The term video games encompass hundreds of marginally distinct types of user experiences, ranging from a slightly computerized game to finely detailed and realistically fantasized graphic worlds and from a mere single activity to hundreds of other activities, etc. The effect of video games on the functionality of the mind can be better analyzed if we compare it to that of food. What is the effect of eating food on the human body? As it is understood that the benefits of eating a certain kind of food are dependent upon the composition of the food, that is how playing different kinds of video games affect the functions of mind in their own way and at their own pace.
According to a research, it has been concluded that action video games that feature quickly moving targets are cluttered and which require the player of the game to make rapid and accurate decisions are very beneficial when it comes to improving brain procession and overall cognitive functions. While comparing it with brain games, it was noticed that action video games enhance the overall functionality of the brain while brain games only improve cognitive function.
It was also noted in the research that video games aren’t the amplifiers of the problems related to brain functionality, although it is noted that the total amount of time that a person spends behind the screen predicts poorer attention while listening to someone. Moreover, video games not only impact the cognitive function but are also beneficial in improving the overall behavior of the person, such as social functions. Due to the advancement in gaming technology, video games have now evolved into some of the most sophisticated experiences that represent many principles known by neuroscientists and educators. These gaming experiences are known to be fundamental in altering the behavior, provide learning atmosphere, and promote brain plasticity. Action video games due to their quick nature are fundamental when it comes to active forms of learning, i.e., making quick decisions and taking immediate actions. Action video games provide an active learning environment rather than passive learning.
According to a study, video games are known to stimulate neurogenesis and promote connectivity in the parts of the brain, which are responsible for strategic planning and memory formation as well as spatial orientation. Researchers have predicted that action video games are quite helpful in therapeutic interventions that target psychiatric disorders. Psychiatrist Jurgen Gallant said that in a research conducted by her, she noticed that the brain structure of video gamers is entirely different from those people that do not play video games, as there is a direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase. All of this adds up to that video gaming can not only improve brain functionality, but certain brain regions can be trained through video gaming.
She further added that patients are more likely to accept video gaming as a cure rather than other medical interventions. Additionally, further studies are planned to be conducted in the future to investigate the effects of video gaming on the human brain. Research conducted by the UCSF concluded that volunteers aging between 60 to 85 years improved their overall ability to multitask and stay focused after playing action video games for quite a while. The overall gaming experienced improved short-term memory in some people. It has been noted that older people can also improve their brain functionality if they are trained to play action video games.