Can Computer Games Keep Your Brain Fit?

The common question

gameIt is a fact that our lives have become increasingly immersed in technology. Much of our leisure and entertainment is provided online; the best examples are the computer games. With all these changes in our lifestyles, questions are arising about what technology may be doing to us.

Computer and console-based computer games represent a pervasive form of leisure activity in our lives in today’s world, beginning in early to middle childhood and continues through our adulthood.

Some of these questions that have been raised revolve around the potential detrimental impacts of technology and in particular, computer games, may have on the fitness of our brains. Of course we are all aware of the fact that widespread use of computer games begs the question of what intended and unintended effects they may produce, however, there has been not even a single answer.

Past arguments

Exposure to specific type of games (e.g. violent action games) might cause an increase in one’s aggression and an improvement in visual and spatial attention. Since games vary in dimensions and engage various cognitive and behavioural systems, it is reasonable to expect that they will influence multiple information systems. Remember that brain is part of this system. Claims that computer games damage the brain or boost the brain; an argument that do not do justice to the complexities and limitations involved. It only creates a confusing overall picture about the effects of gaming on the brain.

Computer games and brain fitness; the possible correlation

Let us define brain fitness as simply the cognitive ability that can be maintained or even improved through brain-exercise. Does playing video games can, therefore, be said to negatively affect this ability? Let us take a closer look at the following findings:  There is no any such question that the same characteristics that make many games effective teachers of perceptual and cognitive skills can also be harnessed to produce maladaptive effects on our brain.

Enhanced aggressiveness

There has been extremely a large volume of research carried out in the past that has been able to prove that there is a relationship between playing certain violent computer games and increases in the measure of one’s aggressive thoughts. We should, however, be cautious about this finding. We all know that it will be unwise to argue that violent computer games alone will likely turn a child with no other risk factors into a maniacal killer, though in children with many risk factors, the size of the effect may be sufficient to have practical negative consequences on the brain fitness.

Reduced attention

Computer games have the potential of reducing attention. What we have to ask ourselves about this finding is that if one means the ability to rapidly and efficiently filter visual attention, then clearly playing action games greatly enhances this ability. If one means the ability to sustain focus on a slowly evolving stream of information like paying attention in class, there is recent work that suggests total screen time and computer game playing time in particular, may have negative effects on the brain fitness.

Finally, the Sony PlayStation contact is available for you to make any inquires about brain fitness and computer games.

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