As a teen mom who once had the worst living habits imaginable, I used to be a ‘no video games in the house!’ terror or my kids.
This was because I was scared, and wanted what was best for them. And most of the time, this meant that I had to act like a grouchy parent.
But after attending a recent Optimum Internet Price Gaming conference, I saw some light at the end of the tunnel.
Both for myself and my kids, that is.
And this ‘hope’ came through the discovery that video games aren’t bad for my kids’ health! They are actually beneficial for their developing brains.
And it turns out that there’s some pretty solid science to back this claim up.
Video Games are GREAT for Your Kids (in every way, really)
If you’re a single parent yourself, you can well imagine the relief that I experienced upon learning this fact.
And as the (generally) good human being that I am, I’ll also list 6 scientific studies which explain the link between gaming and mind-health more clearly.
Because as my 5th-grade biology teacher once told me, ‘you shouldn’t argue with the science’.
So that’s exactly what I did, and my household today is much happier because of it.
The kids don’t throw their tantrums anymore, and I’ve got much more time to chill with my glass of bourbon in the evenings. And of course, to indulge in my ongoing love affair with all the seasons of Desperate Housewives.
Life simply couldn’t be better.
And before I go on to note down the studies, just know that regular gaming isn’t bad for your kids’ eye-health either.
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That is a myth which we’ve (unfortunately) inherited from the 90s. And it is still proving to be a tough cookie to crack!
The (Emerging) Scientific Evidence
So without any further ado, here are the six recent studies on Gaming and Players’ Health that you should know about.
I’ll briefly explain each of these, so you know exactly where I’m trying to go with this piece.
- ‘Playing Video Games Increases Brain Volume’ – a study presented by Stephanie Schultz & others at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, 2014.
- ‘Playing Video Games Increases Brain Grey Matter’ – a study conducted by Simone Kuhn at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus, Germany.
- ‘Playing Video Games Increases Brain Flexibility’ – a study conducted jointly by the Queen Mary University of London and University College London
- ‘Better Multi-tasking Results shown by the Elderly after Video Gaming’ – paper published in the Nature Magazine, September 2014 edition
- ‘Fast Video Games Improve Dyslexic Child Patients’ Reading Skills’ – study carried by the American Psychological Association, April 2014
- ‘Video Gaming High Schoolers performed better at Virtual Surgery that First-Year Medical Residents’ – study conducted in 2012 at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.
In the first study, the researchers actually saw amazing increases in brain volume for those people who regularly played video games.
And you don’t need to be an expert to understand that large brains and high intelligence go hand in hand. From what I’ve heard on this issue, the opposite case is also true.
So if you want your kids to grow well upstairs, then let them play their favorite Xbox or PS4 games. Trust me, you’ll be doing them a favor!
In this case, the researchers found that gaming increases the brain’s grey matter. And this portion controls everything from a person’s five senses to his/her memory and emotions.
So if you want your kids to do well in these areas, let them play these games!
This study showed that people who play a lot of video games have greater brain flexibility than those who don’t.
This can mean that they may have greater IQs and problem-solving potential. Pretty cool, if you ask me.
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This study, according to the researchers at the gaming conference, caused quite a stir in the scientific community.
It showed that elderly people who played video games regularly showed improved multitasking ability.
And in a competition with their non-video game playing friends, they scored much better!
So why not give grandpa and grandma a video gaming console for next Christmas?
My youngest is dyslexic, so this study spelled a lot of hope for him. In fact, I can swear that his reading is much better today than when he first got diagnosed with the condition.
All thanks to the video games I bring him!
This study’s results came as something of a surprise to many. Because it actually showed that video gaming high schoolers were better at conducting virtual surgery than actual medical students!
The Frontier Internet Prices and Project actually did a backstory on this issue. And needless to say, the company’s interest greatly increased video game sales in the community.