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Have you always wanted to have strong arguments up your sleeve for your favorite hobby? We looked at one or the other study and came up with 10 arguments that explain the potentially positive effects of video games and show how games can help people.
Help: You already know to harm the opposite of them.
Video games can improve motor skills
Anyone who's ever spent a lot of time with preschoolers knows that the only thing they're good at is conjunctivitis and the only thing they're good at throwing is spaghetti. On the floor.
In July 2012, however, health researchers at Deakin University in Australia discovered that the little ones who play interactive video games similar to those on the Wii, for example, have better motor skills.
The results of the study showed that the motor skills responsible for controlling an object (such as kicking away, catching and throwing a ball) were more pronounced in children who played interactive games.
“This study was not designed to assess whether interactive gaming can actually develop children's movement skills. Nonetheless, the results are quite interesting and suggest the need to further explore a possible link, ”said Dr. Lisa Barnett, head of the study.
“These kids may have better coordination skills because they play interactive games that can help develop these types of skills (like moving bowling on the Wii). Interactive electronic games can also help to train hand-eye coordination. "
Barnett conceded, however, that interactive electronic games were also more appealing to children who already had advanced object control skills, and that adults who played video games had better motor skills than non-gamers.
Iowa State University psychologist Douglas Gentile and Dr. James Rosser, director of minimally invasive surgery at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, published a study in 2007 that compared laparoscopic surgeons who play video games with those who don't.
During laparoscopic procedures, the surgeons work with small incisions and use tiny video cameras and the thinnest surgical tools. Even taking into account differences in age, length of training, and number of laparoscopies performed, the study found that surgeons who play video games are 27 percent faster and make 38 percent fewer mistakes than their non-gaming counterparts.
"The best indicator of your ability is knowing how many times you have played video games in the past and how many times you still do today," said Gentile. "A lot more can be determined from this than from the length of training and the number of operations performed."
"So the first question you ask your surgeon is how many of these interventions he or she has been through, and the second question is 'Are you a gamer?'"
Video games can relieve pain
According to a study presented by the American Pain Society in 2010, video games and virtual reality experiences can be as effective as pain relievers in children and adults.
The study showed that participants who were immersed in a virtual environment during serious treatments such as chemotherapy reported "significantly less stress and anxiety". And in the care of burn wounds? There, the pain rating of the patients was between 30 and 50 percent lower.
“Virtual reality creates a regulating effect that arises in the body, that is, it is endogenous. Thus, the pain relieving effect is not simply due to the distraction involved, it should also influence how the brain reacts to pain stimuli, ”said Jeffrey I. Gold, director of the Pediatric Pain Management Clinic at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. "The patient concentrates on the one hand on the game and not on the pain or the treatment, on the other hand, the virtual environment also occupies the other senses, especially the visual one."
Research published in September 2012 by Keele University in the UK came to a similar conclusion, the study found that volunteers were more tolerant of pain after playing a violent video game.
The participants played both a shooter and a golf game, each for ten minutes on different occasions. Immediately afterwards, they put one of their hands in ice-cold water to test their reaction to the pain. On average, the participants who played the violent shooter were able to hold their hand in the ice water 60 percent longer. The Keele team believed that increased pain tolerance and increased heart rate were due to the body's natural 'fight or flight' response to stress, which can reduce its sensitivity to pain.
The study was initiated after it was discovered in Keele that swearing increases tolerance to pain. So we should all curse more.
Video games can improve eyesight
There are two things that parents around the globe tend to claim are blind and only one of them is masturbating.
The other is playing video games.
But sometimes parents also really miss it.
So the next time someone unplugs your television's power cord to save your eyes from being slowly sautéed, be sure to let them know that video games have been proven to actually improve eyesight.
In 2007, the University of Rochester, New York, presented a study that found that just 30 hours of "training" on a first-person shooter could significantly increase spatial resolution; this is the ability to see clearly small, densely placed objects.
In 2009, another study from the University of Rochester found that action game players can see up to 58 percent improvement in their perception of subtle differences in contrast.
"If you drive the car early in the morning and it is also a bit foggy, that can be the decisive factor in whether or not you see the vehicle in front of you," study director Daphne Bavelier told LiveScience.
Bavelier, a professor of cognitive and neuroscience at the University of Rochester, explained that the ability to see the smallest differences in shades of gray is the primary limiting factor in how well a person can see.
More recently, however, developmental psychologist Daphne Maurer had caused quite a stir with her research suggesting that people born with cataracts can improve their visual skills by playing a first-person shooter.
In early 2012, Maurer, director of the Visual Development Lab at McMaster University Ontario, revealed a study that concluded that just ten hours of gaming had dramatically improved the eyesight of people who were almost blind as babies. After 40 hours, they were even able to read two additional lines on an eye chart.
In an interview with The New York Times in September 2012, Maurer went into detail about why she thinks first-person shooters are so helpful.
“If the question arises as to what could be an effective therapy for visual impairment, then first-person shooters would have a whole lot of valuable properties,” she explains. “Because the person who plays them has to monitor their entire field of vision, not just what is happening in front of them. The player has to have everything in view because the opponent could come from anywhere. The game is fast. You can't sit back, otherwise you will be shot. We know that this kind of game changes neurochemicals. It causes an adrenaline rush. It also causes dopamine levels in the brain to rise. This can potentially ensure that the brain becomes more malleable. "
“Video games could actually rewire the brain and allow new connections to form. You could activate connections that may always have been there but never strong enough to be pronounced. And video games could help the brain to respond more effectively to small and weak visual stimuli. Or all three assumptions apply. "
Playing video games can also help improve the eyesight of adults with amblyopia (low vision). Participants in a 2011 study in which they had played with a key over their “healthy” eye for 40 hours reported a significant improvement in 3D depth perception and visual acuity.
Amblyopia can be treated in children by having an eye patch covering the “good eye”, which forces the brain to use and strengthen the “lazy eye”. However, the researchers want to increasingly use the video game method with today's kids, as they already perceive eye patches to be socially disadvantageous compared to the coolest thing in the world.
Video games help you make decisions faster
After discovering that video games can help you identify more shades of gray, University of Rochester cognitive scientists also found that playing video games can train people to make correct decisions faster.
Researchers found that video game players “develop an increased sensitivity to what is happening in their environment, which not only gives them advantages when playing, but which also positively influences a wide range of general skills needed in everyday activities such as multitasking and leading a vehicle, reading small print, not losing friends in a crowd and being able to find your way around the city. "
People make decisions based on probabilities that they calculate over and over again in their heads. This process is called probabilistic reasoning; the brain hoards fragments of optical or acoustic information until it has collected enough of it for its owner to make what it considers to be a targeted decision.
As the scientists discovered, video gamers' brains are actually more effective collectors of visual and acoustic stimulus information. This enables gamers to gather the details they need to make an adequate decision faster than non-gamers.
Video games can curb mental illness
Last April, researchers at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, discovered that a computer game designed to help teenagers get out of their depression was "just as effective as one-on-one counseling sessions with the therapist."
For the study, which was published in the British Medical Journal, 94 young people diagnosed with depression played a 3D fantasy game called SPARX.
SPARX is designed to teach young people cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help them better manage their symptoms. In many cases, SPARX had even been observed to reduce symptoms of depression more than conventional treatment.
But that's not all. In a study published in 2010 and re-presented at the British Psychology Society Annual Conference in early 2012, a team from Oxford University found that playing Tetris shortly after a traumatic experience caused flashbacks related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can actually prevent it.
Dr. Emily Holmes concluded that Tetris "acted as a cognitive vaccine" that apparently made "immune to flashbacks."
The participants were shown "a film with traumatic pain and death scenes". Thirty minutes later, they were divided into three groups. One group was playing Tetris, another was doing a guessing game, and the third was doing nothing. In another study, the participants were given a rest period of four hours instead of 30 minutes.
According to the scientists, in both experiments, participants suffered significantly fewer flashbacks playing Tetris. Tetris is believed to interfere with the brain's information storage process, which takes about six hours, making it difficult for the brain to create and retain traumatic memories that later show up as flashbacks.
On the next page, you'll find more arguments why video games are good for you