Are Video Games Bad for Your Brain?


  Do you own video games? Video games’ popularity has swept worldwide. According to a study, 91 percent of U.S. children ages 2-17 play these games (64 million). Read on to answer the question: Are video games bad for your brain?

  You can find video games in many places in our everyday world. Video games used to just be on an arcade machine. Nowadays, they can be played on flat screen TVs, cell phones, tablets, computers, and more. But do they affect your brain?

  Scientists have conducted experiments on how video games affect thinking and overall brain health. Technology is becoming more of a part of our everyday lives. With that comes advances in video games and other forms of entertainment. Because of their growing popularity, interest in how said games affect our brains has gone up. Marc Palaus and other researchers have investigated emerging trends concerning how video games affect the activity and behavior of people’s brains. The results of these studies were surprising.

  The study shows that the games do affect not only the structure, but the behavior of the brain. Playing video games affects the attention. So, many players had improvements in many different types of attention. “It’s likely that video games have both positive (on attention, visual and motor skills) and negative aspects (risk of addiction), and it is essential we embrace this complexity,”  Marc Palaus points out.  Still, little evidence shows that video games improve your life/mental well being in a meaningful way. On the other hand, studies show that video games can be very addictive. According to a study done by the APA (American Psychological Association) gamers could be at risk for Internet Gaming Disorder. Another study, (performed by Laura Stockdale and Sarah Coyne) took a sample of teens and young adults who were at risk for Internet Gaming Disorder. They found that the addicted players were more anxious and depressed.  

  So, if you have video games in your household, be aware of how much time you spend playing. Also, you can designate some time to stay away from the screen and around your family.

  Video games’ popularity in children and adults is increasing at a rapid rate. What do you believe? Do the good aspects of gaming overrule the bad? Or does addiction overpower the good aspects?