5 health benefits of video games

Playing video games can reduce stress and reduce pain

A study presented at the American Pain Society’s annual meeting in 2010 showed that video games have a positive effect on people prone to chronic illnesses or undergoing severe treatments such as chemotherapy. Immersion in virtual reality allows patients to reduce anxiety and pain associated with medical procedures. An experiment on severely burned patients also showed that pain was reduced by 30-50% when patients played video games. In fact, playing video games stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain. This hormone is associated with happiness and falling asleep due to discomfort. By focusing on the other senses involved in the game, the brain pays less attention to pain.

Video games slow down the aging process

The University of Iowa conducted a study on the effects of video games on the aging process involving people over the age of 50. The results suggest that playing video games for two hours a week may delay the natural decline in cognitive abilities. It’s important to note that video games aren’t limited to open-world platformers like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla or TPS like Resident Evil. There are video games for seniors, memory games like Road Trip or computer crosswords, and cdkey or digital versions.

Video games that increase the amount of gray matter

A German study proves that video games act like steroids in the brain, increasing the amount of gray matter. For the study, a group of 23 adults aged around 25 played Super Mario 64 an average of 30 minutes a day for two months. Subsequently, MRIs of their brains showed an increase in gray cells in areas responsible for memory, organization, spatial navigation and manual motor skills.

Video games help children with dyslexia read

A study by Italian researchers from the University of Padua denies the negative effects of video games on the brains of young children. The experiment was conducted by dividing dyslexic children aged 7 to 13 into two groups. The children in the first group had to play the action game “Lehman Rabies”, while the other group played a slower paced game. A reading test was then carried out and the results showed that the children in the first group read with greater accuracy and speed than those in the second group. Therefore, playing video games can help children with dyslexia develop their attention span and improve their reading skills.

Strategy games to improve cognitive flexibility

Research by UK researchers from UCL and Queen Mary University of London has shown that strategy games such as StarCraft help develop intelligence by increasing brain flexibility. During the experiment, 72 volunteers were asked to choose between “StarCraft” or “The Sims” and play 40 hours over six to eight weeks. Psychological tests were administered to the participants at the end of the test. It turned out that people who played StarCraft were more likely to complete the predicted cognitive flexibility task quickly and accurately.