Here are some fresh and more natural perspectives on addiction, brain function, and benefits of video games.
As someone who has played over 600 days in the last 14 years, I can attest that WoW is constantly attracting new dungeons, raids, and battlefields. When I was free, the first thing that came to mind was to enter my level 60 scammer. And if I don’t play for a long time, I really will see WoW in my dreams. On a conscious and unconscious level, I cannot completely escape.
However, “addiction” to video games is not limited to WoW; it is cross genre and cross platform. Addiction is also not the only neurological and psychological side effect of video games. How do video games – from MMORPGs to shooters and RPGs – scientifically affect our brains? And, despite the downsides, may video games help the brain?
Addicted and our messy and fun brain
As the topic of how video games affect us grows, people first think of video game addiction. An area that psychologists and neuroscientists are increasingly studying, and often playing for more titles than it really has on its face. “Roughly speaking, there’s not much difference between video game addiction and other addictions,” says Mark Palaus, a doctor of cognitive neurology at the Open University of Catalonia. “An important aspect of understanding how addiction works is the brain’s reward system. Reward systems convey how pleasurable stimuli (such as the presence of food, water, social interaction, sexual contact, or video games) act as positive behaviors.
Given WoW’s longevity and impressive succession (there are about 5 million players per month at the time of writing). It’s no surprise that a DIY community of supporters has sprung up. /r/nowow, the editorial staff of more than 1,000 members, acts as a safe space for WoW addicts to discuss broken relationships, lost time, difficult education and relapses.
This is a place that I personally find calming and intimidating in equal measure. A very interesting and entertaining world far from our own world, with daily and weekly quests and endless updates, has fascinated many players.
Lee Chambers, the environmental psychologist I spoke to, is a man whose story is similar to that published on /r/nowow. “The game provided me with the social contacts I needed. But as my mental health deteriorated, I became hooked to it. And I became engrossed in the game and avoid life, prompting my parents to take me home after my isolation has brought to their attention. Luckily, Chambers has since come out on the other side.
Not all doomed (and dark)
Neurological and psychological research in video games is still in its early stages – if so, then it’s still in the early alpha stages. This is because video games as we know them are modern inventions. And in the evaluation of studies so far, research shows that it’s not just about warnings and concerns. In fact, the benefits of video games also exist and can be an effective tool for improving our brain and cognitive abilities – especially in the long run.
Video game research began in the late 1990s when Daphne Bavelier and K. Sean Green led prosecutions at the University of Rochester. They wanted to see if video games may impact, and possibly even improve, neuroplasticity.
After years of research, they found that action games in particular – those that challenge reflexes, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination. Such as in the retro classic Doom and the current Team Fortress Classic. It offers real cognitive advantages that help us in our daily lives. day. As Bavelier and Green note in the July 2016 issue of Scientific American, People who regularly play action games show an increased ability to focus on visual details. They are useful for reading the fine print in legal documents or on prescription bottles. They also showed increased sensitivity to visual contrast, which is important when driving in the heavy fog… Multitasking, which involves going back and forth between reading menus and talking to dining partners, is also easier. “
Get a brain boost without bugs
While video game research is a new phenomenon, video games have been shown to provide outbound brain benefits. However, they can potentially suck us into unhealthy amounts, which could potentially manifest themselves as video game addiction.
So, what can be done to give our minds +3 agility and +3 intellect without causing them to lose -5 stamina? What can be done to keep a positive relationship with video games? C. Sean Green, the Ph.D. student in brain and cognitive research, told WIRED: “How healthy gameplay might look in practice can vary greatly from person to person and across lifetimes (e.g. from children to adults). In other words, there really isn’t one set of guidelines for healthy gameplay. That will work for everyone of all sizes. “In general, it’s important to know how games can affect other areas of our lives in the short and long term. It’s about accounting for nearer and smaller effects,” he said.
The fact that the game has specifically designed to let us play naturally makes this advice difficult to follow. But being aware of our own gambling habits, not forgetting to occasionally go out to do other things. And ultimately playing video games in a way that doesn’t necessarily limit us to a hedonic path, there is potential to be used. Games become mentally tougher, faster, and smarter.
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