Now Reading
From Gamer to Genius. How video games affect the human brain

From Gamer to Genius. How video games affect the human brain

For some time, various activities, games, movies, even essay writing services have been blamed for the so-called corruption of kids and the educational failings of our current generation. In particular, video games have been the scapegoat for numerous violent crimes and anti-social behaviour. But is there any validity to these claims?

On Earth, about 25% of humanity plays video games. The gamer’s age has no boundaries – it can be a 6-year-old kid, or it can be a 40-year-old owner of a private company. Games are great entertainment that brings a lot of joy to its admirers.

At the same time, there are many rumors and legends surrounding video games, which spoil the industry’s good name. Schoolboy shot classmates – games! Kids don’t learn well – games! Teenagers got into a shooting spree – games! Video games are often the subject of unfounded controversy, and today I will dispel those myths with science!


Games make kids violent

The main claim attributed to games is that they are too violent. Big titles on the hitlist include the GTA series, Call of Duty, and the classic 90’s game Postal, which has spawned several sequels in the meantime. The latter has also repeatedly popped up in the media because of its gameplay features. Usually, these accusations are backed up by nothing more than polemics from various video game haters. But don’t worry gamers, there are plenty of scientific studies to debunk these generally unfounded claims.

A study at the University of York, England made some interesting findings in 2018. Two games were created, one to dodge trucks, the other to escape a cat from the POV of a mouse. The reactions of the test subjects among other things were recorded to determine their impact. After testing was completed, it was concluded that the games had no affect on the subjects


The second study was conducted in Germany in 2017. Scientists spent four years testing Call of Duty and Counter-Strike players, which helped them accurately determine the effect. They were also shown pictures of different brutality and compared their reactions to the playing subjects. It turned out that the two groups (playing and not playing) responded exactly the same.

A third study also took place in 2017 but had more interesting results. Psychologists from the American Association surveyed 10,000 Britons to form the right picture. It turned out that gamers are more likely to read, go to cultural events and do creative work in their free time.

Experiments were also conducted on 14 Call of Duty and Battlefield players and 14 regular people. In the end, the two groups were shown creepy and cute images. Expectedly, the reactions were the same in both groups.


Games make people distracted

Video games get a bad rep when it comes to education and how it affects a child’s academic growth They are said to dumb kids down and make them zombies. Newsflash, it doesn’t!

The study was conducted by Daphne Bavelier, an expert in human brain research. The research is very old, straight out of 2012, but it’s no less entertaining. Bavelaire claims that action games improve human attention by several times.

For example, she gives the Stroop test, which you can take right now. In the picture, you see words that are colored in different colors. Your task is to quickly name the color of the word, not the word itself. In the lab, scientists have found that people who devote several hours a day to games do better on this task than others.

In another test, players had to keep track of several moving dots. The difficulty is that there are a lot of them on the screen, and they are all the same color. The experiment showed that people who do not play games could track 1-3 dots at a time, while gamers – 4-6.

Scientists found that the parietal and frontal cortex (responsible for attention) were affected by the games. CT scans actually showed more activity in these brain areas in video-gamers.

The concluding results, in a nutshell, pointed to games contributing to brain development. Of course, Fortnite won’t make you Albert Einstein, but it can help improve concentration and attention, handy when studying something such as engineering, science or mathematics for example.

.Postal: Brain Damage


Video games. The social aspect

The social component, which is crucial in today’s environment, should also be included. According to popular belief, gamers are unsociable, melancholy, and dull persons who are entirely cut off from society. I will not beat my chest in denial but simply give you some food for thought.

Every game integrates with social media, where you can share your achievements. Yes, it’s done mostly for marketing, but it’s also communication.

There are various groups on the same social networks where gamers seek partners and friends to play with. There have been cases where people have found love there. In addition, most multiplayer games include built-in voice and text chat. Yes, just like in real life, there are not the nicest people, but you can find friends there.

Also, according to some studies, gamers are better predisposed to stressful situations and can quickly make difficult decisions. This is due to the need to act quickly in virtual battles. There are the games like Dark Souls, where the slightest mistake costs your hero’s life. So, the player thinks about tactics and learns how to solve the problem.

See Also


If you play a lot, you can “plant” your eyesight

A very controversial issue, where the opinion of scientists and doctors categorically differ. In 2015, scientists from Ohio University published a study in which they dispelled the myth of deteriorating vision from monitors.

The experiment lasted 20 years and involved 4,500 children. The researchers found no link between visual impairment and spending long periods in front of a monitor. They also note that visual impairment is associated with a genetic predisposition.

Daphne Bavelier, in turn, found that gamers can better focus on small objects and better distinguish shades of gray.

At the same time, doctors strongly disagree with the research. They claim that people blink less when playing for prolonged periods, which dries out the eye sheath and causes minor eye damage.



Of course, while researching the topic, I found information about incidents that disproved what I said. In fact, games are no different from books or movies, which can also provoke bad actions. It all depends on the person himself and his worldview, and there are enough idiots everywhere.

Gaming is not the scourge of modernity and not a universal evil. Video games – it’s one of the tools of development, which should be used properly. Remember, play only good games, and don’t forget to improve.