Fitness

Can videogames make your mind stronger?

The Room 3
The Room 3

“Don’t sit so close to the TV.” We’ve all heard it before. You’ve also probably heard “videogames will rot your brain.”

Well, the opposite might actually be true. Here’s a top three on the benefits of videogames!

1. Puzzle games can stave off Alzheimer’s Disease. A recent study showed those who engaged in mentally-stimulating activities, including puzzle games, had less buildup of a beta-amyloid in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s.

The Room is a beautiful 3D, tactile puzzle game which you can play on you computer, from your phone or on your tablet. Download it for $0.99 from the Play Store, App Store, or $4.99 from Steam.

2. Videogames reduce stress. Albeit this study was sponsored by PopCap, the makers of Bejeweled, but do we really need an excuse to play? This 2008 study linked here on East Carolina University’s website, tracked participants heart rates and mood pre- and post-game with great results.

“Due to the significance of the findings and their implications in health promotion, disease prevention and treatment, ECU’s Psychophysiology Lab and is planning to start clinical trials in the fall to determine the efficacy of these games and their prescriptive parameters,” reads the press release.

Bejeweled for Android, PC, and iOS is a great place to start, but there are so many options out there.

3. First Person Shooters (FPS) and the like are yoga for the brain. A 2012 study which examined the brains of gamers and non-gamers, found gamers’ brains to be more “flexible” than others. FPS games tend to be three-dimensional, which forces the brain to be spatially aware and encourages quick thinking.

Try something cute (like Lovely Planet, $5.99) to get the benefit of FPS without the gore. Or if you’re interested in a classic FPS experience, try Counter-Strike  ($19.99).

 

Read about more relaxing games that (bonus!) may also improve your cognitive function.

Are you a gamer?

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