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The Health Benefits of Playing Video Games
Surprisingly, there are a plethora of ways in which gaming can be good for the health. This is why, in this article, we will focus on one: cognition and learning, which is obviously a subject close to the heart of many parents.
Many times, you may have told your child to stop playing video games so they could learn. However, gaming may just improve their learning. For example, many studies have shown that gaming can increase the grey matter in certain parts of the brain, the parietal lobe and the frontal lobe for example, and these areas help in the mastering of skills such as planning and spatial awareness. As well as this, other cognitive skills (a very important one being memory) can be improved through gaming. One study for example showed that playing platform games in particular such as Mario could help improve memory.
You may still be dubious, and you may be worried about the effect of video games on your child’s attention to their schoolwork. Again, gaming can help. Some scientists believe that gaming can be used to treat attention disorders such as ADHD. Psychology Today cites studies involving the classic game Tetris. The simple premise of Tetris (to get the highest score from building blocks of different shapes) is addictive, and it allows those with attention disorders to slowly build their attention span. Surely then this same principle can be applied to any learner, whether or not they have an attention disorder?
As we have seen, gaming can develop certain cognitive functions, and it can aid learning. As well as this, it can also benefit the health in a number of other ways; it can aid recovery after trauma and illness, it can help manage pain, and it can even improve your cardiovascular health (think Wii Fit).
Guest Post: To find out more about the health benefits of gaming, see the infographic below from our friends at Computer Planet.
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