What gambling does to your brain and how you could benefit from it


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FortniteThe ability to get players to play – not addicted, but certainly glued to the screen for long periods of time – is well documented. In 2018, a year after the game’s official release, a 9-year-old girl in the UK was taken to rehab after deliberately getting wet to continue playing, it became an international news item. A year later, in 2019, a Montreal law firm sought to launch a class action against Epic Games; they argued that Epic intentionally designed the game to be addictive. Prince Harry – as in, the royal who is sixth in line to the British throne – proclaimed, during a media event, “This game should not be allowed.

Despite the bad press, Fortnite, and games like this, have proven brain benefits. First and third person shooters improve spatial reasoning, decision making, and, contrary to popular belief, Warning. In one published article through Men’s health, writer Yo Zushi said that “even the thrilling pressure you feel when your partner stalks you Fortnite Battle Royale turns out to be good for you: “positive stress” in the context of play helps motivate you, while increasing your ability to concentrate IRL. “

That’s not all Loss (and dark)

Neurological and psychological research into video games is in its infancy – it’s in its early alpha phase, if you will. This is because video games, as we know them, are modern inventions. And when evaluating the research so far, the studies show that these are not just warnings and concerns. In fact, video games can be effective tools for improving our brain and cognitive skills, especially in the long run.

Video game research began in earnest in the late 1990s, with Daphne Bavelier and C. Shawn Green leading the way at the University of Rochester. They began to explore the unconventional idea that video games could impact and possibly even help neuroplasticity, a biological process where the brain changes and adapts when exposed to new experiences.

After years of research, they discovered that action games in particular, games where reflexes, reaction time and hand-eye coordination are put to the test, as in the now retro classics. Loss and Classic Fortress Team—Offered tangible cognitive benefits that help us in everyday life. As Bavelier and Green noted in the July 2016 issue of American scientist: “People who regularly play action games demonstrate a better ability to focus on visual details, useful for reading the fine print in a legal document or on a prescription vial. They also display increased sensitivity to visual contrast, which is important when driving in thick fog… The multitasking required to switch between reading a menu and having a conversation with a dinner partner is also more. easy.

In Bavelier’s TEDxCHUV conference “Your brain on video games“she argues that playing action games like Call of Duty in reasonable doses is positively potent. Instead of parents perceiving their children’s virtual and designated “bad guy” zombie shots as brainless, it should instead be seen as a brain booster, she says.

Others have also touted the benefits of video games for the brain. For example, researchers at UC Irvine found that 3D games can improve the functioning of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain involved in learning and memory. Meanwhile, researchers at Queen Mary University London and University College London found that video games can help with mental agility and improve strategic thinking. It fits with what James Mitchell, a UX designer and avid gamer, told me when I asked him how he thought video games impacted him: “I really think my critical thinking and my strategy went downhill. improved, and I find it easier to predict certain movements. , especially in connection with other games, and even card games. I also learned to be more unpredictable in my movements.

Get the brain boosted, without the drawbacks

While video game research is a recent phenomenon, video games have been shown to provide brain gains in their own right – good news for those of us who enjoy video games (or two, or three, or 400). They may, however, have the potential to suck us into an unhealthy degree, which could potentially manifest as video game addiction.

So what can we do so that our brain benefits from +3 agility and +3 intelligence without suffering from -5 endurance? How to maintain a healthy relationship with video games? As C. Shawn Green, who, in addition to earning a doctorate in brain and cognitive studies, worked as a game developer on the Loss series – told WIRED: “What healthy play might look like in practice can vary widely from individual to individual and throughout life (eg, in children versus adults). In other words, there really aren’t any universal guidelines for healthy gameplay that will work for humans of different sizes. Generally speaking, though, it’s important to be aware of the impact gambling can have on other areas of our lives in the short and long term, Green says. “It’s about thinking about the proximal and downstream consequences,” he said.

Granted, the fact that the games are specifically designed to keep us playing makes it harder to follow this advice. But by remaining mindful of our own gaming habits (and those of our families), making sure to disconnect sometimes to do something else, and ultimately playing video games in a way that doesn’t stop us. without restriction of the hedonic treadmill, it is possible to take advantage of the game to be mentally stronger, faster and smarter IRL.


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