Video games are played and enjoyed by people of all ages. They are especially educational and offer an interesting method of teaching people in an engaging way. Because of its increasing didactic methods of getting people to expand their thinking and cognitive processes, video games are exceptionally useful to the brain.
The foremost reason video games can help the human brain is their ability to increase cognitive flexibility. Several studies have shown how different parts of the brain are stimulated while playing video games. “Fast paced, action-packed” video games propose the benefits to “boost visual acuity, spatial perception, and the ability to pick out objects in a scene” (Anthes 2009). Starcraft, a fast thinking strategy game, showed results where participants became “quicker and more accurate in performing cognitive flexibility tasks” (Queen Mary “Playing video games can boost brain power”). It has also been noted that complex strategy games can “improve other cognitive skills, which include working memory and reasoning” (Anthes 2009). Different genres of videogames help augment the cognitive functions of the brain.
In addition to increasing cognitive flexibility, video games also offer the capability of enhancing creativity. Linda Jackson of Michigan State University conducted a study of five hundred twelve-year-old children and discovered that “the more kids played video games, the more creative they were in tasks such as drawing pictures and writing stories” (Michigan State University “Video Game Playing Tied to Creativity”). By allowing players to create their own characters and avatars, video games offer a sense of individual creativity from the player. Video games can also allow players create their own levels along with modifications made by the player, or the gaming community.
A very important reason for video games having a beneficial effect to the brain is their ability to help construct the psychological theory of flow and the prolonging effect it has on the player. When a person is in flow, “the experience of play is fluid and is intrinsically psychologically rewarding independent of scores or in-games successes” (Csikszentmihalyi 1991). The arrangement of a video game where goals provide feedback and the difficulty is adjusted to the player’s abilities makes the player fully engaged and focused on the game for enjoyment. As a result, video games act as an incentive to reach flow, and the outcome that occurs after reaching flow gives the participant a euphoric feeling. Usually, to many people, work is considered a mundane activity, however when video games are put into play, the effect is quite the opposite. Not only is this amazing in a cognitive sense, but also the notion that the player would want to voluntarily seek more information to increase their skills and objective by their own means is significant by educational standards.
Many will contend the argument of video games being beneficial to the brain by countering...