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David Mittleman
David Mittleman
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Playing Video Games Improves Health

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I know a few adults who like to play video games, and up until this point I have to admit that I've scoffed. However, recent research suggests that maybe I should stop looking down on adult gamers and pick up a controller myself and reap the health benefits including reduction of stress, improved vision and fine tuned motor skills.

  1. Reduction of chronic illnesses. One new study have found evidence to suggest that video games are therapeutic for children with chronic illnesses such as autism, depression or Parkinson's disease by instilling a "fighting spirit". Researchers believe that playing video games helps to act on the brain mechanisms for positive emotions and the reward system. Apparently, there are similar effects in adults who suffer from mental illnesses such as depression and aggression.
  2. Pain relief. One new study found that playing video games may provide pain relief for a very simple reason: distraction.
  3. Improved vision. Although your parents may have told you to back away from the TV for fear that your eyes would go bad, new research suggests that playing video games can help improve vision. Playing games may also release chemicals like dopamine and adrenaline, which also helps with brain plasticity.
  4. Improved happiness. Even senior citizens can reap the benefits of playing video games. One new study found that elderly that played video games reported a higher level of happiness or well-being.

With the plethora of prescription drugs available to combat various maladies and the skyrocketing levels of prescription drug addiction, maybe its time we turned back to some simpler remedies like video games. Obviously I'm not suggesting that every mental or physical illness can be fixed with a video game, but it sure is nice to know that there are other ways to ease pain and suffering at least temporarily.