes say that you are moving, but your inner ear says that you aren’t. Your brain gets confused and it could result in dizziness and nausea.

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