Debates about video games have been common and have only grown as more game innovations have been introduced. Many people, especially older generations, worry about the detrimental effects video games have on today’s youth. Despite the cons of video games, there are benefits of playing them that many people overlook.
It is important to know the determinants of gaming, even if the benefits outweigh them. Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) are the pain or inflammation in joints or muscles stemming from the repeated use of them. RSI is rampant in hands and arms among gamers. A few examples are carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, and stenosing tenosynovitis. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, commonly known as “Gamer’s Thumb,” inflames the tendons of the thumb. Stenosing tenosynovitis is when the finger gets stuck in a bent position, much like when one holds an Xbox or Playstation controller, giving it the common name of “trigger finger”.
Games could also limit someone’s ability to socialize face-to-face. Many gamers play alone, which could give them a sense of isolation. Although some games involve talking and interaction, it is very different than talking to someone in person. This isolation could also lead to a disconnect from the real world.
Despite the downsides of gaming, there are benefits to playing them. For example, studies have shown that video games can improve education. Teachers have seen improved test scores by incorporating video games into the classroom. Simulation-style games allow concepts to be learned and applied in a safe situation. Medical and military training programs have even started incorporating simulation games.
Games also improve quick-thinking skills by giving players split-second decisions. They can also improve people’s ability to reason and problem-solve. They also help people improve at multitasking and processing information faster. Hand-eye coordination can also be improved by playing games. MRI scans have shown that kids who play games have more activity in the parts of the brain associated with memory and attention.
Games have their benefits and downsides. Many people think one way or the other, but gaming can be good for you, as long as it’s in moderation. Many other things can be good for you in moderation as well, but as soon as you do it too much, it could become bad for a person.