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video games help

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2014 Category: Games
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,135 times Debate No: 53509
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (4)
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Video games are therapeutic for children with chronic illnesses
The University of Utah released a study last year that examined the effects of regular gaming on children diagnosed with illnesses like autism, depression, and Parkinson's disease. Kids who played certain games, including one designed just for the study, showed signs of improvement in "resilience, empowerment, and a 'fighting spirit.'" Researchers believe the games' ability to act on "neuronal mechanisms that activate positive emotions and the reward system" helped improve kids' demeanors as they faced the daily challenges of their illnesses.


I, too am a video gamer. And I cannot but acknowledge whatever research you got this from. I'm glad that it does something good as well.
The unfortunate thing is that online video games create an element of competition amongst friends, mostly combined with the loser being laughed at. It can be really frustrating for gamers, they can get mad to such a level there is simply no fun left.
Not only that, but they achieve nothing in life. The amount of gamers that make a living off gaming (on youtube, competition...) is so small, yet when talking about popular franchises; some players really put many hours into them.
I believe everyone knows examples of people that waste too much time gaming, but ofcourse, it's only waste when you're not having fun! (to a limited extent of time, ofcourse).
Not only that, but video games also cost alot of money these days. They are simply too expensive.

These were the elements that I find disadvantageous to gaming.

In reply to your arguments, I cannot refute that they help in a medical way. Only about the "fighting spirit" I can say that there are some bad sides to this. Adult males playing video games will, unlike kids, be taking a blow to the head less serious (movies are to blame too) and that might result in street fights happening more often - with the disastrous consequences.
Debate Round No. 1


Video games improve preschoolers' motor skills
Letting a 4-year-old sit in front of a TV with a game controller might not seem like the most productive use of her time. But researchers from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, would disagree. Their study examined the development of 53 preschool-aged children, and found that those who played "interactive games" had better "object control motor skills" than those who didn't. It's not clear, though, whether children with better-than-average motor skills tend to gravitate toward video games in the first place.
Video games reduce stress and depression
2009's Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine included a study that found that gamers who suffered from mental health issues such as stress and depression were able to vent their frustration and aggression by playing video games " and showed a noted improvement. The study hypothesized that games gave certain "Type A" personalities time to relax in "a state of relative mindlessness" that allowed them to avoid reaching "a certain level of stressful arousal" as they tried to relax.
Video games provide pain relief
Video games don't just provide relief from emotional pain. They can also help those who are suffering from physical pain. Psychologists at the University of Washington developed a game that helps hospital patients suffering from immense physical pain by using an age-old mental trick: distraction. The virtual reality game "Snow World" put patients in an arctic wonderland in which they throw an endless arsenal of snowballs at a series of targets, such as penguins and snowmen. Military hospitals found the experience helped soldiers recovering from their battlefield wounds. The soldiers who played "Snow World" required less pain medicine during their recuperation.
Video games can improve your vision
Mom may have warned you that sitting in front of the TV wasn't good for your eyes. But one developmental psychologist found it could actually be beneficial to your vision. Dr. Daphne Maurer of the Visual Development Lab of Ontario's McMaster University made a surprising discovery: People suffering from cataracts can improve their vision by playing first-person shooter games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty. She believes these games are so fast-paced that they require an extreme amount of attention, training the visually impaired to view things more sharply. They can also produce higher levels of dopamine and adrenaline that "potentially may make the brain more plastic," she said.

Researchers found that following the 40 hours of game playing, the vision of five of the six patients showed signs of improvement. They were able to recognize faces more easily, as well as make out small print and judge the direction of moving dots

Video games improve your decision-making skills
Most video games require fast reactions and split-second decisions that can mean the difference between virtual life and virtual death. Cognitive neuroscientists at the University of Rochester in New York found these games give players' brains plenty of practice for making decisions in the real world. Researchers suggest that action-oriented games act as a simulator for the decision-making process by giving players several chances to infer information from their surroundings and forcing them to react accordingly.
Video games keep you happy in old age
Researchers from North Carolina State University looked closely at our aging population to see if there was a link between playing video games and mental well-being " i.e. "happiness." They found that senior citizens who said they played video games " even occasionally " reported "higher levels of happiness, or well-being," says Rick Nauert at PsychCentral. "Those who did not play video games reported more negative emotions" and were more likely to be depressed. It's unclear what exactly is behind this link " or if the relationship is even causal.
Video Games May Slow The Aging Process
Playing brain-teasing game for just two hours a week may help slow the degree of mental decay associated with the natural aging process, according to a study this year from the University of Iowa.
A study of 681 healthy individuals ages 50 and older revealed that playing 10 hours of a specially designed video game was able to stall the natural decline of different cognitive skills by up to seven years, in some cases.
Over five to eight weeks, one group of seniors was given computerized crossword puzzles while three other groups played a computer game called "Road Tour." The game involves matching pictures of vehicles while remembering the location of a particular road sign as more and more "distractors" appear as the player advanced. The experience is meant to mirror the difficulty older drivers have when they have to process information from multiple points of view at an intersection.
"Whether it's a specially manufactured game or something like 'World of Warcraft,' games are cognitively complex and require mental energy and abilities to play them," said Jason Allaire, an associate professor in the department of psychology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, who was not involved with the study. "Whenever you do anything that requires mental energy, you're exercising your abilities -- it's just like if you exercise your muscles, you get stronger."

They May Help Dyslexic Kids Read Better
A study from the University of Padua throws cold water on the idea that video games are bad for the brains of young children. In February, the Italian researchers presented evidence that playing fast-paced video games can improve the reading skills of children with dyslexia.
The team separated children age 7 to 13 into two groups, one of which played an action game called "Rayman Raving Rabbids" while the other played a lower tempo game. When the reading skills of the children were tested afterwards, those who played the action game were capable of reading faster and more accurately. The authors of the study hypothesized that the action games helps kids increase their attention spans, a skill considered crucial to reading.


I cannot but agree that SOME video games really do improve some of these skills. But these are obviously not the overly popular video games.

Your found research is solid, so I'll try to argument why the video games most people play are not having these benefits.

Call Of Duty series have an overly popular online mode, which is known to come with alot of stress. This game is easily the most-bought game yearly. In these games, children obviously learn alot less than they could elsewhere. While I have no research to contradict what you say, I think everyone knows that the best games are challenging and obviously aren't much of a "relief" from stress. The fast-paced action in CoD rather provides the gamer with alot of frustration everytime he is killed, obviously quite alot of times daily. Emotionally, you could only see it as a break from work. Not some kind of therapy that would make you suddenly feel better, because just like watching a movie, the only thing it does is make you focus on something else.
That is, ofcourse, the distraction you spoke of. But is it the best way to distract someone from pain? I believe that here, gaming is only good for those exceptional cases that really need aid like the ones with diseases you named before. This does not prove that video game is good for common, healthy people. It proves that they are useful medically, but they don't provide "help" for healthy people.

Then, you said that the fast-paced action is good for visual capabilities. Numerous amounts of friends that i have, end up crying if they play too much. You focus on a limited area, and your eyeballs barely move. That can't be good, can it? But again, only for people who already have medical problems.
Another argument you gave for vision improvement, was that facial recognition went better etc. But is that really a necessary thing? I wouldn't count this as a big advantage when seeing the disadvantages.

Decision-making skills: can't deny it, but in this case, video games only make your reaction time faster rather than thinking more clear. In real life, most decisions don't have to be made in an instant.

Then, you talk about happiness. without doubt, video games are one of the most fun inventions ever. I can't argue here.

Lastly, you speak of research why gaming improves mental abilities. The research clearly states that ANYTHING requiring mental energy does that, though. So, there must be alternatives.

- personal addition

I notice that you simply copy and paste researches you have found on the internet. They clearly are articles in favor of gaming, but not entirely objective.
When talking about health, the cons should be mentioned, that occur to ALL people: their backs are bent, in a bad position; they sit still for hours, and ofcourse, they barely do any sport.
Debate Round No. 2
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by BasicLogic 7 years ago
And no, no proof has been found linking video games to LONG LASTING VIOLENCE .
And yes. Sport give exercise, which is helpful. But most kids prefer to play games instead of exercise. If they exercise for one hour a day, then it's not to bad.
Posted by BasicLogic 7 years ago
He also breathed for days before that. Oxygen is bad
Oh, I think having your favorite team losing is more enraging than pixels dying.
Posted by revic 7 years ago
With sports, through competition, people get healthy. Not particular diseases, but everyone benefits from sports. So, unless for people with those diseases, I believe sports are a better way to compete as that most oftenly doesn't include direct humiliation or frustration afterwards.

They are entertaining, yes. But they do cost, and for the price of a console with a few games, one could have easily went to a therapist or get actual medication or surgery (in case of extreme buyers at least).

Youth crime is a strange way to put it. In my country, a particular case of a mentally sick person has shot and killed innocents on the streets. He had been playing GTA the days before that. This ofcourse is an extreme case, but common people are more likely to give in to agressive behavior if they grew up watching it, especially when it's their heroes doing it on screen.
Posted by BasicLogic 7 years ago
Competition is lower in games than actual sports.
They give the most entertainment for your money
Youth crime is down, so no "street fights"
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