Video games has been one of the biggest industries in the world. To date, gaming has been a part of many cultures like South Korea, America, and even the Philippines. From PC to Console to Mobile, there is a game that is right for you.
Because video games are heavily popular, even being recognized as an E-Sport, there are a lot of opinions and views regarding it. Some people demonize it completely, while some embrace it to the fullest. Several research papers have been done to find the causal link between video games and violence but there are still more studies to go to either confirm or deny this allegation.
For some people, video games are attributed to failing grades, shallow relationships, and inability to connect to other people in a genuine level. However, one thing that is certain is that video gaming can affect and even cause structural changes inside the brain.
How Video Games Affect our Brain:
⦁ Video games can improve attention – attention is a function of the brain which helps you to focus your self into the tasks at hand. It has been found that gamers particularly improve on two types of attention:
⦁ Sustained attention or the ability to complete a task for a long amount of time without getting distracted
⦁ Selective attention or the ability to filter out distractions and focus on the most important task
⦁ Gamers have bigger right hippocampus – The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is responsible in keeping memories. To be specific, the hippocampus stores both declarative and spatial relationships. What’s the difference? Spatial relationships refer to pathways and routes while declarative memories refer to memorizing lines or speeches.
⦁ Video games also affect decision making – Gamers has been known to make faster decisions which is a useful skill in practical things like driving and survival.
The risk in too much video games
The number one risk in playing video games is addiction. Too much video games can make functional and structural changes to the brain that is similar to those who have an addictive disorder. There are also other things we may consider as risks if you allow yourself or your children to be immersed in video games:
⦁ Video games can teach wrong values to children – Violence, sexuality and bad language are just some of the things that is being normalized in games. Since video games are sometimes a whole new world to parents, they sometimes cannot filter games for their children to play with.
⦁ Video games can affect health – There are news pertaining to teens dying from overplaying since they do not eat just to maximize their game time. It can also affect posture, lead to obesity, and insomnia
⦁ Video games affect social health and academic performance – While there may be an upside to video games noted above, investing those benefits on video games also will negate its value. Since those who are addicted spend most of their time playing, grades suffer and they tend to go isolated and have difficulty communicating in public.
The bottom line:
Video games are a wonderful past time and a hobby. But if it affects your life, your relationship and your future – it’s time to think about your priorities and do what matters most.