This is true even for children who have difficulty reading and even when playing action games. In addition, in 2010, scientists presented research at the American Pain Society conference, which found evidence that playing video games, particularly virtual reality games, is effective in reducing anxiety or pain caused by chronic illness or medical procedures. While all other studies seem to draw opposing conclusions about the social effects of playing violent video games, studies with brain scans are troubling.
However, Bavelier shows data that people who play video games are better able to keep track of the objects around them, while the average person can effectively follow three objects, video players can follow six to seven objects.
The 2009 Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine included a study showing that gamers suffering from mental health issues such as stress and depression were able to vent their frustration and aggression by playing video games, and showed noticeable improvement. The study hypothesized that the games gave certain “Type A” personalities time to relax in “a state of relative lack of mind” that allowed them to avoid reaching “some level of stressful excitement” while trying to relax. Pallavicini attributes the mental health benefits of playing video games to reaching a state of “flow.” She says flow is the “optimal experience when nothing browser game else matters,” and it’s also experienced by athletes and athletes and skinstrikemen when they’re in the area. Playing to find the flow state can provide a pleasant challenge and distraction from mental health issues, he says, meaning the player can work on their well-being without feeling pressured to improve. When children play video games in groups, they often take turns, depending on who has specific skills needed in that game. In studies conducted by Nick Yee of the Palo Alto Research Center, teens who had played group games online felt they had acquired leadership skills, such as convincing and motivating others and mediating disputes.
Online multiplayer games offer teens a rare opportunity to participate in and sometimes lead a diverse mixed-age team. And no one cares how old you are if you can lead the team to victory. The content of certain video games may encourage children to read and do research.
If they’re under the age of 12, it’s probably best to limit online interactions to video games where the other gamers they meet in real life. Also, most social networks have a minimum age requirement that you can use to decide if they should use them. Games are beneficial not only for adults and teens, but also for children. Many modern educational institutions include video games as a teaching method. This helps these children improve their academic skills by offering video games specifically aimed at improving their cognitive and creative skills.
About a third of the children we studied said they played video games, in part because they enjoyed teaching others to play. An experimental study published in the Creativity Research Journal found a link between certain video games and creativity. The 353 participants played Minecraft with or without instruction, watched a TV show or played a race car game. The researchers found that those who played Minecraft without instruction completed subsequent tasks with the most creativity, perhaps because they were given the most freedom to think independently while playing, the researchers think. It’s another common trope that games cause attention problems.