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By on Feb 12, 2018

Video games for children and teenagers should be chosen carefully. Well designed games are great teachers as they provide both fun and learning. Such games provide feedback on the player’s success by enforcing penalty, helping in learning the game at different levels (like easy, medium and difficult) and also by providing opportunities to practice the game so that it can be mastered. While playing video games, actions are repeated several times, which is a pre-requisite for strengthening brain cell connections (known as synapses). Repeated actions assist in increasing memory storage and learning as coined by the Canadian psychologist Donald Hebb “Neurons that fire together wire together”. Many studies have showed that video games have a lot of merits. A neuroscience study published in the Nature, shows that playing video games increase visual ability at the edge of the computer screen. Other studies reveal that video games can help an adult differentiate between different shades of gray (known as contrast sensitivity) which is required for activities like driving at night. Also the games involving the gamer to work as a team help in increasing collaboration skills. A new study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charite University Medicine St. Hedwig Krankenhaus shows that playing the Super Mario 64 video game increases the size of those regions of the brain that are responsible for orientation, memory formation, planning strategies as well as other motor skills.

Some games require gamers to maintain constant awareness on the screen which in turn improves navigation and way-finding skills. During playing, movement of the controller of the game changes with what the gamer sees on the screen. This improves the hand-eye coordination of the gamers. “When you become one of the top players in a game like World of Warcraft, tens of thousands of players are essentially under you, so you become like a virtual god,” explains Dr. Greenf...

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