See! Video Games can be good for you

Definition of Cognition: is the scientific term for "the process of thought" to knowing. Usage of the term varies in different disciplines; for example, [Cognition] is the process by which a person learns; it involves strategies for processing information, prior knowledge about content, and problem-solving and thinking skills... the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning...

And now that I know what that word means, we can move on and talk about the benefits that playing video games can provide.

Yes it may come as a surprise to some of you that video games aren’t just fun but can be very good at helping you develop your perception, learning and reasoning skills.

At least that’s what researchers at East Carolina University's Psychophysiology Lab say. The intelligent people at the University decided to test casual games (such as Bejeweled and Peggle) on “test subjects” of those who were aged at least 50 years old. The results were “marked improvements in both cognitive response and executive functioning.”

If that’s not a good enough image boost for video games, the industry also brings the potential for health benefits, as Dr Carmen Russoniello, the lab's director, in a Train2Game news story, explained: “future applications could include prescriptive applications using casual video games to potentially stave off Alzheimer's disease and other dementia-type disorders.”

NHS also saw the positives in video gaming, when they endorsed Nintendo’s Wii Fit as part of their national Change4Life healthy living campaign. Clearly it helped boost sales as well as the game went on to be one of Nintendo’s biggest sellers

It seems like casual games are more than just good at helping you pass the time. This is good news for Train2Game students as many of their current projects could certainly fall under the “casual gaming” category.

For those creating games that are slightly more complex than a casual game (such as RoboBuddy) then not to worry as Russoniello says that it’s still possible to gain positive cognition from playing “more complex hardcore titles” but with the catch being that “these benefits will less widespread due to the difficulty of learning how to play such games.” Still, Train2Game Games Designers and Games Developers students should relish a challenge of making a game not just fun but the gameplay educational in a sense.

There are many commercial games out there that educate gamers in one-way or another. A good example is the Civilization series. Not only are they are addictive, with that “one more turn” factor helping it be very fun, but it’s packed with so much information that if you take the time to read through it, I dare say it could be just as effective as reading through historical textbooks!

The main lesson from this is that while not all games go beyond simple mindless fun, video games in general are far from a waste of time and instead they provide a great educational experience.

Want to read the full news story on how video games can help with your cognitive potential? Click here:$19805043.html