All of you have probably heard on several occasions that playing video games is just a waste of time and is not good for you. Now there is new knowledge.

Video game culture

What did the study find out?

A new study has now found indications that playing video games in childhood, i.e. before the age of 14 and with at least a few hours of play time per week, produce measurable improvements in brain functionthat persist into adulthood.

A chance find

The study, which was supposed to investigate whether or not transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with video games had a significant effect on brain function, turned out to be a failure, but researchers found that playing video games had a cognitive effect Boost in memory, spatial 3D understanding and reaction time causes. The researchers also found that those who played video games in childhood took the benefits with them into adulthood, regardless of whether they continued to play actively.

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How was that tested?

During the said study, the researchers compared a group of adults who never played video games as children with those who played them regularly. Both groups were tasked with playing the classic Super Mario 64 for 1.5 hours a day for ten days. Immediately after this period, the cognitive abilities were measured. If you're wondering why Super Mario 64 – the game was chosen because previous studies have shown that the game increases the gray matter of the brain, i.e. you have to think from time to time.

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Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

The result is fascinating. Those who had never played before got a boost, while those who played as children apparently never lost their advantage.

Unfortunately, it remains unclear whether playing as an adult can bring lasting benefits, but there may be new findings on this in the future. In any case, we enjoy it and that's still the most important thing.

Jasmin Peukert
Jasmin Peukert, GIGA expert for games, anime, Final Fantasy 14 and League of Legends.

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