Video games are one of the world’s most treasured pastimes ever since the first video game was invented in 1958. According to review.42.com, in 2018, more than 166 million adults played video games in the United States alone. That statistic sheds light on how many people play video games, and the answer is a lot. Video games are so popular because they help relieve stress while offering people a fun way to connect with others or spend time alone. However while there are some benefits when it comes to video games, there are negative effects as well that must be looked into such as the mental damage they can cause. So when it comes to video games the question is: are video games good for you?
Lets first look into the positive effects of video games, some of which I briefly mentioned. For starters, some video games have been proven to help improve hand eye coordination, problem solving skills, and the ability to process information. Of course the brain is the most effected by video games because it needs to process what is going on in the video game in order to send signals to other parts of the body. There are three specific parts of the brain that are hard at work while someone is playing video games. There is the right hippocampus(short term and long term memory), the cerebellum(muscular activity), and the prefrontal cortex(decision making) All of these brain muscles grow and are, in some ways, beneficiaries while someone is playing video games. However these brain muscles will only remain beneficiaries if the time spent on video games is controlled and screen time is limited.
Now its time to look into the negative effects of video games, and then decide what is the best option when it comes to video games. The two main negative effects of video games are: the disconnection to reality and the dopamine addiction. Like how addiction works with many other things such as drugs and alcohol, video games works nearly the same way: dopamine. When one plays a video game that is super fun and interesting to them, the brain releases dopamine, which is a hormone that creates feelings of pleasure and reward and thus a big reason why people continue playing video games – to get that dopamine. The disconnection to reality is something that was a hot topic in video games a awhile back when people began questioning whether violent video games were linked to violence. It was proven by American Psychological Association’s (APA) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, that violent video games did indeed cause an increase in aggression in gamers. After playing these violent games for so long, the gamers forgot the difference between reality and the virtual world and this led to an increase in violence.
After taking a look at both the pros and cons of video games, it can be seen that video games can have positive effects when it comes to the brain. Thus, video games can be great for helping the brain grow, but it will become harmful if one becomes addicted. So, the final conclusion is that video games should only be played to a certain extent and the time on video games should be matched with time spent outside and exercising. Like my mom used to say: video games can be just as addicting as drugs so restrict the use.