“The average age of gamers all over the world is 35, estimates showed in 2016. This is because aside from the stereotypical “teenager who doesn’t leave his mom’s basement and plays video games on desktops or consoles all day”, there has now emerged a new breed of gamers who don’t play games that often, but whose brains are also affected by how they choose to pass the time. They are called casual gamers…
According to the study, people who constantly play video games found out that their levels of sustained attention increased. Selective attention — or the ability to focus on a certain aspect that one deems important, thereby increasing levels of concentration on that area — also gained a boost.
When faced with a demanding task, people who have been immersed in playing video games find it easy — both in real life and during online simulations — to solve analytical problems. Due to their exposure to simulated action and the need to make on-the-spot choices, their decision-making skills have been honed, training them to quickly think on their feet.
Gamers were also found to have increased the size of their brain regions that are concerned with visuospatial skills, or the visual perception of spatial relationships of objects, and sensory-motor intelligence. Planning and other forms of proactive cognitive control skills were enhanced.
The bad side of gaming, the study countered, is that it was proven to stimulate addiction, which can lead to problems that range from the physical — obesity, poor vision, lack of sleep — to the mental and emotional…”
Where should I start with this? This study is headed in the right direction. There still are a few problems with it in my opinion. First let me start off by saying I do not believe playing video games nets all positive effects. I’ll get into that later.
I guess I should answer some simple questions first. Does anyone know why the average age for a gamer is 35? You can thank Nintendo for this. They made a system in the 1980’s call the NES or the Nintendo Entertainment System. It revived and transformed gaming. This is very important so remember this.
Now for the positive and negative effects. All those positive effects listed above are dependent on the type of games a person plays. Increased concentration, solving analytical problems, increased brain size and capacity; some games will increase these more than others. Because of this I think it’s a bad idea to look at all games as a whole.
A person wouldn’t compare a picture book to a book on astrology. Obviously one nets more positive effects in the brain than the other. I’m going to list a few points which are my opinion but I guarantee if studied they will be proven correct.
- Older gamers (more near the age 35) are probably smarter than younger gamers on average — Not because they’ve finished school. It’s because the types of games people play have changed over the years. Older gamers are more likely to have played text based or text heavy games. Older games are also EXTREMELY harder on average. They require much more skill in every way. Hand/eye coordination, critical thinking, pressure situations, decision making, reaction timing, a higher level of concentration… all of these things must be honed to a much higher degree on average in older games in comparison to newer games. Because older games require more from the player, those who play them will reap more positive real life benefits from gaming. Now there are some exceptions like competitive gaming which didn’t exist in the form it does now. Those exceptions are rare.
- People who play what I consider to be trash games will be dumber and or display more negative effects from gaming on average. Phone app games, shovel ware, games which do not require much if any type of skill or thinking, these types of games will not net much if any type of benefit. Furthermore, the cell phone itself hurts the human brain. Look up cellphone radiation.
- The negative effects, at least in this study, all stem from one thing; Addiction. That’s a self control issue and its not limited only to video games. A person can be addicted to anything.
- Dealing with potential vision problems: Sit far away from the TV and keep the lights on. Also let sunlight in through windows if possible. Take this advice it’s very important. A gamers most valuable possession is his eyes and hands. As a gamer who can play up to 18 hours a day this is how I keep my eyesight.
I do not believe playing video games nets all positive effects. I’ll get into that later.
Personally one of the biggest negative effects I see with video games is anti-social behavior if a person plays them a lot. Do note I do not mean “anti-social” in the scientific sense. Despite what the media says games like GTA do NOT create serial killers. I mean anti-social in the general sense. Obviously if a person does not interact with humans a lot they may become socially awkward.
Now you have a completely unbiased opinion from a person that has basically lived a video game since he was 5 years old. I’m the type of person you scientist study for this type of thing. You couldn’t find a more credible source than this even if you tried.
Oh, one more thing. When I was very young I wanted to be a scientist. I changed my mind later on in life. It doesn’t matter. I’m just saying…