Although video games often receive a bad rap, KitGuru has demonstrated the many ways in which video games have a positive impact on gamers and non-gamers alike. While many people are aware of the health benefits of games through iProduct apps and dance games, other benefits are less widely known, such as how games can help seniors, aid in the fight to cure cancer, and prevent crime.
It is proven that video games actually do change your brain, often for the better. University of Wisconsin psychology C. Shawn Green cites that although any activity such as reading or playing instruments change brain activity, “games definitely hit the reward system in a way that not all activities do.” Tests measuring the impact of video games have been far and widespread, though these tests have determined that video games do, in fact, increase cognitive function.
Middle school students were studied for three years, and those that played computer games scored higher on creativity tests, no matter which kind of game they played. Another study found that those who play action games “[make] decisions 25% faster than others without sacrificing accuracy.” (Perhaps not a surprising find given that gamers are frequently expected to make rapid decisions on a constant basis.) Female gamers are even able to “mentally manipulate 3D objects” better than their non-gaming counterparts, an activity that men are typically more skilled at.
Since educational games have not yet attained a level as engaging as games produced for the general gaming population, the same effects cannot be achieved with your average Oregon Trail game, no matter the edition. The amount of intensity required for intense actions, sports games, etc. impacts the brain’s neurons in a way that less involved, educational games cannot. Scientists are still unsure whether the violence in these games is necessary to create a positive “learning effect.” Only further studies will show the importance of violence in brain function.
KitGuru says: Who knows what scientists will discover next regarding video games and their associated benefits? It can be said with some degree of certainty, however, that games will have a larger presence and impact in future society than can currently be predicted.