Video games and their effects is a hot topic by people in the world today. Most parents hate it, while the children enjoy it very much. Most adults worry that video games are horrible for children, some even refuse to have their child be near a video game (Huffington Post).
How do video games really affect us? Is it for the better, or for the worse?
Video Games Help, Doctors Say
Doctors have been using video games as a way of helping people. They have prescribed video games to many people. One use of video games in the health department is in physical therapy.
“The best example of video games being used as a tool in PT exercises is the Nintendo Wii, a gaming system released in 2007 that includes a series of sports games such as golf, baseball, basketball, and more. These games, originally designed purely for entertainment purposes, have been used as far back as 2008 by physical therapists for both occupational and neurological rehabilitation” (Hability.net).
After thorough testing by the University of Rochester, they say that video games allow people to make faster, but still accurate decisions from playing fast paced, action-packed video games. Daphne Bavelier, who led the research and study, said that our brain get a very big “work out” from playing these types of games.
Not only do video games help our decision making, but it can improve our problem solving skills as well. “Positive gaming” allows players to hone down their puzzle solving skills. This could be used as a form of “brain training” (American Psychological Association).
Excessive Gaming Hurts Body and Mind
According to livescience.com, the exposure to artificial light causes the body to not know when to create hormones to make the body think it’s time for sleep. The excessive playing, especially at night, makes people lose sleep which could lead to heart disease. The blue lights, or high wavelength light emitted from our screens prevents people from feeling sleepy.
Video games can also negatively impact children with behavioral issues and school. A study done in 2003 shows that kids who play video games excessively are more argumentative and tend to do worse in school. Also, kids who play video games also tend to show increased signs of depression and anxiety (National Institute on Media and The Family). These can affect children in major ways socially and physically.
All of this research does lead somewhere though. If video games are played in non-excessive amount, it can provide many benefits such as improved reflexes and help our brains get a “work out”. However, if anything is taken to extremes, even video games, it can have many negatives.
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By Dominik Kulis, 14