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Do Video Games Affect Your Health?

written by Guest Blogger October 6, 2014

If you or a loved one play video games, you’ll love this guest post by blogger, Jamal Asskoumi. Keep reading to discover what he found researching if and how video games affect health.

Too much of anything is bad for you. Even water, the unsung hero of life, has the ability to kill you. In today’s society, all claims to do with health should be taken with a pinch of salt and an added measure of scrutiny, just in case. With research being the way it is, public opinion is very easily and very often swayed. However, an assumption that a lot of people seem to agree with in terms of health is that video games are not, in any way shape or form, good for you.

Here, we’ll examine the evidence behind such sweeping generalizations.

Let’s begin with the most common notion thus far: video games are bad for you, simple as that. A phrase a lot of today’s generation will have had spouted to them many a time by concerned parents. This notion isn’t entirely baseless, however. In one study, scientists monitored aggression in players and found that those engaged in violent games exhibited a higher heart rate, more nausea/dizziness and more aggressive thoughts during and after. Not exactly what one would describe as “healthy”.

However, none of this was reported to develop into aggressive behaviour even though the patterns were verified. Perhaps a temporary side effect?

Alright, so disregarding the violence aspect of it, it can still lead to an addiction, right? Right. It can. It is especially dangerous in children who bypass all “normal” social interaction (i.e. playing outside with friends) to sit inside and engage in virtual reality instead. Now, with almost a third of 10-11 year olds being overweight, parents have a right to worry over how much time their children spend on their consoles. It would be easy to assume that video games are the root of such a lazy mind-set that seems to have gripped kids and adults alike.

However, it is unfair to focus on these reasons alone and completely bypass all the positives that come with normal amounts of gaming. In young children, video games have been found to improve a number of cognitive functions such as multi-tasking, problem solving and pattern-recognition. Contrary to popular belief, these games are also highly social. With the recent developments in consoles, players can now interact with friends during these games, promoting leadership and team work skills.

The effects weren’t only psychological; hand-eye coordination, finer motor skills and spatial awareness can also be improved by playing video games. With all this in mind, it is presumptuous and illogical for video games to receive all this bad rep when it comes to health. In controlled and manageable amounts, the positives greatly outweigh the negatives.

Colloquially, linking ‘video games’ and ‘health’ almost always equates to a not-wholly correct view that video games can be detrimental to our well-being, especially during important developmental phases in children. This is a view that probably won’t change for a while yet.

However, let me reiterate: this is incorrect. It is so incorrect, in fact, that scientists have now begun to tentatively but surely support video games as a good tool in AID of child development. Thirteen hours a week on video games is certainly NOT to be advertised, however a couple of hours won’t hurt. In fact, it’ll probably do a lot of good!

Sources:

About the Author Jamal Asskoumi is a Blogger and Video Game Addict.

Do you play video games? Are you happy with Jamal’s findings?

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