For the last 30 years or so, video games have been blamed for many of society’s ills ranging from hyperactive children to violent behavior. However, a growing body of evidence is revealing that not only is this reputation undeserved, but that video games are actually good for you and for society.
Anyone who plays video games, but especially older adults, tends to enjoy enhanced cognitive function. Faster reaction time, better memory and improved ability to switch between tasks are just a few of the benefits offered by video games. One study even revealed that both violent and nonviolent games boosted cognitive function. Research has found that people who play video games are better at counting rapidly, tuning out distractions and absorbing more information in a shorter amount of time.
Games that require you to get up and move, such as many of the titles for Nintendo’s Wii, can help you stay fit. A study performed by the Mayo Clinic demonstrated that kids who played Wii Sports burned nearly 190 calories per hour.
Video games can make it easier to learn how to perform tasks that require the use of video technology. For example, one study was done in which students spent five hours each week playing either a chess simulation game or a first-person shooter. Unsurprisingly, the students who played the shooting game had an easier time learning to perform endoscopic surgery.
Confirming what many people have known for years, researchers are now saying that video games can be useful teaching tools. For example, one game that was designed for children with cancer made them more likely to take their medication.
Training and Recruitment
Shooting games have proven to be a great method of training and recruiting people for real-life firearm use. A game created by the U.S. Army, aptly named America’s Army, has been described as the most effective recruitment tool the military has ever had.
Reduce Violent Crime
Although people have long believed that violent video games breed violent criminals, studies show that the opposite is true. This may be because engaging in virtual violence and aggression leaves people with less time and motivation for the real thing.
The increasing push for faster and more realistic games has fueled huge advancements in computer technology. For example, the U.S. Air Force created a fast and inexpensive supercomputer by linking together 1,760 PlayStation 3 consoles. The Air Force intends to use the combined system to operate a virtual-reality training simulator.
Video games and their accessories make up a significant portion of the country’s economy. In 2010, $16 billion was spent on software and a further $9 billion was spent on gaming PC hardware. That’s to say nothing of the amount of jobs that this popular hobby creates.
A study from the University of Rochester examined the effects of video games on eyesight and found that people who played them enjoyed an improved ability to distinguish between shades of grey and pick out small details from clutter.
While many people believe that video games are better suited to males, research has shown that young girls who play video games with their parents enjoyed a closer familial bond and better mental and emotional health than if they played alone or with friends.
Author Bio: David Borg works with Dell and loves writing about anything tech related. When he is not working he enjoys spending time with his family. If you want more information about Dell gaming computers click here.