How games can strengthen your mind

Today we will be focusing on the positive effects of playing video games. In this week's For Science!!! we will be discussing the effects of prolonged gaming and mental exercises it brings. Grab a clipboard and take a seat, class will begin shortly.

It's no secret that the more you play games the better you get at them. You may wonder why this is though. At face value, it may appear that you are just practicing a scenario repeatedly until you 'figure it out' and eventually pass said scenario. It's not quite so simple though. What is really happening is that you are strengthening your parietal cortex in your brain, the section of the brain responsible for hand-eye coordination. The more you play, the less you actually think about the actions that you are having your hands do, be it a controller or mouse and keyboard. Once less burden is placed on the parietal cortex, it frees up other sections of the brain.

Studies have shown that individuals who do not play video games much use more of the parietal cortex than people who do play video games more extensively. Interestingly, people who do play video games more had much higher activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain: the area associated with high-level decision making. It is also worth noting that any game you play can have these positive effects. Anything from a hand held game to extensive micromanaged games like RTS.

Studies also speculate that the positive effects can be had on Alzheimer's patients due to the nature of stimulation non-gamers get in the parietal cortex of the brain.

So there you have it. Gaming does have positive aspects on one's life. So the next time someone tells you that you're wasting your time playing video games, point at their face while not even looking at them and remind them that you are exercising your most important muscle: your brain.