Video Games Affect The Brain, Good or Bad?

Dr Shock
August 17, 2009

violent games or violent player

This is from an excellent overview about video games and the brain: Video Games Affect the Brain—for Better and Worse. The most important conclusion to be drawn after reading the post on Cerebrum of the Dana Foundation is:

With the exception of educational games, most video games’ effects on brain and behavior are unintentional on the part of both the designers and the players. Nonetheless, research suggests that the effects are real. Video games are neither good nor bad. Rather, they are a powerful form of entertainment that does what good entertainment is supposed to do—it influences us.

Since I am biased first the good news about playing video games:

  • playing action video games can improve visual attention to the periphery of a computer screen
  • action games can improve adults’ abilities to make fine discriminations among different shades of gray (called contrast sensitivity), which is important for activities such as driving at night
  • games requiring teamwork help people develop collaboration skills
  • video games that include “pro-social” content—situations in which characters help each other in nonviolent ways—increase such conduct outside of game play, too
  • video game play improved surgical skill, as measured in a standardized advanced-skill training program. In fact, the surgeons’ amount of game time was a better predictor of advanced surgical skill in the training drills than their number of years in practice or number of real-life surgeries performed

Playing violent video games has effects on brain activity in different brain regions. From the discussed studies it has been shown that playing violent video games leads to suppression of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. This area involves cognitive control and planning. It could also mean suppression of the emotional response.

The authors propose 5 aspects of video games that can affect players: amount, content, structure, mechanics and context. Together, these aspects can explain different research results. These 5 aspects are of importance when judging about video games and their effects.

For more details on this 5 aspects please visit Video Games Affect the Brain—for Better and Worse

 

8 Responses to “Video Games Affect The Brain, Good or Bad?”

  1. This seems to talk about video games and their effect on the brain but what about brain games?. These are often developed with the aim of benefiting the user, and would not have the downsides of the violent gameplay…

  2. Alex on August 17th, 2009 at 9:46 pm
  3. [...] Go to Publisher to continue reading [...]

  4. Science Report » Blog Archive » Video Games Affect The Brain, Good or Bad? on August 18th, 2009 at 3:50 am
  5. ” video games that include “pro-social” content—situations in which characters help each other in nonviolent ways—increase such conduct outside of game play, too” <– This explains why my college roommate always look for damsel in distress, do gooder, fight for justice and truth type of guy.

  6. Jason Saunders on August 21st, 2009 at 1:53 am
  7. Video games can affect the brain but it really depends on what games you play. Certain computer games can help your brain. In some adventure games, they’d make you think about a solution to get out of a situation. Also, in some sports games, it helps timing, hand and eye coordination. In shooting games, it also helps with hand to eye coordination, as well as awareness of an area. Everything can be good for you in moderation So keep your gaming in moderation and it can be good for your brain. Too much gaming, however, will screw you over.

  8. aion kinah on August 25th, 2009 at 5:49 am
  9. Playing video games has trained me to be able to retain information faster and recall it when needed on response. Especially very elaborate and intensive RPG games where you must remember lots of locations and or different moves and combinations in order to be successful in the game.

  10. Andrew (Mario) on February 23rd, 2010 at 6:46 pm
  11. it affects your subconcious and stimulate your brain. overstimulation of the brain destroyes brain cells

  12. will on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:19 pm
  13. I’m doing a school report on this, and yet I don’t think it’s wrong.

  14. Julianna on February 6th, 2011 at 10:09 pm
  15. I think your right, take care

  16. Dr Shock on February 8th, 2011 at 8:16 am
  1. This seems to talk about video games and their effect on the brain but what about brain games?. These are often developed with the aim of benefiting the user, and would not have the downsides of the violent gameplay…

  2. Alex on August 17th, 2009 at 9:46 pm
  3. [...] Go to Publisher to continue reading [...]

  4. Science Report » Blog Archive » Video Games Affect The Brain, Good or Bad? on August 18th, 2009 at 3:50 am
  5. ” video games that include “pro-social” content—situations in which characters help each other in nonviolent ways—increase such conduct outside of game play, too” <– This explains why my college roommate always look for damsel in distress, do gooder, fight for justice and truth type of guy.

  6. Jason Saunders on August 21st, 2009 at 1:53 am
  7. Video games can affect the brain but it really depends on what games you play. Certain computer games can help your brain. In some adventure games, they’d make you think about a solution to get out of a situation. Also, in some sports games, it helps timing, hand and eye coordination. In shooting games, it also helps with hand to eye coordination, as well as awareness of an area. Everything can be good for you in moderation So keep your gaming in moderation and it can be good for your brain. Too much gaming, however, will screw you over.

  8. aion kinah on August 25th, 2009 at 5:49 am
  9. Playing video games has trained me to be able to retain information faster and recall it when needed on response. Especially very elaborate and intensive RPG games where you must remember lots of locations and or different moves and combinations in order to be successful in the game.

  10. Andrew (Mario) on February 23rd, 2010 at 6:46 pm
  11. it affects your subconcious and stimulate your brain. overstimulation of the brain destroyes brain cells

  12. will on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:19 pm
  13. I’m doing a school report on this, and yet I don’t think it’s wrong.

  14. Julianna on February 6th, 2011 at 10:09 pm
  15. I think your right, take care

  16. Dr Shock on February 8th, 2011 at 8:16 am
  1. This seems to talk about video games and their effect on the brain but what about brain games?. These are often developed with the aim of benefiting the user, and would not have the downsides of the violent gameplay…

  2. Alex on August 17th, 2009 at 9:46 pm
  3. [...] Go to Publisher to continue reading [...]

  4. Science Report » Blog Archive » Video Games Affect The Brain, Good or Bad? on August 18th, 2009 at 3:50 am
  5. ” video games that include “pro-social” content—situations in which characters help each other in nonviolent ways—increase such conduct outside of game play, too” <– This explains why my college roommate always look for damsel in distress, do gooder, fight for justice and truth type of guy.

  6. Jason Saunders on August 21st, 2009 at 1:53 am
  7. Video games can affect the brain but it really depends on what games you play. Certain computer games can help your brain. In some adventure games, they’d make you think about a solution to get out of a situation. Also, in some sports games, it helps timing, hand and eye coordination. In shooting games, it also helps with hand to eye coordination, as well as awareness of an area. Everything can be good for you in moderation So keep your gaming in moderation and it can be good for your brain. Too much gaming, however, will screw you over.

  8. aion kinah on August 25th, 2009 at 5:49 am
  9. Playing video games has trained me to be able to retain information faster and recall it when needed on response. Especially very elaborate and intensive RPG games where you must remember lots of locations and or different moves and combinations in order to be successful in the game.

  10. Andrew (Mario) on February 23rd, 2010 at 6:46 pm
  11. it affects your subconcious and stimulate your brain. overstimulation of the brain destroyes brain cells

  12. will on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:19 pm
  13. I’m doing a school report on this, and yet I don’t think it’s wrong.

  14. Julianna on February 6th, 2011 at 10:09 pm
  15. I think your right, take care

  16. Dr Shock on February 8th, 2011 at 8:16 am
  1. This seems to talk about video games and their effect on the brain but what about brain games?. These are often developed with the aim of benefiting the user, and would not have the downsides of the violent gameplay…

  2. Alex on August 17th, 2009 at 9:46 pm
  3. [...] Go to Publisher to continue reading [...]

  4. Science Report » Blog Archive » Video Games Affect The Brain, Good or Bad? on August 18th, 2009 at 3:50 am
  5. ” video games that include “pro-social” content—situations in which characters help each other in nonviolent ways—increase such conduct outside of game play, too” <– This explains why my college roommate always look for damsel in distress, do gooder, fight for justice and truth type of guy.

  6. Jason Saunders on August 21st, 2009 at 1:53 am
  7. Video games can affect the brain but it really depends on what games you play. Certain computer games can help your brain. In some adventure games, they’d make you think about a solution to get out of a situation. Also, in some sports games, it helps timing, hand and eye coordination. In shooting games, it also helps with hand to eye coordination, as well as awareness of an area. Everything can be good for you in moderation So keep your gaming in moderation and it can be good for your brain. Too much gaming, however, will screw you over.

  8. aion kinah on August 25th, 2009 at 5:49 am
  9. Playing video games has trained me to be able to retain information faster and recall it when needed on response. Especially very elaborate and intensive RPG games where you must remember lots of locations and or different moves and combinations in order to be successful in the game.

  10. Andrew (Mario) on February 23rd, 2010 at 6:46 pm
  11. it affects your subconcious and stimulate your brain. overstimulation of the brain destroyes brain cells

  12. will on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:19 pm
  13. I’m doing a school report on this, and yet I don’t think it’s wrong.

  14. Julianna on February 6th, 2011 at 10:09 pm
  15. I think your right, take care

  16. Dr Shock on February 8th, 2011 at 8:16 am
  1. This seems to talk about video games and their effect on the brain but what about brain games?. These are often developed with the aim of benefiting the user, and would not have the downsides of the violent gameplay…

  2. Alex on August 17th, 2009 at 9:46 pm
  3. [...] Go to Publisher to continue reading [...]

  4. Science Report » Blog Archive » Video Games Affect The Brain, Good or Bad? on August 18th, 2009 at 3:50 am
  5. ” video games that include “pro-social” content—situations in which characters help each other in nonviolent ways—increase such conduct outside of game play, too” <– This explains why my college roommate always look for damsel in distress, do gooder, fight for justice and truth type of guy.

  6. Jason Saunders on August 21st, 2009 at 1:53 am
  7. Video games can affect the brain but it really depends on what games you play. Certain computer games can help your brain. In some adventure games, they’d make you think about a solution to get out of a situation. Also, in some sports games, it helps timing, hand and eye coordination. In shooting games, it also helps with hand to eye coordination, as well as awareness of an area. Everything can be good for you in moderation So keep your gaming in moderation and it can be good for your brain. Too much gaming, however, will screw you over.

  8. aion kinah on August 25th, 2009 at 5:49 am
  9. Playing video games has trained me to be able to retain information faster and recall it when needed on response. Especially very elaborate and intensive RPG games where you must remember lots of locations and or different moves and combinations in order to be successful in the game.

  10. Andrew (Mario) on February 23rd, 2010 at 6:46 pm
  11. it affects your subconcious and stimulate your brain. overstimulation of the brain destroyes brain cells

  12. will on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:19 pm
  13. I’m doing a school report on this, and yet I don’t think it’s wrong.

  14. Julianna on February 6th, 2011 at 10:09 pm
  15. I think your right, take care

  16. Dr Shock on February 8th, 2011 at 8:16 am
  1. This seems to talk about video games and their effect on the brain but what about brain games?. These are often developed with the aim of benefiting the user, and would not have the downsides of the violent gameplay…

  2. Alex on August 17th, 2009 at 9:46 pm
  3. [...] Go to Publisher to continue reading [...]

  4. Science Report » Blog Archive » Video Games Affect The Brain, Good or Bad? on August 18th, 2009 at 3:50 am
  5. ” video games that include “pro-social” content—situations in which characters help each other in nonviolent ways—increase such conduct outside of game play, too” <– This explains why my college roommate always look for damsel in distress, do gooder, fight for justice and truth type of guy.

  6. Jason Saunders on August 21st, 2009 at 1:53 am
  7. Video games can affect the brain but it really depends on what games you play. Certain computer games can help your brain. In some adventure games, they’d make you think about a solution to get out of a situation. Also, in some sports games, it helps timing, hand and eye coordination. In shooting games, it also helps with hand to eye coordination, as well as awareness of an area. Everything can be good for you in moderation So keep your gaming in moderation and it can be good for your brain. Too much gaming, however, will screw you over.

  8. aion kinah on August 25th, 2009 at 5:49 am
  9. Playing video games has trained me to be able to retain information faster and recall it when needed on response. Especially very elaborate and intensive RPG games where you must remember lots of locations and or different moves and combinations in order to be successful in the game.

  10. Andrew (Mario) on February 23rd, 2010 at 6:46 pm
  11. it affects your subconcious and stimulate your brain. overstimulation of the brain destroyes brain cells

  12. will on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:19 pm
  13. I’m doing a school report on this, and yet I don’t think it’s wrong.

  14. Julianna on February 6th, 2011 at 10:09 pm
  15. I think your right, take care

  16. Dr Shock on February 8th, 2011 at 8:16 am
  1. This seems to talk about video games and their effect on the brain but what about brain games?. These are often developed with the aim of benefiting the user, and would not have the downsides of the violent gameplay…

  2. Alex on August 17th, 2009 at 9:46 pm
  3. [...] Go to Publisher to continue reading [...]

  4. Science Report » Blog Archive » Video Games Affect The Brain, Good or Bad? on August 18th, 2009 at 3:50 am
  5. ” video games that include “pro-social” content—situations in which characters help each other in nonviolent ways—increase such conduct outside of game play, too” <– This explains why my college roommate always look for damsel in distress, do gooder, fight for justice and truth type of guy.

  6. Jason Saunders on August 21st, 2009 at 1:53 am
  7. Video games can affect the brain but it really depends on what games you play. Certain computer games can help your brain. In some adventure games, they’d make you think about a solution to get out of a situation. Also, in some sports games, it helps timing, hand and eye coordination. In shooting games, it also helps with hand to eye coordination, as well as awareness of an area. Everything can be good for you in moderation So keep your gaming in moderation and it can be good for your brain. Too much gaming, however, will screw you over.

  8. aion kinah on August 25th, 2009 at 5:49 am
  9. Playing video games has trained me to be able to retain information faster and recall it when needed on response. Especially very elaborate and intensive RPG games where you must remember lots of locations and or different moves and combinations in order to be successful in the game.

  10. Andrew (Mario) on February 23rd, 2010 at 6:46 pm
  11. it affects your subconcious and stimulate your brain. overstimulation of the brain destroyes brain cells

  12. will on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:19 pm
  13. I’m doing a school report on this, and yet I don’t think it’s wrong.

  14. Julianna on February 6th, 2011 at 10:09 pm
  15. I think your right, take care

  16. Dr Shock on February 8th, 2011 at 8:16 am
  1. This seems to talk about video games and their effect on the brain but what about brain games?. These are often developed with the aim of benefiting the user, and would not have the downsides of the violent gameplay…

  2. Alex on August 17th, 2009 at 9:46 pm
  3. [...] Go to Publisher to continue reading [...]

  4. Science Report » Blog Archive » Video Games Affect The Brain, Good or Bad? on August 18th, 2009 at 3:50 am
  5. ” video games that include “pro-social” content—situations in which characters help each other in nonviolent ways—increase such conduct outside of game play, too” <– This explains why my college roommate always look for damsel in distress, do gooder, fight for justice and truth type of guy.

  6. Jason Saunders on August 21st, 2009 at 1:53 am
  7. Video games can affect the brain but it really depends on what games you play. Certain computer games can help your brain. In some adventure games, they’d make you think about a solution to get out of a situation. Also, in some sports games, it helps timing, hand and eye coordination. In shooting games, it also helps with hand to eye coordination, as well as awareness of an area. Everything can be good for you in moderation So keep your gaming in moderation and it can be good for your brain. Too much gaming, however, will screw you over.

  8. aion kinah on August 25th, 2009 at 5:49 am
  9. Playing video games has trained me to be able to retain information faster and recall it when needed on response. Especially very elaborate and intensive RPG games where you must remember lots of locations and or different moves and combinations in order to be successful in the game.

  10. Andrew (Mario) on February 23rd, 2010 at 6:46 pm
  11. it affects your subconcious and stimulate your brain. overstimulation of the brain destroyes brain cells

  12. will on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:19 pm
  13. I’m doing a school report on this, and yet I don’t think it’s wrong.

  14. Julianna on February 6th, 2011 at 10:09 pm
  15. I think your right, take care

  16. Dr Shock on February 8th, 2011 at 8:16 am

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: