The Effects Of Video Games On The Mind Essay example

The Effects Of Video Games On The Mind Essay example

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Whether playing video games can improve a person’s mind, or not, has been a topic of debate for decades. From parents to teachers to reporters, it seems like everyone has their own opinion on the matter. Even scientists are unable to come to a final consensus on the matter despite several studies being conducted on the effects that video games have on a person’s mind. This fact is evident in the article Brains on Video Games which illustrates several different scientific views on the matter. According to Daphne Bavelier and C. Shawn Green one of the difficulties of judging the effectiveness of video games on the mind is that:

One can no more say what the effects of video games are, than one can say what the effects of food are. There are millions of individual games, hundreds of distinct genres and subgenres, and they can be played on computers, consoles, hand-held devices and cell phones. Simply put, if one wants to know what the effects of video games are, the devil is in the details. (763)

Despite the difficulties, however, the growing belief among scientists is that there are noticeable changes to certain areas of a person’s mind when influenced by video games. Not all of these changes are positive though, as noted by Michael M. Merzenich:

There is growing direct evidence that intensive use of video games results in significant generalized improvements in cognitive function. Video games are controlled training regimens delivered in highly motivating behavioural contexts. The documented gains in processing speed, attentional control, memory, and cognitive and social control that result from playing specific games are expected. Because behavioural changes arise from brain changes, it is also no surprise that perfo...


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... that their working memory was significantly improved and their reasoning ability enhanced. To a lesser extent, their short-term memory of visual recall was better than that of their peers, as was their ability to identify objects. (13)

Ultimately, there are too many studies to cover in a few paragraphs, but whether by a small margin, or a significant amount, each study follows similar patterns to the ones highlighted here. The fact that there exists such a trend shows that a person’s mind can, indeed, be improved by playing video games. The amount of improvement, however, may be dependent on the type of game, the length of time spent playing, and on the individual themselves. In researching this topic it brought to mind an old quote that one just needs The Right Tool for the Job, but in this case a more fitting saying may be The Right Game for the Mind.

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