Could Games like GTA Make You Smarter?

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Imagine that you are sitting peacefully in your living room, reading a book or maybe drinking some coffee in front of a crackling fire. Calm, isn’t it? Now imagine there is a loud BANG, followed by gunshots and screaming and yelling and explosions. What could be making all of this racket? Some kids playing video games. Video games have become extremely popular over the years as technology has advanced. However, with this rise in popularity also comes a growing concern in parents how the games may be affecting their children. Because of this, video games have gotten a bad reputation for increased violence or aggressive behavior in teens, antisocial behavior, laziness, and have even been linked to some crimes in the past. This has lead many adults to think that video games can only be bad for kids, however recent studies has suggested that the games may have potentially positive effects to them. In fact, some of these studies suggest that the positive effects of virtual gaming may outweigh the negative. One of the biggest benefits that video games provide is an increase in intelligence, mainly in the area of problem solving. This is because one of the main aspects to almost all games is puzzles. Without at least a small challenge, gamers wouldn’t really find an interest in the games and get bored easily. However, its because of these challenges gamers have shown an increased ability to think outside of the proverbial box and have acquired better problem solving skills. Last year, a study at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development led by Simon Kuhn showed that kids who played the platforming game Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes a day had a significant increase in grey matter around the brain compared to kids who did not play t... ... middle of paper ... ...as adults.” Penelope Trunk. Home Schooling, 11 April, 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. http://homeschooling.penelopetrunk.com/2013/04/11/kids-who-play-video-games-do-better-as-adults/ Fleming, Nic. “Why video games may be good for you.” BBC. In Depth, 26 Aug. 2012. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130826-can-video-games-be-good-for-you/all Hamilton, Jeff. “Treating ADHD with Video Games.” Psychology Today. Pills Don’t Teach Skills, 17 Aug. 2011. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/pills-dont-teach-skills/201108/treating-adhd-video-games Reilly, Rachel. “Violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto DON'T harm children - and could actually be therapeutic.” Daily Mail. Health, 28 Aug. 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2403032/Violent-video-games-like-Grand-Theft-Auto-DONT-harm-children--therapeutic.html

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