Is Video Gaming Good for You?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Turn off the computer and go outside and play! We've all heard the conventional wisdom that says video games will turn your brain to mush. But a host of new studies show that gaming might actually be good for your health. Researchers at Nottingham University found that playing certain video games could achieve in one hour what eye patches achieve in 400 hours, while researchers at the University of Rochester found that first-person shooter video games improve visual skills by increasing the brain’s capacity to spread attention over a wide range of events. But wait, there's more! The Mind Research Network in Albuquerque, N.M., found that Tetris players developed a thicker cortex than those who didn’t play.  And the Nintendo Wii has been helping Parkinson's patients improve balance. So, are video games good for you?

To help answer that question we turn to technology writer Clive Thompson, the blogger for Collision Detection and a frequent contributor to Wired and The New York Times, and The Takeaway's tech contributor Baratunde Thurston, host of "Popular Science's Future Of," a TV show on the Science Channel, to tell us how video gaming has more positive effects than you might think.


Clive Thompson


Jen Poyant and Baratunde Thurston

Comments [5]

brian seymour from wautoma/wa

i love video gamming it heathey for me!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feb. 01 2012 12:02 PM
the unnatural selector

wow. so hostile. maybe your violent energy would be better taken out on virtual enemies than real people online not in a video game who could be offended.

Nov. 11 2009 01:37 PM

Where did you find these studies? I want to prove to my parents that there are some good apsects to video games and the the bad aspects (i.e. spending all my time in the basement, not going out, etc.) are controllable with some parental work and some rules that could be enforced (i.e. only half an hour a day).

Nov. 11 2009 01:35 PM
MK Ultra

Yes, video gaming is good for gaming is good for gaming is good for gaming is good for me...

In case there wasn't enough brainwashing and mind-numbing crap in this country already. Yeah, video gaming is grand, particularly, when you consider that's how the army is recruiting sucker kids from high school to fly the drones and mass murder innocent women and children by remote control.

And, yeah, shame on you NPR for promoting this crap!

Nov. 05 2009 06:50 PM
Kevan Smith

Hey, Celeste.

I'm a 40-year-old guy who plays WoW, but fully clothed and in my own apartment. :)

Alliance hunter in a good guild on my server.

It was nice to hear you say you;re a GM in a top raiding guild. Very cool!

Would you mind sharing some more details about it?


P.S. I can't decide whether you're more likely to be Alliance or Horde.

Nov. 05 2009 06:02 PM

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