by Gordon Coleman
Throughout the past couple of decades, many people have discussed and researched the effect of video games on humans. I believe that it is possible that playing video games can actually help a person live longer. It may seem like a bold statement to say that gaming could help extend your life, but there is some research to reinforce that theory.
Therapeutic and relieves stress: A study about the effects of regular gaming on children diagnosed with illnesses like depression, autism and Parkinson’s disease was conducted by the University of Utah in 2012. They found that for certain games players showed signs of improvement in resilience, empowerment and a fighting spirit. As children faced the daily challenges of their illnesses, their demeanor would improve with positive emotions and a sense of reward for accomplishments achieved in gameplay.
Various studies throughout the U.S. have shown that video games help relieve stress for all ages. Instead of having pent-up aggression, children can blow off steam from stressful days at school. This can be said for adults in their daily lives as well.
There is no definitive genre or type of game that specifically helps in relieving stress. Most of the various national research tend to center around the idea that as long as individuals process that they are winning or at least reaching a desired result — they will feel happier.
The “happier effect” was shown in people playing all kinds of games including puzzles, racing, fighting and shooting.
Improves decision-making skills: Cognitive neuroscientists at the University of Rochester looked into the effect of video games on the brain. With most games requiring fast reactions and split-second decisions that impact virtual life and death, researchers found that this collated to real life as well. Gaming gives a player’s brain plenty of practice for making choices in real life. It was suggested that the more an individual plays quick decision games, that in the real world they could make an educated choice quicker.
Benefits from playing video games will differ depending on the games themselves. One size does not fit all and gaming is no exception. For example, fast-paced games would do more harm than good for anyone dealing with motion sickness, but a simple puzzle game with minor movements could still fit well for them.
As with anything on this planet, everyone who plays video games should do it in moderation. Staring at a screen for too long may hurt your eyes, sitting for days without moving can be physically harmful and ignoring responsibilities is a big no-no, but this is true outside of gaming already.
It is known that lower stress tends to decrease chances of ailments and increases recovery from illnesses. Also, making better decisions quickly could possibly determine someone’s fate in a dire situation. While there is no direct evidence that gaming leads people to live longer lives, I believe that the above benefits might help on the road to better health. If you would like to comment or ask questions, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.