Friday, September 25, 2015
The Effect of Video Games (part 5)
The belief that video games cause violence, behavioral problems, or other supposed societal ills are often sensationalized reports from the media and have not been proven by scientific study. However, many studies have proven that video games increase IQ and cognitive function. For example, a recent study at Molecular Psychiatry found that “video gaming causes increases in the brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning, as well as fine motor skills.” Researches at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charite University of Medicine studied brain volume before and after subjects played Super Mario 64 one hour a day for two months--there was a significant increase in gray matter compared to the control group that did not play games. In another study conducted by Dr. Tracy Alloway, 9 out of 10 students who participated in the study showed substantial improvement in their ability to solve mathematical and verbal problems. Some students also scored almost 10 points higher on IQ tests. Yet not all video games are necessarily good for you--in a study conducted at the Queen Mary University of London and the University College of London, cognitive flexibility was tested with participants playing StarCraft and The Sims. The StarCraft players responded to questions that tested cognitive flexibility faster and more accurately than those who played The Sims.