The Surprising Mental Health Benefits Of Video Games


It is normal and healthy for children, especially children, to compete with their peers as they compete for status and recognition. In my surveys and focus group studies with young teens, “I like to compete with other people and win” was one of the most popular reasons to play video games, again, especially for children. Video games are a safe place to express those competitive impulses, and they can give kids who aren’t good at sports a chance to excel. In my own research, players talked about learning new moves from sports video games and then practiced them on the basketball court or on skateboards. Some adopted new sports after being introduced to video games. The real question with video games, as with much of screen time, is that of opportunity costs.

Playing video games has been linked to improved mood and mental health benefits. It may seem logical to think that violent video games like first-person shooters aren’t good for your mental health. René Proyer, a professor of psychology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, says playful adults are able to frame everyday situations in such a way that they become entertaining and intellectually stimulating.

This is true even for children who have difficulty reading and even when playing action games. In addition, in 2010, scientists presented research at the American Pain Society conference, which found evidence that playing video games, particularly virtual reality games, is effective in reducing anxiety or pain caused by chronic illness or medical procedures. While all other studies seem to draw opposing conclusions about the social effects of playing violent video games, studies with brain scans are troubling.

Video games such as Age of Mythology, Civilization, and Age of Empires can spark a child’s interest in world history, geography, ancient cultures, and international relations, especially if parents are aware of opportunities. There are many misconceptions about video games and the impact they have on mental health. The truth is that video games have many benefits, including developing complex problem-solving skills and fostering social interaction through online gaming. Video games can be a great way to stimulate your mind and improve your mental health. Video games present children with problems that need to be solved quickly to progress within a game: we’re talking about decision-making in a split second. Interestingly, children with attention and learning disabilities often benefit from games.

About a third of the children we studied said they played video games, in part because they enjoyed teaching others to play. An experimental study published in the Creativity Research Journal found a link between certain video games and creativity. The 353 participants played Minecraft with or without instruction, watched a TV show or played a race car game. The researchers found that those who played Minecraft without instruction completed subsequent tasks with the most creativity, perhaps because they were given the most freedom to think independently while playing, the researchers think. It’s another common trope that games cause attention problems.

However, Bavelier shows data that people who play video games are better able to keep track of the objects around them, while the average person can effectively follow three objects, video players can follow six to seven objects.

Many video games teach children to delegate, work as a team, and prioritize. Internet games that allow children to play with their real friends often require cooperation and division of labor to get past the level. When you play video games, almost every part of your brain works to help you reach a higher level of thinking. Depending Wonderland on the complexity of the game, you may need to think, strategize, and analyze quickly. Playing video games works with deeper parts of your brain that improve development and critical thinking. Simply put, high school kids played video games for at least two hours a day, while medical residents rarely had time to play.