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Do you want to know why Video Games are Good for you and your brain?

Mental Health

Author JackMouri Page Views 208 8 min read

Do you want to know why Video Games are Good for you and your brain?

 

If you want to know about video games therapy and its effect on your health, so you should read this article. This article answers several questions about health and video games relations and its effect in treatment of Autism and Alzheimer is explained. 

ToC:

How do video games help treat disease?

What should parents do to avoid video game addiction?

How do video games help treat Autism?

Which video game are used to treat autism?

How to prevent Alzheimer by playing brain training games?

How do video games help treat dementia?

What is triage meaning?

 

 

How video games help treat diseases?

Although poorly used video games can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, they provide a large number of health benefits and are increasingly used in the medical and psychological field. Many children learn to use tablets, computers and mobile phones before talking or walking, so technology is an active part of their world since they were very young.

However, if you know how to use it, this phenomenon can provide many more advantages than harm. In fact, there are more and more scientific studies that delve into the benefits that children bring to this type of activity: they improve their visual and auditory skills, they teach them to organize and work as a team and even exercise their memory. Also, with some of them, they also learn tasks that will be important in their day to day, such as orienting themselves on a map or making decisions quickly.

What should parents do to avoid video game addiction?

Logically, to obtain these benefits, parents must control what games their children play and during what times they do so, ensuring that they have an active life beyond the console and the computer.

If all this is done correctly, even more, specific benefits can be obtained, thanks to the phenomenon of gamification. This technique is widely used in the educational field, with the objective that children acquire specific curricular knowledge through game mechanics, either with the help of electronic devices or without them.

Gradually, the gamification has left the classroom and has reached clinics and hospitals, where it is used to help children and adults to improve the symptoms of all types of neurological and mental disorders, from autism to bulimia, passing through Alzheimer's and depression.

Gamification in learningPhoto by Diego Passadori on Unsplash

 

How do video games help treat Autism?

Video games are useful for Autism by taking advantage of their fondness for technologies. Autism is one of the so-called autism spectrum disorders, characterized by a vast repertoire of symptoms, which can vary markedly between different cases.

However, most of them agree in their difficulty when interacting socially, and in the disinterest, they feel for the vast majority of topics.

In spite of everything, they usually enjoy new technologies and computer games, which is a great asset when it comes to helping them to improve the symptoms of their disorder.

video game are used to treat autismPhoto by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

 

Which video game are used to treat autism?

A series of mini-games whose objective was to learn to interpret the different human facial expressions. This is something that is often very difficult for autistic people, making their social interactions even more complicated. Forty-two children played with the prototype for twenty hours, after which they showed a significant improvement in their ability to interpret the expressions of the faces they were taught. Unfortunately, it took several years from then until Tanaka was able to publish his results, so the games had become outdated compared to other industry alternatives.

Another exciting option is Autcraft, a Minecraft server designed in 2013 by the creators of the game for autistic children to exercise their social skills and improve their ability to function on a day-to-day basis.

Being an open world game, in which the player must manage their resources and organize themselves to live, they can practice this kind of skills, extrapolating them later to real life.

There are many other options for autistic children to learn while playing, although experts warn that some are just normal games, which need not have any effect. Therefore, when in doubt, you should always consult a professional.

How to prevent Alzheimer by playing brain training games?

Although for the moment there is no cure for Alzheimer's, many of the scientific studies that have been carried out in this regard are helping the development of treatments capable of slowing down their symptoms. Among the most typical signs of the disease are memory losses, which gradually become dramatically large. To avoid them, some mental exercises are recommended, many of which in recent years have become applications and games for electronic devices.

The problem in these cases comes from the difficulty that some elderly people have to cope with the new technologies. For this reason, they are as important as a team of scientists from the University of Almeria, which is 2016 presented a computer program that solved this type of problems. A touch screen is used for people who are not familiar with computers to act intuitively The application is designed for use in touch devices so that people who are not familiar with keyboards are able to use them in an intuitive way. Thus, they can practice with a series of games that help them to exercise memory and other skills such as attention or orientation, also depleted in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

But this program is not designed only for patients who have already been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease since it can also be used by patients who have just suffered a stroke or healthy people who want to start exercising their minds from the age of sixty.

prevent Alzheimer by playing brain training games

Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

How do video games help treat dementia?

New discoveries show that some computer video games can help you stay mentally fit. Researchers show that playing Super Mario 64 increase hippocampal gray matter in older adults. The participants has never played this game before and they played it for half an hour five days a week. Also there was a second group who play the piano over half of the year which shown similar experience as the Super Mario Group. 

Playing Super Mario 64 increases hippocampal grey matter in older adults

A significant effect was observed in the (a) left hippocampus and (b) left cerebellum (Ref.)

 

Therefor Hans Forstl from Clinic for Psychiatry at the Technical University of Munchen assums that using computer and video games can prevent disease such as dementia. Especially for older people who use Mobile phone and computer less than the others. It can help to train the hippocampus. Also there is a need for more research in this area to determin how long it can delay the mental illnesses such as dementia. Even there is a hope to find new treatments to cure dementia. 

 

What is triage meaning?

Video games do not have to be just for children who are hungry for adventures or sick people who want to treat their symptoms in an unconventional way. Doctors also play games to make better decisions in triage process. After all, there are more and more problems that can be solved with virtual simulations, including some of the dilemmas that doctors encounter during their day to day lives. The objective of the game is to help doctors make decisions in triage protocols. The stress and the confusion which is difficult to handle in trauma cases in emergency room is shown in this youtube clipthat the patients needing triage.

This is the case of a video game developed by American researchers, which has just been described in a study published in PNAS. The goal of the game is to help doctors make decisions in triage processes. This type of procedure consists of a protocol by which patients should be classified according to their severity.

Therefore, this video game confronts them with several cases of virtual patients, with different pathologies and severity levels. Once the training was finished, if they were subjected to a virtual triage situation, the professionals who had used the game acted more efficiently than those who had not. This suggests that the game could improve triage rates. However, the researchers themselves acknowledge that more research will still be necessary in this regard.

what does triage mean

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash