Science & Technology
Effects of Videogames
By Rachel Ezeadichie
Volume 1 Issue 5
February 12, 2021
Image provided by Shutterstock
The article “How Videogames Affect the Brain” discusses the pros and cons of videogames and whether they either strengthen or weaken the brain. Videogames have been both antagonized and praised by the public without conclusive proof from either side. After years of research, scientists have found that videogames can change different regions of the brain. For example, studies have found that gamers have shown improvements in different types of attention, like selective and sustained attention. Parts of the brain that play a role in attention are more efficient in gamers and they tend to have greater experience focusing on demanding tasks.
Though some games improve our brains, others don’t. Even some games branded as “Brain-training” aren’t as beneficial as we may think. Wally Boot, Associate Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, said “Our findings and previous studies confirm there’s very little evidence these types of games can improve your life in a meaningful way”. Researchers found that you could train the brain to do certain things with these games, but these games might not necessarily be helpful in your day-to-day life.
In contrast, studies have shown that specific 3-D games can help improve cognitive function in older adults. After 12 hours of training over the period of a month, study participants aged 60-85 improved performance in a game to a greater degree than people in their 20s playing it for the first time. This also improved their working memory and sustained attention; these skills were maintained 6 months after the study. A study done by the University of California-Irvine found that 3-D games could also help the formation of memories. 3-D games are more complex and stimulate the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is important for memory. Strategy games have also been seen to improve brain function in older adults and provide protection against dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Thus, video games have more of a positive impact on our bodies than much of the public believes.
This article is extremely informative about something we use in our everyday lives. I didn’t know that videogames had that much depth to them! The fact that they affect our brains more than we thought is very interesting. Now that I know this information, I can be aware of what the videogames I play are doing to my brain. Knowing that even these things meant for entertainment can change our body makes me interested in what and how other activities affect our body that I may not know about.