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Are video games good for your brain ?


Posted on Thursday, 31 October, 2013 | Comment icon 22 comments

A controller for the PlayStation 3. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Kenny Louie
A new study suggests that playing video games can have a beneficial impact on the brain.
The debate over whether playing video games can be harmful or beneficial to a person's health is nothing new, some see playing games as the modern age equivalent to being a couch potato while others see it as an avenue to social confidence, faster reflexes and a sharpened mind.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute decided to put this to the test by conducting an experiment in which volunteers were tasked with playing 30 minutes of Super Mario 64 every day over a period of two months.

What the team found was that frequent game playing seemed to result in a direct increase in the regions of the brain responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation, strategic planning and motor skills.

"While previous studies have shown differences in brain structure of video gamers, the present study can demonstrate the direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase," said study leader Simone Kühn. "This proves that specific brain regions can be trained by means of video games."

The results suggest that playing video games may even have therapeutic benefits for people with conditions such as Alzheimer's or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Source: Red Orbit | Comments (22)

Tags: Video Games


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by mumanster on 1 November, 2013, 20:00
Yes, full agreement, moderation is always the way to go. My 'gamer boy's' skills in keyboard use is beyond the par, he can type faster than I can think and flawlessly, the result of online chats during games, his social skills are beyond most in determining strategic reply's to leading questions, his self confidence is enormous because of these interactions and his ability to detach from a gaming environment is demonstrated easily. But given the chance to know he has no other commitments to attend to, he is glued to his machine, missing meals and sleeps in the pursuit of winning th3e big one, ... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by RichardRoma on 1 November, 2013, 20:42
It's probably bad for the eyes though.
Comment icon #15 Posted by kannin on 1 November, 2013, 22:31
yay if i play black ops i can survive a zombie outbreak! O.o
Comment icon #16 Posted by mumanster on 2 November, 2013, 2:11
It's probably bad for the eyes though. Your right there, I have been using computers for 12 odd years and my eyesight is now atrocious.. I make interactive books, games and vids and things like that and had to buy 3 different specs at $NZ1200 each time....
Comment icon #17 Posted by baro67 on 2 November, 2013, 8:56
I bet that if instead of Super Mario 64 they had chosen a game like Carmaggedon results would not have been the same lol
Comment icon #18 Posted by Duchess Gummybuns on 2 November, 2013, 23:40
Well, I'll have a reason as to why I didn't study for my big exam now...
Comment icon #19 Posted by BaneSilvermoon on 3 November, 2013, 0:57
Most of the gaming addicts I have met or know {I live with one} has shown very little social skills {an inability to socialize with others or generally get along with others}, the attention span of a goldfish, has pronounced emotional immaturity {throwing tantrums like small children} and often has anger management issues. This is the individual, not the activities they choose. I perhaps fit the poor social skills part, though I get along with people fine, just awkwardly. However compared to others I've met in my life I have a very high patience level and attention span. I work in production s... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by shaddow134 on 3 November, 2013, 2:47
There is nothing wrong with gaming,I play games and I play online. The secret is as some have already said is moderation.I put my Wife and marriage first and when I do play, I play in short sessions and remain firmly planted in the Real world.
Comment icon #21 Posted by White Crane Feather on 3 November, 2013, 5:38
It depends on what is considered beneficial and at what cost?
Comment icon #22 Posted by DieChecker on 6 November, 2013, 1:55
The viedogames have been blamed for years as the main root cause of the worst imaginable pulses in the young people, and now suddenly discovers that are good for the brain..but please.. Before video games it was Dungeons and Dragons and violent Movies that made kids Crazy. I do have a friend who lost a whole Semester of college due to Diablo II. It is said that kids that played video games are much better soldiers. They have better reaction times and have familiarity with many military situations. Also tanks, fighter planes, drones and whatnot all drive like a video game now.


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