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Video gaming

Video gaming can make you smarter, but real survival is a question of balance

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 April, 2018, 10:48am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 April, 2018, 10:48am

I recently watched a clip from the British talk show This Morning, about gaming addiction, titled: “I lost my 10-year-old son to Fortnite”. 

In fact, gaming addiction is nothing new among today’s children. They can spend hours on end playing on their mobile phones, laptops and gaming consoles, totally oblivious to their surroundings. Some of them can become aggressive and moody if denied play time. So the bad side of gaming is easy to see – but there are some pros as well. 

Playing video games can be therapeutic – and victory in battle, as in survival games like Fortnite: Battle Royale, can feel rewarding. For students, this time out from heavy school workloads can reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, a scientific study presented at an American Pain Society conference in 2010 found that 3D video gaming was effective in relieving chronic pain.

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Aside from relieving mental stress, gaming can also increase brain capacity. Often seen as a mindless and dull activity, gaming can actually cause positive impacts on our brain. A 2013 study in The Journal of Neuroscience showed players of the Super Mario games experienced increases in grey matter and did better on memory tasks than the control group that did not play them. 

Gaming can be a double-edged sword, but just focusing on the cons is unfair. At the end of the day, unrestrained gaming can cause health problems. Learning to find a balance and plan out your schedule is the key. 

Anakin Tam, Tseung Kwan O