Are Video Games Good for You?

Hero Images/Getty Images (Video Games); Debate Photos Courtesy of Families

A study released last June found that some video games can give your brain a boost. Researchers at the University of Montreal, in Canada, asked people to play Super Mario 64 over the course of several weeks. The researchers found that the people experienced growth in the part of the brain that is responsible for memory. Other studies have shown that playing video games can help improve hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and concentration. 

But many people argue that it’s not good to stare at a screen for hours at a time. They say that playing sports and reading can give you the same benefits as playing video games. Plus, some video games can be harmful. The University of Montreal study also found that playing shooter games like Call of Duty has the opposite effect of playing Super Mario 64. It causes the region of the brain that’s responsible for memory to shrink.

Here’s what two of our readers think.

Playing video games involves skills like problem solving and sometimes teamwork. A study by researchers at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, found that playing video games improves your communication and problem-solving skills. 

Video games can also help you become more creative. For example, in Minecraft you think outside the box and build things. Some schools even use Minecraft to teach topics like math. 

Playing video games takes time away from more important things. I used to spend a lot of time playing them. Sometimes that kept me from doing things I needed to do, like studying my spelling words. 

Plus, gamers might not get enough exercise. Last year, researchers studied kids and teens in Canada who play video games. They found a link between playing video games for hours before going to bed and obesity.  

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