Why Your Parents Were Wrong

video-games
Source: PSU.edu

 

“Don’t make that face, it will get stuck like that,” “Don’t go swimming until 30 minutes after you eat if you don’t want cramps,” “Don’t sit so close to the television or you will go blind,” “Don’t play video games all day, your brain will turn to mush.” These are all common phrases you have probably heard your parents say to you as you were a child. However as you grew up, you came to realize that most of these were not true. However the one about losing your eye sight, and the one about video games you never quite found an answer to, until now. It turns out, video games can be good for a person’s vision and ability to process information. According to this TED Talk, by Daphne Bavelier a brain scientist who studies the impact of video games on the brain. Bavelier states that those who play video games like Call of Duty, actually have better vision than the average person. It does not stop there either, those who play similar video games have scored better in the ability to multitask. She does this by performing various tests such as testing people’s ability to say the color font of a word, following multiple objects at once, or matching turned shapes. So as it turns out, those parents who did not let their children play video games may have left their children behind.

edu-choc-broc-460x360
Source: edutopia

They have currently been running tests to see if they can improve the vision and reaction of adults by having them play video games. By having the adults play 10 hours of video games in a span of two weeks, the people tested have seen improvements in vision and reaction time as far as five months in advance. So the question is, if video games can be so beneficial, why do the makers not come out with a video game that will improve everyone’s ability that people will enjoy. Bavelier compares this concept with chocolate and broccoli; the current video games being chocolate and the learning video games being chocolate. People enjoy chocolate more than broccoli, and combining the two is just weird and would not work. However they are working on creating a solution where broccoli dipped in fondue may be delicious.

Bavelier ends her talk by saying to remember the rule of moderation. Yes, video games can be a good thing for your brain. However too much of anything is never a good thing and you should moderate your video game play. She mentions how you would react differently if your child spent the same time playing video games as they did practicing math, or reading a book, but even in those fields too much is not a good thing. She relates video games to wine, the right amount is a good thing, too much can have negative effect on your body. Portion control is key, something many of us Americans struggle with.

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