Video games have been the favorite pastime of both young ones and adults. In fact, its popularity is continuing to rise. Video gaming is no longer restricted to specialized consoles thanks to modern technology. Now, many people can have access to video games through their computers, TVs and portable devices like tablets and cell phones. While statistics and surveys can attest to the popularity of video games, when it comes to the question of the effects of video gaming on health, there is a disparate response. Thus, the health effects of video gaming can still be considered as an area of debate for most people.
Video Gaming is Designed for Fun
The original purpose of video games is to provide an alternative source of fun and games to people of all ages. Yes, video games are for all ages. When Pong and Space Invaders were first released, there was no delineation of the age bracket for players of these games. Everyone was welcome to play these games. Thanks to technology and the changing demands of video game players, video game content nowadays can be classified according to age brackets. A recent article from IGM indicates that adult games can be classified into 17+ and M (aka 18+ or AO) ratings, but the content of these games can be difficult to delineate. 17+ games usually have violent and gory content, strong language and nudity. Mature (M) or Adults Only (AO) marked games contain graphic violence, language and sex. Nevertheless, video games have still stayed true to their original purpose, only this time, censorship and age-appropriate content has set limits on what games people can play.
Video Gaming is Good for the Reflexes
Another original purpose of video games and also one of its health benefits is the improvement of reflexes. Regular video game play can enhance our brain’s reaction time and improve our hand-eye coordination. This particularly true with console games and other types of games that need hand inputs. Simulation games are also great games designed to simulate real-life activities such as driving, formula car racing, aerial combat simulations and many other simulation games. Games where speed of reaction and decision making can put all of our sensory neurons to work and make the signal transmission across neurons faster and thus making our brains process the inputs faster and provide a faster response.
Video Gaming Can Slow Down Aging
Aside from the fun factor, which releases endorphins and other chemicals associated with happiness, intellectually stimulating video games can keep the brain in shape even for advanced age players. When these two factors are combined not only are adult players keeping themselves mentally sharp, but their internal bodily processes are kept in good harmony due to the positive effects of the brain. When video gaming is done in conjunction with regular exercise and a balanced diet. It gives a feeling of overall wellness and you feel years younger.
Video Games Can Benefit the Eyesight
We may have heard of warnings from some parents that watching the screen all day can make you go blind. There may be some sense to it, since the more intense the gameplay progress, the less we blink while playing. This can cause eyestrain and dry eye syndrome. The good news is there are also studies that favor video games for eyesight improvement. First-person shooters and action games that make you rely on visual cues can help improve your vision and your ability called contrast sensitivity function. This ability helps you distinguish changes in shades of gray against a colored backdrop, which proves beneficial when driving at night.
Video Games Improve Social Health
It’s not just physical health that video games can affect. How the video games are played can mean the difference from making a player a social recluse or an outgoing individual. This is still one of the highly debated topics due to the recent wave of gun-related violence where perpetrators were tagged as video game players of violence-themed games. However, many health institutions also point the other way towards the positive effect of video games on social health and well-being. When players frequently play with others in a cooperative or a competitive game, they develop good communication and closer relationships with their fellow gamers, which can make them open up more to society as a whole. With our modern society being more accepting and exposed to video games, video gamers are gradually being set free from the negative stereotyping.
Video games have several benefits and health effects that are worth trying out. With modern technology, providing easier access to video games, you can select the game that you believe can best suit your preferences. Just remember that anything in excess can be harmful. Thus, as a video game player, you have the responsibility of knowing how the time you can allocate for playing and how to stick to that schedule and do other productive tasks.