Are Video Games Really Bad For You?

Videogames are commonly thought of as harmful to the brain but are they really that bad?



Video games are extremely popular, especially right now due to COVID-19 and it’s widely thought that video games are harmful to one’s brain. A lot of people, specifically older generations believe that video games cause aggression and are very addicting, with properties like drugs. While I can’t argue that videogames are somewhat addictive, I can argue against video games causing aggression. There’s no evidence saying that virtual games, specifically shooter games, cause aggression at all. I’d say video games help us a lot more than we realize. According to MedicalNewsToday, research shows that videogames as a whole actually improve attention, notably sustained and selective attention.

A study conducted by the neurobiologists at the University of California-Irvine (UCI) found that playing 3D games boosted the formation of memories. Compared to 2D games, 3D games are much more complex and have much more information to process. Strategy games have shown promise in improving brain function among older adults, and there’s a chance they could provide protection against Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

When you think of games that will improve your brain, you think of games that train your brain. While these may seem like they help, they actually don’t help nearly as much as it seems. Memorization games often provide case-specific memorization, not a general boost to your brain. However, sometimes the case-specific memory is useful, such as multiplication tables.

Video games are really not that bad, and I recommend you try playing one or two. Like almost anything, too much of video games will have lasting negative effects, so be careful about how often you play. The games you play most often are the ones that will have the most impact on your brain. For example, playing Cookie Clicker won’t help you much but playing Chess will have a somewhat noticeable impact. Video games obviously aren’t only for your brain, the original and main purposes of them are to have fun!