Are video games really killing your brain?


Image taken from google.

Athena Coffey, Staff Reporter

We’ve all been told that video games “rot your brain” but is that necessarily true? Do video games really cause as much harm as we’re told?

False, biased information has been circling around the web ever since video games came to be. Finding credible research on this topic is incredibly difficult. The majority of sources out there either claim video games ruin your life or they are harmless.

However, there has been a lot of research on this issue and there has to be something out there. And there is. A study conducted in 2014 by Douglas Gentile, an associate professor of psychology at Iowa State University, ruled that the type of video game played affects teens in different ways.

Those who played peaceful games that encourage kind behavior and reward them for it often showed more kindness to others in their lives. On the other hand, participants playing violent games showed much more aggression.

This evidence has been proven by other studies as well. Even in some of the most peaceful countries like Japan, the results are exactly the same. So what does this mean? Are video games a positive or negative thing?

The answer is complicated. Gaming can be a good or bad thing for you, it just depends on a lot of things. The effect of video games relies on the type of games, as mentioned before. However that’s not the only factor in this mess. There’s still much more research to uncover and make sense of.

Recent studies have been able to uncover evidence that video games can influence and even improve things other than behavior. A study conducted by Akili on the effects of a new game designed to improve focus on 40 kids with ADHD and 40 without proved that video games do have the ability to improve brain function. The children with ADHD saw growth in their scores on a test that measures their attention, while the kids without ADHD saw no change.

With this information we can conclude that video games could show promise in helping improve the brain and possibly treat common problems like ADHD. But those are games that are designed to be good for the player. What about regular games made for entertainment? Can those result in the same things?

While some could argue that modern games like Call of Duty make teens more aggressive, I believe that the games are not the problem; as they are made as a form of entertainment. So what is? My answer is the parents and sometimes even the kids.

Parents with children who play these games should take it into their hands to teach them well. Teens or young kids with good morals should know right from wrong and so this may stop any bad behavior. The kids should also know when to stop when playing video games. Video game addiction is real, and it is a problem. Parents can help with this as well; they can set boundaries and rules.

To add to this argument, I have been playing games like Uncharted, Call of Duty, and Resident Evil since the age of seven. I knew what happened in the games was wrong, so obviously I never did, nor ever will do, anything I saw in said games. I can, however, say that I used to be an aggressive person; but over time I became a better person, while still playing the same exact kind of violent video games.

To sum it up, video games can have a positive effect. But as with everything, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. Any benefits gaming may have can and will be dismissed if not done in moderation. A common rule you may hear is one hour a day of screen time, and that’s because it works. Try to keep gaming to a minimum, and be careful about what genre of games you’re playing.