Video Games Can Improve Children’s Brain Health, Study

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Rejoice, computer gamers! Parents won’t stop you from playing video games after reading these facts.

We often hear parents complaining about their children being addicted to computers and online video games. The previous generation parents (who are generally critical of excessive gaming and dependence on computers) tend to blame computer games when children score low in exams or express anger or violence. However, a series of studies conducted in different parts of the world by different researchers prove these beliefs wrong. Studies have shown that video games can have positive impacts on children, teenagers as well as adults.

Check out how:

  1. Online games can make teenagers sharp learners-

According to the study “Internet usage and educational outcomes among 15-year-old Australian students” led by  Alberto Posso, Associate Professor at RMIT University (Melbourne), teenaged students who play online video games regularly, are likely to perform better in studies. Published in the International Journal of Communication, the research is based on Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Capabilities of over 12,000 Australian children aged 15 were evaluated in mathematics, science and reading. Their online behaviours were also studied. It was noted that children who played online games were better in general knowledge and puzzle solving than those who spent more time on Facebook and Messengers.

  1. Gaming can help diagnose Autism in children-

Another research by Strathclyde’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Poland-based technology firm Harimata suggests that iPad games can be used to detect signs of autism in children at the earliest stage. This detection is possible by tracking the hand movements of players as the way autistic children touch, swipe and respond to gestures is different from other children. If supported by more future studies, this gaming technology could become an easy, inexpensive and fun way of diagnosing autism in children.

 

“Intelligent, fast-paced video games and computer-based puzzles are likely to improve children’s cognitive abilities.”

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  1. Video game players may be more intelligent than scientists! –

A study by U-M researchers, Northeastern University, University of Washington, and University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth proved that players of Foldit, an online game on protein folding, are sharper than scientists and computer algorithms and could more easily identify the shape of proteins. During the study it was observed that contestants other than gamers tried to find solutions independently, whereas gamers (winners) used a collaborative approach.

  1. Action/Racing games can improve visuomotor-control skills-

Researchers say that playing action games for at least 5 hours a week can improve visuomotor skills, the ability of co-ordinating vision and physical movements. Visuomotor skills are very much essential whilst driving. Video games such as Mario Kart may also help enhance visual abilities like visuospatial attention and sensitivity to contrast. During the study, inexperienced gamers who played first-person-shooter (FPS) game Unreal Tournament too showed improvement in visuomotor skills.