Are Video Games Really Healthy?
This article is about a little-known, yet fascinating element of modern gaming – the use of game testers. If you’re anything like me, you find yourself playing dozens of games a week, and the hours fly by quickly. But what do the developers who create these games understand when it comes to creating fun and keeping players coming back for more? What’s the thinking behind the creation of these games?
It’s good advice, if you were just about to enter a new level of gaming. However, too much of anything can be just too much, sometimes at the expense of our health. Yes, there are video games that actually encourage violence or other inappropriate behavior, but thankfully most game developers put these options very close to the bottom of the game lists, or at the very least, far enough away so that they’re not accessible to all players.
But what about video games that are designed as board games? Do they really promote dangerous gaming habits, or are these simply enjoyable and entertaining activities? The answer to this question is complicated, as there’s no definitive answer, but many experts have theorized that the act of playing games like solitaire, crossword puzzles, or even card games like solitaire can actually reduce your brain activity to a low base, thus reducing the potential risks involved in playing said games.
However, what some experts say about this is that it’s hard to measure how much, or how little, the brain is actually performing while playing video games sports, board games, and card games. For instance, it’s hard to say how much the average golfer’s brain is doing compared to their speed, accuracy, and reaction times when they’re playing a round of golf. Likewise, it’s hard to say if the amount of time a player spends strategizing about strategies for a game they’re playing is being used to stimulate their brain or if they’re actually mentally preparing themselves for a mental challenge. And in any case, it’s not necessarily the mental activities that count, but rather the physical activities that occur during play.
Board games seek to solve problems by providing participants with opportunities to apply scientific methods to solving problems. The goal isn’t to solve the actual problem, but rather, provide participants with an opportunity to apply scientific principles and psychology to solving problems. This is why adventure games seek to provide challenges that require problem-solve skills in addition to the ability to overcome physical obstacles or travel from place to place.
So is playing video games like, for example, solitaire a healthy activity to do? Well, researchers say “yes”. It does seem that people are drawn to solve problems by hand, especially when those problems involve the physical environment and the human body. Playing video games that require problem-solving skills also provides the brain with an opportunity to develop and exercise problem-solving skills and social skills. So, video games and board games may not be healthy, but they sure are fun!