Video games have moved on in the last few decades. Many of us have experienced the transition from simple games in the 70s such as Space Invaders to totally immersive, virtual reality games that blur the line between reality and fantasy. Games have also become more sophisticated in other ways. For example, many have claimed that games have built in health benefits, and that they can enrich your life in a number of ways.
Firstly, they can have positive impacts upon your brain. Quite literally, researchers have shown that playing video games can make your brainbigger, as they increase the grey matter in the areas of your brain that areassociated wit certain skills such as spatial awareness and motor skills. Aswell as this, certain types of video games, namely 3D platform games, have beenshown to improve your memory. Perhapseven more amazingly, gaming has been used to treat attention disorders such asADHD, with games such as Tetris being shown to have the capacity to improvefocus and attention in sufferers.
They can also have a positive impact on your body and your cardiovascular fitness. A new trend in gaming called exergaming (examples of this include the Nintento Wii) has been shown to improve fitness and activity levels in those who use them. In fact the National Institute of Health conducted a study on exergaming, which suggested that exrgaming can increase activity levels, and they were even wondering whether it could replace the gym for large parts of the population, and be an important tool in the fight against more sedentary lifestyles and childhood obesity.
We are really only scratching the surface when it comes to the benefits of video games. However, what we know so far is that they have a number of health benefits, and that they are incredibly fun!
To find out more about the health benefits of gaming, see the infographic below from Computer Planet.