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Alex Largin

Peggy Lopata
English 1010
Positive Effects of Video Games
In todays younger generation, video games are soaring with popularity. Whether it be
two year old toddlers with their Leapster teaching video game devices to forty year olds who are
still playing on their five hundred dollar gaming consoles, in all aspects the gaming
entertainment industry is continuing to grow rapidly. "The video game industry is one of the
fastest growing sectors in the U.S. economy.... From 2005-2009 the industrys real rate of growth
was more than seven times the real rate of growth for the entire economy" (The Entertainment
Software Association 1). With this kind of growth, is the video game world heading in a negative
or positive direction? Although there have been studies that have proven negative effects of
video games, most studies conclude that video games have an overall positive effect on people
who play them.
There have been many long term studies with video games observing their effects on the
brains of their users and almost all of these have been positive. After researchers at Max Planck
Institute for Human Development experimented for two months on twenty three year old adults
they concluded that by examining the brains of the two groups using an MRI machine, they
found that the gaming group had a rise in gray matter in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal
cortex and the cerebellum (Guarini 1). These areas of the brain are responsible for many
different functions such navigation, memory, strategic planning and also some motor skills. In
the gaming group, these functions showed great improvement. This shows that playing video
games is good for the mind in many important aspects.
Results from playing video games havent just been good for the brain, but they have also
shown that they helped with improvement in Alzheimer patients, people suffering from
depression, and also stroke victims. Video games not only act as entertainment but they also act
as a physician and even a personal counselor. Stroke victims were given assignments to play
video games that actively trained the legs while teens suffering from depression were given
assignments to play games with a fun and active therapy program. In the studies given for stroke
victims and also victims of depression, all of the groups who were assigned to use video games
had a much higher improvement and recovery rate than the groups who did not have video
games in their recovery process (Guarini 1).
Many people see that video games are either good or bad for the person playing them, but
in reality, there is a grey area consisting of five dimensions in video games. This grey area is a
mix between black and white, and certain and uncertain. In the different ways that video games
can affect the user, there is no certainty that it will have positive or negative effects on the user.
The positive or negative effect that video game play can have on the user's brain can even be
both at the same time. This theory was given by Douglas Gentile who wanted to study the effects
of video games by incorporating the amount of time that people played. He later realized that
time didnt really matter when it came to whether or not video game playing had positive or
negative effects. Gentile realized that outside factors of playing video games, such as who they
are playing them with, and how they are already performing in school, really determine the
effects of video games on people (Iowa 1). Gentile realized that the effects of video games on
people are determined by what is currently happening in their life by using many studies on a
large group of people. This means that if a kid is very social with friends and he plays video
games with them, then only positive effects occur such as stronger friendships. On the other
hand, if a kid who is very quiet and doesn't have many friends, playing video games can cause
him to become more closed and confined. This is also the same for how well a kid is doing in
school. Gentile's results showed that kids who were failing in school continued to do so while
playing video games and students who were straight A students continued to keep their grades
just as high. Gentile's results on the effects of video games on users was new and it showed that
it isn't always the video games that have the effect. The positive or negative effect comes from
what is already happening in the user's life (Iowa 1).
There are a lot of people who dislike the uses of video games because of the effects they
beleive they have on the users. The group MAVAV or Mothers against videogame addiction and
violence is a group who try to warn people against the negative effects of video games (MAVAV
1). This group of mothers obviously focus on the addiction video games can cause and also the
violent behavior that is believed to come from the most violent video games, but is this true?
There have been many controversies over violent video games and their effects on people
who play them. Many have said that they are negative effects which cause aggressive behavior.
More recent studies have come out showing that violent shooter video games have a positive
effect on the brains of the users. The American Psychological Association stated Playing video
games, including violent shooter games, may boost childrens learning, health and social skills,
according to a review of research on the positive effects of video game play" (Video 1). It is
shown here that although there may be some negative effects that come from the most violent
video games, positive effects and still be attained through playing them.
In conclusion, video games are good for people whether it be for a leisure activity,
learning for kids, or even stroke victims trying to recover. Physical and mental improvement are
attained from playing video games and the positive effects are going to continue to improve in
helping people to recover and think better because the way games will be created which is to
push the human limits. Video games are a great way to have fun and train your brain.

Work Cited
Anthes, Emily. "How Video Games are Good for the Brain." Globe Correspondent,
12 Oct 2009. Web. 7 Apr 2014.
Guarini, Drew. "9 Ways Video Games Can Actually Be Good For You." The Huffington Post.
The Huffington Post, 07 Nov 2013. Web. 7 Apr 2014.
Iowa State University. "Video game effects on kids: Not all black and white, expert argues."
ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2011.>.
Kurzweil, Al. "KurzweilAI | Accelerating Intelligence." KurzweilAI Video Game Playing Found
Beneficial for the Brain Comments. N.p., 1 Nov. 2013. Web. 07 May 2014.
"MAVAV | Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence." MAVAV | Mothers Against
Videogame Addiction and Violence. N.p., 8 May 2007. Web. 07 May 2014.
"The Entertainment Software Association." - Games: Improving the Economy. Entertainment
Software Association, 2014. Web. 07 May 2014.
"Video Games Play May Provide Learning, Health, Social Benefits, Review Finds."
Http:// American Psychological Association, 25 Nov. 2013. Web. 07 May 2014.