Monday, October 21, 2013

The Good News About Video Games: Health Benefits Of Video Games And More

Video Games
Hardcore gamers may have the last laugh yet, or at least the best vision. Studies conducted at McMaster University in Canada recently concluded that first-person shooter games such as Electronic Art's Medal of Honor are capable of improving the eyesight of people with vision impairment due to cataracts.

The study, led by Daphne Maurer, director of the Visual Development Lab at McMaster, believes her research proves that the vision-for-action movement of first-person shooter games like MOH actually helps rewire how the sensory brain functions. The majority of test participants reported seeing improvements in the following:

  • Direction of Motion
  • Lower-Contrast Images
  • Smaller Details
Maurer has announced taking her research a step further as she works to develop a non-violent video game that doesn't require blood, guts and gore to help stimulate and improve vision.

Additionally, gamers who go on and on for marathon sessions can find relief through extended life contacts and cleaning solutions. These type of aids work to reduce the protein deposits that build up on contact lenses kept in the eye for long periods of time. They keep eyes comfortable and clear longer. Good news for gamers and everyone else who don't have time throughout the day to baby their contacts. You'll find products like these easily available at and other online retailers.

Other Benefits of Gaming

Improved vision isn't the only well-researched and documented benefit of playing video games. There are at least four more areas scientists have found in which indulging in game play has its advantages.

  • Improvements in Children With Chronic Illness: In 2012, researchers at the University of Utah announced findings that video game playing helped improve the resilience of children suffering from a variety of conditions like Parkinson's disease and autism. The games were found to stimulate positive emotions that helped the children better cope with day-to-day struggles.
  • Quicker Reaction Times: Researchers at the University of Rochester in NY credit games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Halo 2 with improving the reaction time and decision-making skills of gamers over non-gamers. Participants who played the games at least five hours a week over a year's time were able to outperform non-gamers in tests that required quick reactivity.
  • Happiness in Your Senior Years: Studies conducted at North Carolina State University concluded that seniors who engaged in video game activity at least once a week, or even just on occasion, reported greater levels of overall happiness than those who didn't game at all. Of the 140 people over age 63 questioned, 61 percent said they played on occasion. Of these, 35 percent played a minimum of once a week.
  • Pain Management: Innovative doctors at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, found that the distraction of playing video games during painful burn-wound cleansing actually worked better for patients than morphine. The experiment, headed by anesthesiologist Dr. Christopher Maani, used the virtual reality game SnowWorld to keep patients engaged as they underwent excruciating treatments to treat massive burns incurred in battle. As patients concentrated on throwing snowballs at penguins and mastodons to the accompaniment of soothing music, they were better able to endure the physical pain involved in treatment.