Video games are all the rage amoung the youth and elderly alike. With ever improving technology and graphics the popularity of video games are only sky rocketing! Video games were frowned upon as a waste of time at one point, but various research on this topic have shown otherwise. What if research tells you that playing video games enhances cognitive functions like memory, attention, reaction time, etc?
Oei and Patterson in 2013 conducted a multiple game training study in which they instructed five groups of non-gamers to play a game each on a device for an hour for five days a week. As directed, the groups played different genres of games like action, spatial memory and match-3 for four weeks. The results reported that functions like reaction time, attention and alertness increased significantly in participants. They also concluded by saying that different games improved different cognitive areas in the brain.
A meta-analysis ( a study that combines results from multiple scientific studies) was performed by Toril, Reales and Ballesteros in 2014 to examine the hypothesis that training healthy older adults with video games enhances their cognitive functions. In their research, studies published from 1986 to 2013 that fit a certain set of criteria involved 474 trained adults and 439 healthy older adults. Their research yielded similar results to Oei and Patterson. Reaction time, attention, memory and global cognition showed drastic improvement.
Creativity and gaming have a strong correlation. This correlation was first realized and established by Hutton and Sundar in 2010.
We’ve seen how video games improve our cognitive abilities but there still remains a controversial question unanswered. Does playing video games lead to aggressive behaviour?
Ferguson in 2007 carried out meta-analytic reviews of studies that researched on the impact of video games on aggressive behaviour and visuospatial cognition. After researching upon multiple peer reviewed articles, Ferguson’s result showed that exposure to violent video games is associated with increased visuospatial cognition however, did not support aggressive behaviour. Ferguson’s results concreted that of Derek Scott’s (1995) who also found no relationship between violent video games and aggressive behaviour.
Video games may have no negative effects as such, but it is important to understand that in younger adults, they may cause addiction which in turn may lead to social isolation. Individuals who already possess a violent behaviour may have impulses to behave aggressively after exposure to violent video games or movies. These individuals must be kept under watch when subjected to such circumstances.
Ferguson, C. (2007). The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: A Meta-analytic Review of Positive and Negative Effects of Violent Video Games. Psychiatric Quarterly, 78(4), 309-316. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11126-007-9056-9
Hutton, E., & Sundar, S. (2018). Can Video Games Enhance Creativity? An Experimental Investigation of Emotion Generated by Dance Dance Revolution. Citation.allacademic.com. Retrieved 8 April 2018, from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/2/3/2/5/6/p232569_index.html
Oei, A., & Patterson, M. (2013). Enhancing Cognition with Video Games: A Multiple Game Training Study. Plos ONE, 8(3), e58546. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0058546