Why Gaming is Healthier Than You Think
Despite popular opinion, science has suggested that playing video games can actually benefit your brain health. Not only is gaming a good way to spend your downtime either relaxing on your own or catching up with friends but research over the last few years has uncovered some scientific benefits to enjoying gaming. Here are some of the main ways that gaming might be healthier than you think.
If you’re suffering from aches and pains, then gaming might help since studies have shown that it could actually provide some pain relief. A literature review published in 2012 in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that video games improved the health outcome of nearly two hundred patients across 40 different studies. The effects were both physical and psychological. Further research presented at an American Pain Society conference in 2010 also suggested that playing video games can be effective at reducing both pain and anxiety caused by chronic illness or medical procedures. If you’re looking for a natural way to relax and relieve pain, consider playing at a casino reviewed on casinous.com.
Playing video games has also been reported to help keep memory strong and healthy over time. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2015 suggested that playing video games stimulates your brain meaningfully, which in turn can help improve your memory. Participants in this University of California study were divided into three groups. A control group did not play any games, while the other two groups played either Super Mario or Angry Birds for two weeks. Results found that the group that played the Mario games scored better on memory tasks following the study.
Increase Brain Matter
A 2014 study in Molecular Psychiatry found that people who played Super Mario 64 experienced an increased size in certain brain regions. The areas of the brain that were impacted included the parts of the brain responsible for fine motor skills, formation of memories, spatial orientation, and strategic planning. Participants played the game every day for half an hour, over two months. Results found that at the end of the study, they had increased gray matter in the cerebellum, right prefrontal cortex, and right hippocampus compared to a control group.
Reduced Trauma Impact
In 2016 in Oxford in the UK, thirty-seven patients were randomly selected to spend twenty minutes playing Tetris after being admitted to a hospital for treatment after a road traffic accident. This study found that in comparison with another group of patients that did not play the game, the group that was selected suffered fewer flashbacks to the car accident. In 2017, the study was published in Molecular Psychiatry, suggesting that playing games similar to Tetris could help to reduce the impact of trauma on patients and improve the mental health and wellbeing of people who have experienced a traumatic event.
While the popular belief might be that games are not good for you, the science says otherwise. Gaming isn’t just for having fun – it could also help improve your mental health, relieve pain, and improve your memory and cognitive abilities.