Video Games are Good for Human Health
In the last decades, video games have evolved significantly, and people started debating about the pros and cons of playing video games. Some people believe that playing video games can harm children and grown-ups in various ways, on the other hand, scientists proved that video games actually help to improve eye-hand coordination, brainpower, brain speed etc. Video games improve the mental and physical health of players and also helps their social wellbeing.
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Playing video games requires you to attentively stare at the game and follow the instructions by making players more vision sensitive which improves their visual process. Whatever activities happen on the screen, it provides a lot of mental stimulation for the players. To play a game he or she needs to coordinate their eye, hand, ear at the same time. Amblyopic (also called “ Lazy eye”) is a disorder arising from early childhood. In this condition one eye becomes non-functional. Li and colleagues (Li et al., 2011) performed a test in which one group with Amblyopic disorder played video games with the only bad eye ( good eye was covered ) for 10 to 12 weeks. Another group did the same thing except playing video games they watched television. After 12 weeks the result was the first group who played video games showed great improvement and the other group did not.
Video games have rules and players have to think carefully while playing. Most of the time the player has to make a decision in split seconds to survive in-game and pass the current level. While playing, the player has to remember the keys to move the character properly and have to remember those keys throughout the game. This exercise helps the player with improving executive functioning. A test name Multi-Attribute Task Battery by Chiappe and colleague (Dan et al., 2013) found that by playing 50 hours of action video games significantly improved performance. The test modelled after skill required in piloting aircraft involved joystick to control the target, monitoring fuel level, respond to the instrument panel and radio communication.
Many studies and tests proved that video games help people in job-related skills too, especially jobs that required good hand-eye coordination, attention, excellent working memory, and quick decision-making. A study showed that in the ability to fly and land an aerial drone people who play video games are as good as a trained pilot on this skill (Andy et al., 2011). Another study showed that an inexperienced surgeon who plays video games outperformed the most experienced surgeon in their field (James et al., 2007).
A 2012 literature review published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (Brian et al., 2012) found in 38 examine that Video games Improve health and could help to relieve pain. The test outcome showed that video games helped 195 patients in psychological and physical both ways. Scientists showed research at the American Pain Society’s conference (George,2010) that playing video games, especially virtual reality games help reducing anxiety or pain as the focus is drawn to the game, not the pain or medical procedure. Virtual reality experience engages visual and other senses.
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On the other hand, some people believe that people can get the same results or more from playing real-life games. There are some who believe that playing violent action games have been shown to increase people's aggressive behaviour. Children can get addicted to video games and being constantly on the computer for hours can make them obese. Also constantly looking at the screen for extended hours can affect people's vision. Kids playing for long hours alone in seclusion can also relate to a decrease in social skills at school. AR/VR games can put players' lives in risk when they get immersed in virtual life so much that they stop being in their real lives and real-life accidents happen. in The World Health Organization ("Using Citations," 2018) declared gaming addiction as a mental health disorder.
In conclusion, video games are good for your health if you do not misuse it and overplay. Video games are a form of entertainment and are often associated with negative health consequences. However, when games are played in proper moderation and mindfulness, they help to reduce stress, help to improve brain memory, help to make eye and hand coordination better, help to forget about the pain for some time. If you overdo any medicine you will get the side effects of it, same with video games if you can control playing time it can help you with several ways as I showed in my paragraphs.
- Li, R. W., Ngo, C., Nguyen, J., & Levi, D. M. (2011, Aug 30). Video-Game Play Induces Plasticity in the Visual System of Adults with Amblyopia. Retrieved from https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1001135
- Chiappe, D., Conger, M., Liao, J., Caldwell, J. L., & Vu, K.-P. L. (2013, Mar). Improving Multitasking Ability through Action Videogames. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22981314
- McKinley, R. Andy, Lindsey K. Mclntire, and Margaret A. Funke. (2011). “Operator Selection for Unmanned Aeriel System: Comparing Video Game Players and Pilots.” Aviation Space, and Environmental Medicine 82:635-42. Retrieved from https://grants.nmsu.edu/new-nmsu-grants-minecraft-server/
- Rosser, J. C., Lynch, P. J., Cuddihy, L., Gentile, D. A., Klonsky, J., & Merrell, R. (2007, Feb). The Impact of Video Games on Training Surgeons in the 21st Century. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17309970
- Gaming Disorder. (2018, Sep 14). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/features/qa/gaming-disorder/en/
- Primack, B. A., Carroll, M. V., McNamara, M., Klem, M. L., King, B., Rich, M., … Nayak, S. (2012, June). Role of Video Games in Improving Health-Related Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3391574/
- George, R. (2010, May 9). Video Games Prove Helpful As Pain Relievers In Children And Adults. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/188108.php#1
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