How Video Games affect the Brain
  • Videos
  • Music
  • New & Trending
  • Games
  • Community
  • Shop
  • Categories
Print Friendly and PDF Version

May 2, 2012

How Video Games affect the Brain

A number of research operations have been carried out that have effectively highlighted the
positive as well as the negative effects of video games on the brain of gamer. Like two sides
of a coin, video games also have their own set of positives and negatives. This read will
help you to choose the side you would like to be on, the category which is in favour of video
games, or the category which is against them. The effects of the video game are based on a
number of factors which have briefly been divided into five main subcategories.

1. Amount: This refers to the time one might spend playing a video game. A short
amount of time over the week would be beneficial to allow the gamer to improve
coordination skills and response timing. However when gamers spend too much
time playing video games, the ultimate result is that a large chuck of time is being
wasted which could be used to do a number of other things. A gamer may suffer video
game addiction as it has been termed where productive activities like work, study or
creative activities take a back seat while the gamer spends hours after hours playing
video games. Also, it reduces the time one can dedicate to physical activities, thus
increasing the chances of obesity. This concern has been catered to by motion sensor
games; however it is not enough to address other issues which arise if a gamer spends
more time than required on a video game.
2. Content: A gamer has a habit of relating the content seen in the game to real life
situations, thus it becomes important to study the content of the game that the
gamer’s brain is being exposed to. The kind of decision making practices that a
gamer carries out while in play may later be used in everyday life. This may increase
decision making accuracy in some situations, while severely hamper accuracy in
other situations. A number of games are designed particular for children suffering
from chronic illness to allow them to learn to cope with the disease in a fun and
interactive manner. However other games which highlight bloodshed and violence
have been known to intercept with the decision making ability of the gamer in real life
situations, where violence and fights suddenly seem like the best alternative.
3. Structure: The structure and background of the game can be one of the major factors
which affect brain functioning in the gamer. Certain games are intended to make
the player focus attention to one particular spot and react to the stimuli given there,
while others require the player to spot the smallest changes all over the screen to
indicate movement and stimuli. The games that focus on a single stimulus are known
to largely increase attention span and focus abilities, while the ones with multiple
stimuli increase response timing, but decrease the ability of a person to focus on one
particular thing.
4. Context: The context on which video games are based can greatly alter brain
functioning of the gamer. Games that have been designed as multiplayer, to facilitate
team work in order to win, encourage people to work in teams even in situations
outside the game. This helps the gamer to become a better team performer as well as
a better team leader, while those that have been intended to allow a gamer to survive
and move forward alone, make the gamer become loner in everyday performance as
well. It reduces one’s trust on other people’s instinct and decision. A group of friends
however, playing a multiplayer aggressive games could actually lead to the birth of
a group of aggressive personalities, working together to fulfil each other’s violent
5. Mechanics: The movement and motor skills needed to pay video games well can
actually compliment a number of professional careers. Doctors for example, who use
video technology and mechanics as extensions of their own hands to perform intricate
surgeries, may benefit from this kind of practice that video games can easily give.

Thus it becomes important to carefully study the effects of a video game, as well as the
response of the gamer before deciding whether they are a boon or a curse.

Researches have shown that video games, with their practice of giving results and evaluations
easily can release large amounts of dopamine in the brain which is the feel good hormone.
This hormone is important to enter a happy, euphoric state and also helps to reduce stress and
pain. However too much of this can substitute the dopamine release that people would feel
from other things like success, companionship etc. and thus it forces the gamer into video
game addiction.

Also, video games have been known to help develop brain cells by forming new links in
the receptors of our brain. These links may develop on the basis of the content and structure
of the game. Learning, interactive and fun games are particularly praised for developing
emotional stability and emotional reasoning cells, while aggressive games are known to
develop defence, fight and spotting skills much better.

On the basis of the way gamers react to games as oppose to the reasoning being applied in
real life, the games may be harmful or efficient. If you are a gamer, make sure you interpret
the game benefits and disadvantages correctly and use the same wisely. If you know a gamer,
make sure you can analyse the balance between the advantages and limitations in the actions
of the gamer and how you can contribute to rearranging the same for the better.

Author Box
The post is authored by Jefferey Morgan; he is adept at writing health and fitness articles. He
strongly believes in Law of Karma, what you sow so shall you reap. His site provides tools
and skills on how to get ripped fast. Visit his site to gain insights on Get this ripped.