Increasing scientific evidence suggests a connection between video games and brain development. Do video games improve personal and interpersonal skills?
Firstly, it is necessary to understand what « video games » are and how the brain works before we can answer this question.
Video games – what are they?
In video games, players interact with animated images in an artificial and playful environment. There are a variety of kinds of video games, here are some examples:
- In fighting games, players embody characters in a fixed and defined spatiotemporal situation that involves cognitive function.
- Two- or three-dimensional platform games involve controlling a character who evolves in a virtual environment.
- In strategy and management games, the player is responsible for managing a virtual population, building a city, or managing a civilization’s resources.
- In role-playing and adventure games, players embody characters.
- A puzzle game involves solving visual-spatial logic problems, such as Tetris, The Room, Puzzle Bobble, etc.
How does the brain function ?
The brain is made up of almost 100 billion cells named neurons. These neurons are interconnected and send sensory information through synapses.
Neurotransmitters (molecules) facilitate the chemical transmission of nerve impulses between neurons. They promote the propagation of nerve impulses.
In the different lobes of the brain (i.e. frontal lobe, parietal lobe, and the temporal lobe), these connections and nerve impulses propagate from neurons to neurons.
Video games can have various impacts on the development and functioning of our brain, given the different parts of the brain and their importance in our daily lives.
A player’s experience playing video games, including online casinos and betting platform such as TonyBet can alter his or her neuronal plasticity by changing the connections and structure of his or her neurons (which is known as neuroplasticity). Particularly important is the development of cognitive and motor skills, such as attention, speed, problem-solving, or psychomotor abilities.
Young people’s brains and video games
In children and adolescents, we observe a majority of studies on « addiction problems » and « game addiction » in relation to the negative effects of video games.
The benefits of video games on cognitive ability have been reported in several studies, if the time spent to play is reasonnable.
Video games also have been studied in psychology and neuropsychology for their effects on cognitive functioning, brain development, and cognitive learning in young people. Nevertheless, some studies have shown positive effects for cognitive functioning that have not yet been validated or confirmed. Most studies have shown neutral or mixed results. Not all video games would have a positive impact on the brain.
Elderly brains and video games
Neuropsychologists are increasingly interested in how video games can prevent cognitive losses associated with the natural aging of the brain and neurological disorders.
Research in the field of neuropsychology has found that strategy games and cognitive tests usually fail to make a difference in cognitive functions. To tackle this issue, action video games might be more appropriate for people in a wide age range, from 8 to 65. These could help counter the onset of cognitive deterioration caused by old age or neurological disorders. It is worth noting that the effects differ depending on the kind of game played; combining active video games with intellectual stimulation and physical exercise may also be effective.