Mental-Health-1

Mental Health and Video Games: Let’s think about this.

The Battlefield for the Mind:

Mental Health 2
                                                                          “MENTAL HEALTH AND VIDEO GAMES”

There is so much controversy over the positive and negative effects of mental health and video games. One study says they are bad, while another says they are good. We can go back and forth on either side all day long. Like with everything in life, there are extremes in everything we do, not just video games.

Mental health is a serious and complex issue. Video games are not the answer or solution or the blame on how the pressures of life affect our minds and our thinking and our lives. Video games can be a tool or a weapon, helpful or harmful, fun or an addiction. Sometimes they can be a safe escape from life’s worries and cares for a brief moment or they can be just another prison we get trapped into.

I would like to look at both sides without any bias toward the subject one way or the other. (Remember, I enjoy playing video games) So I want to be fair.

What is Mental Health?

Mental-Health-3
                                        “WHAT IS IT?”

According to Wikipedia, mental health is defined as a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of mental illness. Mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life and create a balance between life’s activities and efforts to achieve, “Nirvana: Perfect Harmony”. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the “Perfect Harmony World” doesn’t exist and never will, not here anyway. The truth is we live in a fallen world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the mental well-being of an individual also encompasses the reality of our abilities, coping with the normal stresses of life (Good luck with this one), doing productive work and contributing to our communities.

Resource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_health

There you have it. Follow these guidelines and you will be okay. You will have peace and have the ability to handle whatever life hurdles put in your path.

HOGWASH!!! All the components of healthy mental health are significant and important. They are also many forms of pressure. And who gets to set these standards. We are all different and unique.

  • The pressure of, “Am I living up to the best of my talents or abilities?”
  • The pressure of “Am I dealing with all the stressors in my life correctly (A lot of times I don’t): My wife, my kids, my grandkids, my job, my co-workers, my relationship with God, how I think or what I do. It is everywhere”.
  • The pressure of, the pressure. “WHEN DOES IT END”

It never stops. Some people use alcohol, drugs, sex, their families, a garden, a church, a good book, a movie, and yes, some even use video games to just escape the pressures of life. Even if only for a few minutes.

Sometimes we just need an escape. I don’t mean avoiding our families, or our co-workers, or even a stranger in the grocery store. I am not talking about isolating ourselves from the world. However, sometimes even isolation can be beneficial to our mental fitness.

A lot of times, Jesus, himself would go to the wilderness to be alone and recharge. We need to do the same thing.

Mental-Health-8
               “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE”

We just need a release from the pressures of life once in a while. Something that is not defined by a definition or another study on how we should live.

Sometimes, “WE just need a BREAK”

Positive effects of Video Games on our Minds.

More than 150 million people in the United States play video games regularly, or for at least 3 hours per week. The average American gamer is a 35-year-old adult, with 72 percent of gamers aged 18 or older. In addition, 71% of parents indicate video games have a positive influence on their children’s lives.

This is a lot of people spending time playing video games on a regular basis. If so many are doing this, then, how is it affecting our mental health? Is it doing more harm than good?

1. 3D video games could increase memory capacity:

Mental-Health-5
                   “CLASSIC MARIO, OUR HERO”

In a 2015 study in The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from the University of California, Irvine recruited 69 participants, a third to play Super Mario 3D World for two weeks, another third to played Angry Birds, and the rest played nothing.

Because of the experiences and the 3D virtual environments of the games, the gamers did better on follow-up memory tasks, while the non-gamers showed no improvement.

Not losing my memory always makes me feel better mentally and not quite as old as I sometimes feel.

2. Gaming for pain relief:

A 2012 literature review in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that in the 38 studies examined, video games improved the health outcomes of 195 patients on every front, including psychological and physical therapy.

Pain-Relief
            “LET FUN EASE THE PAIN”

For me, a video game can take my mind off my pain, even if for a brief period. If I’m not thinking about my pain, then I feel better, mentally and physically.

3. Evidence shows video games help dyslexic kids improve their reading:

A 2013 study published in Cell investigated the effect that playing action games, like ‘Rayman, Raving Rabbids’, could help dyslexic children aged 7 to 13 year read faster, with no loss in accuracy.

The researchers think that the fast pace in these games helped the kids increase their attention spans, although this hypothesis is yet to be tested.

This must be a breath of fresh air for parents of dyslexic kids. Anything that helps kids feel better about themselves, especially mentally is a win-win for parents and their kids.

4. Tetris (A classic) could help limit trauma:

Mental-health-6
                           “BRAIN GAMES, I NEED THIS”

Last year, 37 patients that arrived at a hospital emergency department in Oxford, UK, most were in a  traffic accident. They were randomly selected to play 20 minutes of Tetris.

Another 34 patients didn’t get to play the game but were asked to log their activity by doing things such as texting, crosswords puzzles, and reading.

The Tetris players had significantly fewer flashbacks to the traumatic than those that didn’t play Tetris – about 62 percent less on average.

Some video games (Not all, it can depend on the game) can help people who have experienced psychological trauma and they seem to help in their mental health.

5. Some research shows video games might make you smarter:

A study published in PLoS ONE in 2013, says that your cognition might be enhanced when you just start up your Xbox or PlayStation.

The researchers took five groups of non-gamers and made them play a phone game for one hour a day over four weeks. They found that all video games, both action, and non-action games improved cognitive functions.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I feel smarter, I feel better. I think better. I’m more confident in handling life and whatever it throws at me.

6. Gaming may increase brain matter: 

And finally – a 2014 study published in Molecular Psychiatry by researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Germany found that playing Super Mario 64 caused an increase in the size of brain regions. Specifically, the bits of the brain responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation, strategic planning, and fine motor skills.

Mental-Health-7
                               “BRAINPOWER”

As I’m getting older, this is good news for me. I need a larger brain capacity, the more the better. I’m not quite as sharp as I use to be.

So, a bigger brain, having fun, learning new things always helps my mental health.

You know my motto, “Let’s Game”.

Negative effects of Video Games on Minds.

Can Video Games reshape our Brains?

Some research has shown playing a video game can produce negative changes in the brain and cognition skills.

One part of the brain that is affected is the hippocampus, a region of the brain that helps people to orient themselves (spatial memory) and to remember past experiences (episodic memory).

Another region of the brain is the striatum, which counterbalances the hippocampus. It has an area known as the caudate nucleus that acts as a kind of “autopilot” – getting us home from work, for example, and telling us when it’s time to eat, drink, have sex, and do other things that keep us alive and happy.

Brain
                                  “MY HEAD HURTS”

A study by the University of Montreal/Molecular Psychiatry investigated the role of these two regions in the brain in determining whether playing video games boosted brain power. (I need all the boost I can get)

After participants had played a total of 90 hours of video games, the researchers used neuroimaging to scan the brains of the players and compare them to non-players.

There was evidence that shooter games (again depending on the game choice) can cause atrophy in the hippocampus. Evidently, the more use of the caudate nucleus, the less use of the hippocampus and as a result, the hippocampus showed signs of atrophy.

This is important because people with lower amounts of grey matter in the hippocampus are known to be at increased risk of developing depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, and Alzheimer’s disease.

For now, I just want to look at how video games can negatively affect our teenagers, kids, and younger adults mental health. This seems to be where most of the paranoia exists, our youth. Are we creating monsters if we let our kids be monsters in a virtual world? I don’t have an answer, but I want to address all sides of this controversial subject.

I am including two other posts that deal with the darker side of video games.

https://gamingwithgrandpa.com/do-video-games-promote-violence

https://gamingwithgrandpa.com/video-game-addiction-its-not-a-game

All these factors can affect anybody’s mental health, young or old.

Aggressive
                          “I’M PISSED”

1. Increasing Aggressive Behavior:

Video games with violence can lead to aggressive behavior. So can playing football or dodgeball (This was brutal in my high school). Can it desensitize kids to violence? Yes, but so can just watching TV. Studies have shown that people who like playing first-person shooter games are likely to adopt a detached view of society (Remember, we are talking about a game). They may develop aggressive thoughts and tendencies.

Just because your kid is playing WWII or Star Wars games, does not mean they are going to be violent.

2. Social Isolation:

Another negative effect of a video game is gamers are spending too much time playing games. Video games are making people socially isolated. Gamers who play too much video games (Remember, there needs to be a balance) are less likely to indulge in extracurricular activities like reading, writing and participating in sports. All players don’t fit into this category. I know I don’t.

3. Teaches Wrong Values:

Besides violent behavior, a video game also teaches wrong values. I think this is a cop-out of our culture. My values are not based on a game I play, whether it be chess, pretend cowboys and indians, or a war hero, or a cartoon character in Mario Brothers. Values should not come from a fantasy world, but from the people in our lives.

4. Poor Academic Performance:

Bad-Grades
            “I NEED TO TRY HARDER”

This is one of the serious effects of video games on teens/ kids. Playing long hours (key point-no one should be playing long hours of anything) of video games can affect a student’s performance in school.

5. Adverse Effects on Health:

Excessive gaming can have adverse effects on one’s health. Gamers, by spending too much time playing video games, do not participate in activities that can keep them healthy and fit. It leads to obesity, muscular, skeletal and postural disorders, video-induced seizures, nerve compression and numbness in hands, elbows, and shoulders.

handcuffs
                          “DON’T BE A PRISONER”

All this is true, but these problems were here before video games ever appeared. Have they made them worse? They could, but there are other factors involved as well.

As we can see, video games can have harmful effects on our mental health and well being. When gaming becomes an addiction, it is no longer fun. It becomes a crutch and a prison.

This is not just a problem for kids or teenagers. It can affect anyone. As with anything in life, we need balance and common sense.

Who does this effect? Everyone.

Families
                             “SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE”
  • Kids
  • Teens
  • Younger adults
  • Middle-aged adults
  • Older adults

With over 150 million people spending some time playing video games. It affects almost everyone. Even if you don’t play yourself, odds are you know somebody who does play them. It may be a child, a grandchild, a parent, a spouse, a brother or sister, a friend, a co-worker, and yes, even a grandpa like myself.

“GAME ON!”

What does all this mean?

Mental health is very serious and should never be taken lightly. Further, studies and research should always be part of the Video Gaming industry, both the positives and the negatives. Everything we do affects the way we feel and the way we think. For these reasons, we need to be careful about how we apply this new technology called video games to our lives.

We have to use some common sense as well.

Claiming video games to be a tool of Satan is problematic on so many levels. Can they be harmful? Of course, they can, but so can anything we do. Especially, if we take it to the extreme or abuse it. I believe we need to be diligent in what we let our youth see and do. But as for older adults, I don’t see the same negatives you might see in kids. Just my opinion.

Sierra 2
                     “MY GAMING GRANDDAUGHTER, SIERRA, I LOVE HER”

We have to honest and realize there are benefits of video games as well. Our military, our hospitals, our schools, and our homes are areas where video gaming has had a positive effect on our lives. I love it when my granddaughter, Sierra, comes to visit and we stay up late at night and talk and play video games. She seems to love it too.

I hope this post has been helpful and informative. If you have any questions or comments, please leave below or email at johnny@gamingwithgrandpa.com

wolf-puppies
                 “OUR LITTLE ONES, THEY ARE SO PRECIOUS”

“LET’S GAME”

Grandpa, johnny, the Grey Wolf. 

Watcher of the Woods. 

30 thoughts on “Mental Health and Video Games: Let’s think about this.

  1. I found this to be an interesting read.

    As an avid gamer myself, I believe that gaming can be a really good thing. Especially when things get a bit too much and I just want some down time. It allows me time to just wind down without the worries of life.

    This being said, all things should be done in moderation. So I also do believe that spending hours upon hours sitting in front of a screen can negatively impact us as well.

    All in all, I enjoyed your article. It was well written with relevant supporting evidence and imagery to back it up.

  2. This is a great informative and educative article. Excessiveness in anything is bad! I am a game lover I played video games with my Dad as a kid growing up and I play with my daughter now! I don’t believe games can have negative effect on anyone unless in extreme case. Games help relieve the pressure of life and rejuvenate the mind body and soul. It also helps to build reasoning ability in both adults and kids. I personally love games because I always relate it to real life situations where if you persist you conquer with time. Failing now doesn’t mean you can’t be successful if you persist.

    however spending hours continuously playing games may cause or indicate a problem. So moderation is the key!

    i love your exipository skill and I will love to read more on the topic on this page.

    • Hi jaykaynigltd,

      Thank you for your thoughts.

      Like you say, anything can be taken to extremes. Excessiveness can be a problem in all areas of our lives, not just video games.

      I have written a couple of other posts that deal with video game addiction and violence caused by playing video games. Those are good posts that are related to this topic of mental health. Please, check them out. I would love to hear your thoughts about those subjects.

      Do you still play with your dad?

      I love the fact you play video games with your daughter. I know you love it and I bet she does too. I can picture it now, “The Warrior King (dad) and the “Warrior Princess” (daughter) off to fight the forces of evil. I love it.

      What kind of games do ya’ll play? Please forgive my slang. I am from the south. I talk and write with a twang. 

      “Moderation is the key”, well said jaykaynigltd.

      I appreciate you stopping by.

      johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  3. This is an interesting and insightful article about gaming and mental health. Gaming helps the brain to think faster than before, meanwhile some patience has to play game for test of there brain. Gaming also helps children on how to reading accuracy .Gaming also have the negative effects on the body like isolation and poor academic performance on child’s education. all this pro and cons has to be in moderation  for everyone into gaming. 

    Everything about gaming is all said in this article. Thanks for your review and your research. Best regards 

    • Hi Adamuts,

      Thanks for your comments.  

      I wanted to be fair within the post. Even though I love playing video games, there are negatives associated with video gaming. This is true of anything in life.

      I wanted to show all sides, the good and the bad and the ugly. I have written a couple of other posts dealing with addiction and violence in video games. You might find those an interesting read. Let me know what you think.

      Thanks for noticing the contrast of negative and positive aspects of video games in mental health.

      The effects of video gaming are largely based on what we do with them, we can abuse them or use them. It’s our choice.

      I appreciate you taking the time to respond, Adamuts.

      johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  4. Wow, I agree with you on so many levels. 

    There was a time in my life where I actually abused video games. It was beyond just healthy fun. I pretty much went to work did some 10-12 hours a day (we didn’t really have the luxury of working 8 hour days at the time), then came home and spent all my free time playing games.

    I did frustrate my girlfriend at the time quite a bit haha… Later only did I become aware enough to realize that I’m beyond stressed. Like crazy stressed. I mean lawyer things have that effect on people. But I was like going out of my mind (without really being aware of it). And video games were just a way how I could blow some steam off. The only way at the time saw as viable, which is BS but at the time it was true to me.

    Just wanted to share this as I do believe it’s relevant.

    The information you’ve compiled within the article is just awesome. Well done. 

    I mean at the end of the day, as with anything you can overdo it. There’s not a single thing in the known Universe you can not do too much. Even drinking too much water can kill you. So, I agree. Common Sense.

    Cheers, have a Great One!

    Matiss

    • Hi Matiss,

      Wow, what a testimony brother. Thank you so much for sharing it. I have dealt with my own demons in my past as well. It wasn’t video games, it was drugs. I just wanted to be numb. You and I just used different methods to get to our state of numbness.

      Working 10-12 days is hard on our bodies, our minds, our emotions, and our well-being. It is difficult to have a life working those kinds of hours. I have done it as well. You just want to come home and decompress. I get it.

      I am thankful for you that you came out of that. It sounds like a big step for you was admitting there was a problem. We must be honest with ourselves. You did that. Good job.

      “Common Sense”. We need more of this in our crazy world today, Matiss.

      Proud of you brother.  

      johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  5. I thank God my three children never became gamers. Sure we had the Xbox where they could play games such as Assasins Creed. But by the time they finished high school, there was little interest left. I also made sure to limit their game time to one hour. What is of great concern to me is how many parents introduce babies, toddlers and elementary school age children to technology as a baby sitter substitute. Their young minds are still developing and I feel exposure to these can do harm. We deal with stress through exercise, conversations (talking it out) and the support of family and friends. Guess I’m old fashioned, huh?

    • Hi Annette,

      You made an excellent point about using technology as a baby sitter substitute. This includes many forms like TVs, iPads, Smartphones, and yes, video games as well.

      Too much technical exposure too early in a child’s life can be harmful. Too much of anything is harmful if not monitored properly.

      Dealing with stress by exercising, conversation, and support of family and friends is not old fashion at all. Those things are still very important in anyone’s life, not just kids.

      I am not talking about using video games as a replacement for exercise, talking it our or family and friends.  I am talking about it as another way to connect with others. Every family is different.

      Even exercise can be abused. Think of families where a child is literally forced to play sports. Parent’s dreams of their kids being star athletes is just as damaging if not more than any video game. This happens all the time.

      And the fact is technology is part of our culture, like it or not. It is here to stay. The Genie is definitely out of the bottle. 

      We all should be exercising, having meaningful conversations, and spending time with our families and friends. But there is nothing wrong with adding video gameplay into the mix.

      You are not “old fashion” Annette. You love your kids.

      Oh, by the way, I love playing the “Assassins Creed” games. The Assassins Creed Origins version has a feature where you can turn off the gameplay and it has a video history lesson about early Egypt. That’s pretty cool stuff.

      Thank you for your honest comments, Annette

      johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  6. I have to admit I was completely unaware video games can have actual positive effects on you. I have always thought it’s just all about fun. However, my husband has emphasized that the right kind of games can help to develop strategic and tactical thinking and skills. I mean he believes this is why he actually became good in math at one point – because of this one really old real-time strategy game, which was all he ever played for a year or something some above 10 years ago.

    The evidence definitely, at least somewhat, supports that. Who knew. 🙂

    But I’ve seen cases where it has gone terribly wrong with the video games. In that sense, I believe my husband’s brother is a good example. I might be wrong, however, my husband also recognizes this. He believes he might have essentially killed off his curiosity for life. To give you some context, all he ever does is play games, he’s finished school, dropped out of University but does not work nor intends to. Living on parents coach. 

    So, it might have to do something with the person who is playing the games and how much self-control and awareness he/she has. Probably.

    Above all, I love the fact that you’re enjoying games together with your granddaughter. We do play also some stuff together with my husband at times. It’s really fun.

    Have a Wonderful Day, Johnny!

    Rasa

    • Hi Rasa,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your comments.

      I appreciate you sharing the story of your husband and his brother. They are two perfect examples of the positive and negative sides of video games. One used them to get better at math and the other abused them to escape the realities of the world.

      It so sad to hear about your brother-in-law. He sounds like he has checked out. There are so many factors involved when one reaches these extremes.

      One of his choices for numbness is video games. Others choose drugs or alcohol. (I chose drugs for over thirty-five years of my life). It was my own self-inflicted prison. Drugs stole my life, years I will never get back. I still feel the effects of the damaged relationships that I caused. I hope and pray, he doesn’t wait until he is in his fifties to change as I did. I wish I could just talk to your brother-in-law.

      Even positive things can be abused like exercise or work, or even religion.

      There is a fine line between freedom to do what you want versus the bondage of addiction that has people in a stranglehold.

      Playing video games should be a fun activity, not a dungeon trapped with our demons.

      Please don’t ever give up on your brother-in-law.

      Forgive me for switching gears here, what games do your husband and you play?

      My wife, Cindy, doesn’t play very much herself, but she likes to watch me play if the game has a good storyline and great graphics.

      Right now, I am playing “Horizon: Zero Dawn”. It is a blast to play.

      Rasa, please tell your husband and brother-in-law I said hi. I have written another post that deals with video game addiction. Check it out and tell me what you think.

      I hope for the best for your family.

      Johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  7. Hi Johnny! Gaming can definitely have positive and negative effects on our lives. I personally think it has both positive and negative at the same time. So that’s why it must be used with balance.

    As a child and teenager I was a regular gammer. Now as a young adult I have years I don’t game anymore. But I understand both people that can’t live without video games and people that never use videogames.

    • Hi Henry,

      I appreciate your comments.

      There are extremes both ways, people who never play and play who can’t live without them. That is true of anything in life, not just video games. Same can be said about sports. Some people have never engaged in sports, some play every chance they get, for example, “Weekend Warriors”.

      I love what you said about a “balance”. That can be a fine line at times.

      Even though my website is about video gaming, I don’t really have the time to play very much. I play on the weekends, mostly in spurts. My life does not revolve around a game. Gaming is a piece of my life. But, it is a piece I enjoy doing.

      I’m hoping to show people video games are not the monster portrayed by some, but video games are not the innocent victim either.

      Thanks for stopping by Henry.

      Johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  8. This is an interesting article on Mental Health and Video Games: Let’s think about this. Mental health awareness is becoming more of an important topic in today’s world and a lot has been said about how it can improved. Playing video games is one of the ways that can help in improving mental health in many ways like escape from anxiety, promote motivation, improve self esteem. But in all too much of it too can have bad effects on us, moderation is good in all things that we do. Thank you for shating!

    • Hi Mary,

      Thank you for your thoughts.

      You nailed it, Mary. Moderation is the key to everything which includes life itself.

      Like so many other factors in our lives, video games can be useful and enjoyable, or they can create chains of bondage and destruction.  

      We can’t ignore the damaged done by video gaming, but we can’t ignore the benefits as well. And there are benefits, studies reflect that, some good and some bad. We must find a balance.

      Thanks, Mary.

      Johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  9. From my experience, video games goes a long way to help with mental health. Although not all video games are suitable, but there are some that will help. Anytime I am stressed or confused, I play some video games and after a while, the stress reduces and my brain becomes functional. To some, it doesn’t work while for others, it is their escape.

    • Hi Linus,

      Thanks for your comments.

      I agree, not all video games are stress relievers, some are stress enhancers. I know when I get stuck at a level for an extended period, I am ready to throw the controller through the TV screen.

      What I usually do is just play something else. I don’t have to stay with one game. I can choose whatever I want.

      However, we do need to be careful in our game choices, especially if kids are involved.

      I appreciate you taking the time to reply, Linus.

      Johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  10. Love the name of this website – catches your eye straight away.

    A really interesting read and I can’t believe that so many people worldwide do up to three hours of gaming a day. I would have thought this true if you had said television watching.

    These are all great ways to escape and relax, but sometimes these games are very addictive. Ask me (I am a candy crusher).

    Great that one can use them for dyslexia and pain relief as well as mental agility though. I think, like anything, moderation is the best option.

    • Hi Michel,

      I appreciate your time and thoughts.  

      My wife, Cindy, helped me choose the name and the banner of the old man. It seemed fitting since I am an old fart myself.

      I was surprised about the time spent gaming as well.

      But to be honest, I witness people spending much more time on their Smartphones. And I am not just talking about kids. Adults are the worst about this.

      Next time you are at the mall or just out in public, notice how many people are always looking down at their phones. This seems like this should be a greater concern than playing video games.

      Moderation, Moderation, and some more Moderation.

      Well said, Michel.

      Johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  11. Thanks for writing this article on mental and health benefits of game. I must commend you for taking your time to write this article,it so full of information and educative ways on how game playing improve our mental health.

    what I experienced most time when am playing video games is that,no matter how worry I am or sad before playing the game. I seems to always forget my worry and saddeness when playing the game and feel happy when I focus on the game.there are many benefits of playing game both for kids and adults that can’t just be over look

    • Hi ajibola40,

      I appreciate your comments.

      I try not to add too much technical stuff on the posts. I try to make it short, simple and to the point.  I know I like it when someone takes the time to say things in simple easy to understand words. I’m a simple guy myself. Too old to change now.

      Your description of your worries or sadness fading away as you play video games was awesome. Thanks for sharing that.

      As you know, our problems don’t go away when we try to escape the pressures of our problems.

      Sometimes the best way to handle life’s stressors is to step back, take a deep breath, then kill some “Zombies”. “Let’s Game, Brother, Ajibola40”.

      Johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  12. Dear Johnny,

    Thanks a lot for the helpful and informative post. To be honest I had the same question whether playing video game is good or bad to mental health and when I did some research online as you correctly said I get mixed responses. Some says its good and some says its bad so I am not sure and not able to come to a conclusion. 

    When I came across your post I am amazed and shocked as well, since you are discussing about the same issue and it means a lot to me.

    The benefits of video gaming is amazing and an eye-opener for me. Coming to the negative things if we handle it with limitation and moderation it can create good results. Thanks a lot, now I got a clarity on whether playing video game is good or bad to mental health.

    Much Success!

    Paul

    • Hi Paul,

      You have some very well said comments, thanks.  

      It’s interesting you have been researching the same subject. As you said, responses are so mixed. It is easy to see how this topic can be slanted depending on which direction a person wants to go.

      To me the different studies really didn’t solve much, they do reveal a lot of things I didn’t know before. In some ways, it made the debate more confusing. At least we are talking about the subject. 

      We need to see both sides, good and bad. As others have mentioned in other posts, moderation and limitation are so important. Too much of anything can harm us. One person said, even drinking too much water can kill you.

      We just need some common sense.

      Thanks, Paul.

      Johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  13. Hey Gaming Grandpa 🙂 I’m glad you covered both the positives and negatives. I have absolutely experienced some of the things you mentioned that are related to spending TOO much time gaming. Too much of ANYTHING can become a bad thing. I really appreciated the studies you linked, especially the study about 3D games improving memory and recall. My coworkers remind me all the time about how good my memory is… perhaps it is related to all of the video games I played years ago 😉

    How amazingly cool is it that a game of Tetris at the hospital might be the difference between having a full recovery or not?? I’ll take that bet EVERY TIME!

    Thanks for the great write-up…I love learning new things.

    • Hi Matt,

      I learned a lot from the research as well. Thanks for your comments.

      I never really had an issue from too much gaming. I did deal with drug addiction for thirty-five years. Any addiction can and will cause damage eventually, whether it be drugs or video games.

      It is good you recognized too much gaming became an issue for you. You sound fine now. Do you still play video games? If you do, what games are you currently playing?

      I am playing a lot of “Horizon: Zero Dawn”.

      Yea, that data about “Tetris” being used in hospitals was eye-opening. I don’t know, but maybe hospitals need to have options for playing video games instead of watching TV all day. Can’t hurt to give it a try, some patients might like it.

      I appreciate your time, Matt.

      Johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  14. Really interesting read Johnny,

    It’s really interesting to know that games have positive effects also.  I do believe that what we see and hear, can affect us both way – positive and negative.

    Especially in kids and teenagers, are in a very delicate mental and emotional transitional period, over engaging in a violent and negative video can harm a child’s psyche for life.

    Parents, including myself, have no control over what my kids are watching, always feel the need to censor these video games.

    Great to know the positive effects of gaming like increase memory capacity, pain relief, effects on brain matter and so.

    Regards

    • Hi Shubhangi,

      I agree 100%, we as parents should always censor what video games our kids are playing.

      This also applies to other areas such as what they may watch on TV, what they do on their iPads, but most of all, what happens with their phones.

      Sometimes parents worry about the friends our kids hang out with. Peer pressure can be a lot more harmful than a video game.

      While doing my research, it was interesting to find out all the positive aspects of video gaming. But we can never ignore the negatives ones as well.

      We just need to use some common sense not only in video gaming but in our lives in general.

      Thanks for your thoughts, Shubhangi.

      Johnny, the Grey Wolf.

  15. I used to love video games when I was a kid and a teen. As I became an adult, I had less time for them because of work and responsibility. Now my children play them and I find them as a means to connect with my kids. I was surprised to see a list of positive health effects of gaming, I have many lists of the negative effects. I would just say that moderation in everything including gaming is best. 

    • Hi Lee, 

      You nailed it, moderation is what separates addiction and enjoyment. This applies to anything in life.  Even water can kill if you drink too much. As we learn in our journey of life, every coin has two sides, positive and negative. We can’t focus on one side and ignore the other. This usually leads to problems. 

      I love the fact you stay connected to your kids through video games. What other ways do you connect with your kids? What kind of games do you play together?

      I don’t really play a lot myself, mostly weekends. I do enjoy playing them when I can. Also, I also like writing about video games and how they affect our lives good and bad. I guess you can tell that from my posts. 

      I wrote another post about violence in video games you might find interesting. 

      I really appreciate your comments, Lee. 

      johnny, the Grey Wolf. 

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