10
   

Video games change your brain.

 
 
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:52 am
Quote:
A growing body of university research suggests that gaming improves creativity, decision-making and perception.

...........

People who played action-based video and computer games made decisions 25% faster than others without sacrificing accuracy, according to a study. Indeed, the most adept gamers can make choices and act on them up to six times a second—four times faster than most people, other researchers found. Moreover, practiced game players can pay attention to more than six things at once without getting confused, compared with the four that someone can normally keep in mind, said University of Rochester researchers. The studies were conducted independently of the companies that sell video and computer games.

............

Scientists also found that women—who make up about 42% of computer and videogame players—were better able to mentally manipulate 3D objects, a skill at which men are generally more adept.

..............

The violent action games that often worry parents most had the strongest beneficial effect on the brain. "These are not the games you would think are mind-enhancing," said cognitive neuroscientist Daphne Bavelier, who studies the effect of action games at Switzerland's University of Geneva and the University of Rochester in New York.

..........

Almost any computer game appears to boost a child's creativity, researchers at Michigan State University's Children and Technology Project reported in November.

A three-year study of 491 middle school students found that the more children played computer games the higher their scores on a standardized test of creativity—regardless of race, gender, or the kind of game played.

.............

In contrast, using cellphones, the Internet, or computers for other purposes had no effect on creativity, they said.

"Much to my surprise, it didn't matter whether you were playing aggressive games or sport games, not a bit," said psychologist Linda Jackson, who led the federally funded study of 491 boys and girls at 20 Michigan schools.


But

Quote:
Electronic gameplay has its downside. Brain scans show that violent videogames can alter brain function in healthy young men after just a week of play, depressing activity among regions associated with emotional control, researchers at Indiana University recently reported. Other studies have found an association between compulsive gaming and being overweight, introverted and prone to depression. The studies didn't compare the benefits of gaming with such downsides.


Both Mo and I enjoy playing video games. Mr. B doesn't. We've had a few very spirited debates about the benefits and follies of playing.

Do you let your kids play video games?

What kind of rules do you have in place for your kids regarding playing video games?

Are you a gamer? What impact does that have on your rules for your kids?
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Type: Question • Score: 10 • Views: 2,672 • Replies: 34

 
DrewDad
 
  4  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:55 am
@boomerang,
I suspect that a lot of this is selection bias.

People who already have these skills may just be more successful at video games, and end up playing them more.
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:57 am
I let my kids play, though my son is more interested than my daughter. My firm rule is no first person shooter games. He plays a lot of kung fu type games, some adventure games, and we all play Kinect sports and other active games. Mario Kart is still my all time favorite, but I've always loved driving games. Gaming has definitely come a long way since my days of Missile Command and Donkey Kong.

I do try to make sure they never spend too much time on any one screen based activity, though, because I feel like it makes them cranky and anti-social.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:58 am
@DrewDad,
Good point.

But I love playing video games even though I'm not very good at them.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:00 am
I like to play RPGs and strategic games. My all-time favorite strategic game is 1503, a sort of combination of Age of Empires and Sim-City. I don't think the RPGs make me particularly anti-social, but, then, there aren't a lot of goblins and trolls in our neighborhood.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:03 am
@FreeDuck,
I sometimes get concerned about the social aspects. Mo plays online with a very small group of friends and I think that kind of helps him socially. It keeps him in touch with kids he doesn't go to school with (kids from his football and baseball teams) so it expands his "base" at bit. I like that.

Right now they're all crazy for MineCraft and it's a very cooperative game and I think that's been good for him socially too.

Mo is VERY good at Minecraft and I hear him get crazy bossy with his friends sometimes. That bothers me.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:07 am
@Setanta,
I like to play games on Mo's old Play Station 2 so I'm pretty old school.

When I get very involved with a game I can be a bit anti-social in that I want to just get past this next bit before I do anything else. Of course, "this next bit" can take me a half hour to get through so........

Honestly though, I'm not real social anyway.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:08 am
Ooops. I forgot to link the article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203458604577263273943183932.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:10 am
I never, ever get anti-social . . . butter wouldn't melt, etc. . . .

Sometimes the boy dog wants to go outside (as in, every ten minutes), and he'll jump up and hit me in the butt with his forepaws. I take it all in good part, though. I usually turn to him and say:

What ? ! ? ! ?
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:15 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I sometimes get concerned about the social aspects. Mo plays online with a very small group of friends and I think that kind of helps him socially. It keeps him in touch with kids he doesn't go to school with (kids from his football and baseball teams) so it expands his "base" at bit. I like that.

Right now they're all crazy for MineCraft and it's a very cooperative game and I think that's been good for him socially too.

Mo is VERY good at Minecraft and I hear him get crazy bossy with his friends sometimes. That bothers me.


I actually love the social aspect of video games now. When we first got the Kinect, we were playing volleyball with one of his friends and their dad. It was hilarious and made the whole thing way more fun.

The bossy thing happens here too and I'll say things to my kids when I hear it, but their friends seem to take it in stride. Not sure what that's about but maybe it's age appropriate. As long as they can take getting bossed sometimes, I guess it's all good.

My friends have an autistic daughter who is CRAZY good at just about every video game she has every played. And I mean right away good. They see it as a blessing I think.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:18 am
Video games DO change your brain. In an entirely positive way.

One great example is dreaming. Persistent video gamers show a marked difference in their dreaming patterns than non-gamers.

http://www.livescience.com/6521-video-gamers-control-dreams-study-suggests.html

I play video games before falling asleep almost every day, and I can report that the above article is totally correct. Especially in one area: nightmares. When zombies show up in MY dreams, it's not me that's afraid - it's them. You learn to be a hunter, to be in control of the situation, instead of being a passive observer.

Cycloptichorn
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:21 am
That's called lucid dreaming, and i learned to do that before video games were invented.
Anomie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:21 am
@boomerang,
Personally, I play many video games, yet this generation does feel shallow, the artistic values feel simplified and mainstream, I have been generally playing rpgs, indie games and mods.

Quote:
Electronic gameplay has its downside. Brain scans show that violent videogames can alter brain function in healthy young men after just a week of play, depressing activity among regions associated with emotional control, researchers at Indiana University recently reported. Other studies have found an association between compulsive gaming and being overweight, introverted and prone to depression. The studies didn't compare the benefits of gaming with such downsides.


The definition of this "downside" is pressuposed, such as being introverted, however I do believe this extro/intro continuum to be of a false dichotomy, why is this assumed to be intrinsic?

Also, human mass is independent of video games, this is satisfied by thermodynamic laws, however it may be argued that video games are an 'indirect' consequence.
Anomie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:25 am
@DrewDad,
Is it possible for statistical practices to be logically consistent?

Empirical suggestion (circular reasoning) is induced from biased cognitive faculties, there may always be error in the truth reliability.

Though, I would personally like to believe that video games do change the brain, or contemporarily (i.e.neuroplasticity), gamers do appear to be open to concepts, such as being anti-normative, or anti-real.

Or, perhaps I am simply misinterpreting this for 'niche' phenomena, such as elite athletes, significantly high intelligent quotients, or other atypical constructs.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:30 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

That's called lucid dreaming, and i learned to do that before video games were invented.


Hmm, I would say that the small difference between this and what I would call my 'lucid' dreams is that there's no awareness that I'm actually dreaming in many of them - the reactions are situational, not conscious ones.

I do have lucid dreams from time to time, and infrequently, VERY lucid dreams, where I don't wake up for what seems like an eternity on my part. Wish I had more of those.

Cycloptichorn
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:46 am
@Cycloptichorn,
I think the Wikipedia article is wrong to say that one is always aware that one is dreaming when engaged in a lucid dream. The important aspect is having control over one's "dreamscape."
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:51 am
By the way, my brain didn't seem to like the lucid dreaming. My dreams got very strange. Sometimes i was watching a motion picture, with recognizable actors (one starred James Garner and Meryl Streep--i don't recall the others). Other times, it would be animation, as though done with water colors--sometimes i'd be a spectator, sometimes a participant. But it became obvious to me that some part of my consciousness was unhappy with me controlling the dreamscape, so i stopped. My dreams are more or less "normal" now.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 11:01 am
@Setanta,
Have you seen Waking Life? If not, I highly recommend it. I think you would find it to be very interesting.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 11:13 am
@boomerang,
I'm not sure if sozlet and I play video games or not. (E.G. definitely doesn't.)

We have an iPod, and there are a lot of games on it. I love Angry Birds (which might qualify) and Words With Friends (which I'm pretty sure does not).

Sozlet's current major game is Temple Run. She's very good at it. (I'm OK.)

We don't have a Wii, or a Kinect, or a Playstation, or anything else. Sozlet has gotten tragic about it at intervals but actually is mostly OK with it. She plays videogames at friends' houses, and especially likes the dance games.

We don't have anything mostly at E.G.'s insistence. I'm neutral to positive about videogames. I had a bit of an a-ha moment when we were having a conversation with my mom about why she didn't let me go see "Star Wars" when I was a kid. (My whole class went, but not me. Sniff.) He was taking her to task for it, and I realized that there is a very similar dynamic going on with sozlet and her friends -- she's pretty much the only one who doesn't have any sort of a gaming system in her house.

My hesitation is about the grumpiness/ anti-social thing FreeDuck mentions (yes, that happens to me and definitely to sozlet) but also what happens on the occasions when one of her friends brings their iPod or DS over. The kids slump on the couch and play games. And that's pretty much it.

The rest of the time (which is the vast majority of the time), they do all kinds of crazy stuff. They go out in the backyard and play survivor games. They make movies. They stage fashion shows. They make things. They pack provisions and go exploring for a couple of hours. They TALK.

From reports from sozlet and her friends' parents, a lot less of that happens at houses of friends with gaming systems. It's not that they ONLY play videogames or watch TV/ movies, but it's often a pretty big part of what they do.

Some kids basically refuse to come over here because we have a tiny TV and no gaming system and one iPod and I usually need the computer for work. Sozlet seems sincere about saying that she considers that a problem with the person, not with our electronics.

We don't have any hard and fast rules but if sozlet's been on the iPod too long or if she has a certain sort of manic "MUST DO THIS NOW" sort of thing going on, I tend to say "OK, time to wrap up." I usually give her a while before enforcing it.

Playing games on the iPod seems really good for her when she's had a rough day and needs to just calm down for a while. I don't have a problem with that.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 11:23 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

I'm not sure if sozlet and I play video games or not. (E.G. definitely doesn't.)

We have an iPod, and there are a lot of games on it. I love Angry Birds (which might qualify) and Words With Friends (which I'm pretty sure does not).

Sozlet's current major game is Temple Run. She's very good at it. (I'm OK.)


Those definitely count! They aren't as in-depth as the complex and immersive games that Set and I like, but they are games nonetheless.

The first video games - Pong and Pac-Man - were as addictive to the people of their day as our modern ones were...

Quote:
My hesitation is about the grumpiness/ anti-social thing FreeDuck mentions (yes, that happens to me and definitely to sozlet) but also what happens on the occasions when one of her friends brings their iPod or DS over. The kids slump on the couch and play games. And that's pretty much it.


That's because many of these games are more fun than any other activity you could possibly engage in, that doesn't cost a lot of money to do. By a lot. It engages your brain in ways that no other waking activity does, and gives a sense of achievement that directly rewards you.

And the more effort, the more reward. The older I get, the harder I want my games to be - as I've grown in complexity, so have my entertainment choices. The one I'm currently playing - a fun yet violent game called Demon's Souls - is so hard as to be considered to be brutal by most. It demands perfection and pushes me to be my best. I think about it a lot while I'm not playing it - it's the biggest challenge in my life at this moment.

Cycloptichorn
 

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