Another Study Suggests Video Games Are A Healthy Activity

from the again-and-again dept

While it’s usually the studies about how video games are dangerous that score all the headlines, there have been just about an equal number of studies suggesting that there are benefits to video games as well. In the past, we’ve pointed to studies suggesting that video games can improve your health and visual skills. We’ve also seen studies suggesting that video games are good for kids in challenging them to think and can even be more intellectually stimulating than school. There are also studies suggesting that video games are good in the workplace, as they encourage brain stimulation during breaks and can also encourage teamwork. Related to that, are studies suggesting video games can help make people better strategic business thinkers or better stock traders.

Jon writes in to point out the latest study which suggests that video games are good for people as they help give them a sense of achievement, fulfilling some “deep psychological needs.” Of course, these studies pretty much come with as much bias as the studies suggesting video games are all bad. The fact is a game is a game — it all depends on the person playing the game and how it’s used. The fact that the researchers behind this latest study even admit that they were just trying to “normalize” the discussion could raise questions about how objective they were as well. It also raises some questions when they suggest that there have been no other studies showing benefits to video gaming, considering all the others ones we’ve linked to. The real point, though, is that video games alone are unlikely to be good or bad — and any study claiming one or the other is probably got some problems.

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Comments on “Another Study Suggests Video Games Are A Healthy Activity”

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DJ Twizted (user link) says:

Gamez knot bad @ all

I love gamers. you’ll never find a group more emotionally unstable to tell you to “suck it bitch”, “F#$! you”, “blow me”, “spawn camping f#@$tard”, ect. Then turn around with in min and act like nothing happened. The elite ones are like vampires…you’ll never see them out in the daylight. They like the soft glow of the comptuer monitor with highly cafinated drinks, pizza, chips, ect. What I don’t understand is some sit on there ass for days playing and still manage to keep a small frame with all the garbage they eat…..BASTARDS!!!!!!!!

As far as some being smarter. Depends on the game I guess. Mindless violance and virtual blood shed is usually just a way to unwind from a very stressfull week with friends and family you hold dear. I wouldn’t say that it hurts anything other then a sex life in some cases *cough* WoW *cough*. It is a way to relax and enjoy life. Everyone has to have an output for stress relief. Everyone is different, Some do yoga, some hunt and kill things in real life, and some hunt and kill things virtually. Video games bad?…..naw…just desired.

Brought to you by iT LAN and it’s admin DJ Twizted

Sanguine Dream says:

It's all about potential

Like Mike says games are not inherently good or bad, its all about how the gamers interpret them.

Those kids that go on school shootings didn’t do it just because they played a lot of Doom. More than likely they had other issues going on that drove them over the edge. But since most people more concerned with big headlines than trying to protect the children (I mean that in the real sense, not the political hot button isssue of the moment sense) they will continue to feed off this video game “problem” for as long as it continues to fetch headlines and votes.

Perhaps taking the time to listen to and pay attention to kids is too much to ask in a society that would rather try to come up with one blanket source (in this case its the video games) and work on it instead of trying to slowly, surely, and more accurately diagnose and solve them.

Jack Thompson & Hillary Clinton says:


Of course games are bad you heathens!! They promote things like orcs and killing, and farms! OMG FARMS are evil!!, We here at the S.P.F.T.B.O.A.T.F: Stupid People For The Banning Of All Things Fun, feel that there’s no better way to get ourselves known to the public than by trying to ban these monsterous video games!

While we rail against some of the best and most innovative games we’re perfectly fine with cookie cutter sequel driven crap that we find completely fresh and fufilling, command and conquer 15 anyone?

Anonymous Coward says:

so many stereotypes…

I have been playing video games since the early 80’s. I am a college graduate, making more in a year than any other 26 year old I know, and still love to play whenever I get the chance. I have a beautiful (ex-NFL cheerleader) wife and play WOW as well. So instead of spouting your ignorant stereotypes about how YOU think a gamer lives you should understand that ALL types play of people play video games. Some games have NO educational or beneficial value while many games that seem worthless actually teach decent skills and values.

Jack says:

Re: Anonymous Coward

Dude i know so many people that have great lives make lots of money and play video games… My dad knows people at work that play video games and they are making like 100,000 a year. Some people use it just to rewind from work or school. Some people us it to just chill and talk to people and make new friends. I wont disagree with you when you say video games are bad….only when the person is abusing the video game and harassing someone and trying to find out where they live is bad, but if you are using it just to hang and have fun then what is so wrong with it?

paul says:

From Mike’s post: “The real point, though, is that video games alone are unlikely to be good or bad — and any study claiming one or the other is probably got some problems.”

I disagree. Saying video games are neither good nor bad is tantamount to saying that video games really have no effect at all. I think a more accurate statement would be that video games are both good and bad. The “violence studies” and the “moter reflex studies” both make sense and probably have some truth to them.

Mitchell says:

Re: wha

Mike’s Post: I’ve lost may friends to that god damn game. It’s like they,started doing meth or something they never want to hang out or go do anything just play wow… I its like crack.

You have lost friends playing WoW? According to what you just said, you are implying that it’s the games fault you lost friends. I don’t see how you can blame a game, when it is the gamer that decides when to play. You are blaming World of Warcraft for being an extremely well created, well developed game thats damn fun to play, essentually. Don’t blame gaming for your loss of friends. Blame yourself for not knowing when to quit.

Xiera says:


I have to agree with the general consensus here that the gamer makes the game rather than the opposite. “Sanguine Dream” presented a good example of how some -people- take the game -out of context-. The problem is not that the game: several tens- to hundreds- of thousands (and millions, in some cases) of others have played the same games (ie, Doom) and not brought that which belongs in the realm of fantasy into the real world.

Furthermore, the gamer chooses the game. For instance, I have never felt the desire to play a FPS (First-Person Shooter) but I love building a character from scratch and trying to bring him (generic) to awesomeness. I would consider myself rather non-violent. On the other hand, my roommate loves First- and Third- Person Shooters and can be quite violent, especially when drunk. I choose the games I play because they look fun to me; he chooses the games he plays because they look fun to him.

Oftentimes the games one chooses to play reflect the gamer, rather than the games molding the gamer. This view only supports the idea that there are underlying issues if one acts on a game they’ve played. For some people, video games serve as a form of sublimation; for others, they’re not enough to deter negative actions.

I am going to have to agree with Mike: video games are NOT good or bad. The action of learning from video games is good (ie, learning strategy and teamwork from raiding in WoW), while the action of extending a video game to real life is bad (ie, shooting someone “because of” Doom or GTA). Perhaps it’s time to take a look at the people buying the games rather than the games themselves.

Mitchel says:

Re: Subjectivity

I partialy agree. In my opinion it’s not just the video games that cause kids do to extream things, it’s the fact that the kid hasn’t gotten the chance to realize that the things in the video game arn’t normaly achievable in real life and that you can’t just restart at the nearest hospital, just apear at a police station or even just make that police leave you alone after being chase for a while after a murder.

RiskyMethodz says:

Video games are a form of entertainment, no different than television sitcoms, movies, or other activities. It’s a way to pass time, yet the people that choose video games over Will and Grace are somehow set aside as anti-social, depressed, and otherwise outcast individuals. It may be true that video games can be more “addicting” than Television, because it’s “always on”, unlike a show which may last a half hour and then change to something you no longer want to watch. Video games, unlike television, are nearly always a different experience and therefore lose their appeal much slower than, say, watching the same episode of Friends 5 times.

In the world of MMORPG’s, there contains a large degree of social interaction certainly not found by those kicking back on the sofa to the latest American Idol: A show which is coincidentally based on the making fun of the average person at their expense, tell me that doesn’t have a negative impact on society as a whole. People who play games are viewed as anti-social beings, yet they’re the MOST likely to have friends in other countries, time zones, and cultures. I actually have a friend that spent last summer on a large road trip around the USA who didn’t spend a single night in a hotel, but rather stayed with friends he met online as he traveled.

Who’s hurt by video games? No one. Gamers have something to do (whether you feel they’re good or not, they’re still entertaining). Politicians have something to blame. Parents have something to save them the troubles of teaching their children life lessons (he’s not getting into trouble, why should I tell him about [insert moral lesson here]). Manufacturers are making money. Computer/Console makers have reasons to innovate and upgrade.

Personally, I think movies like “The Hitcher” are considerably more damaging to society than World of Warcraft. Let’s ban R rated movies, anyone?

Like it’s been said, it’s the gamer that makes the experience good or bad. Viewer discretion is advised.

Devil's Advocate says:

To coward

So wait, you’re 26 and you’ve been playing cideo games since the early 80’s? How early? 26 years ago was 81 last I checked, so either you’ve been playing video games since before you were 1 or you’ve lost the ability to do simple arithmetics thanks to them.
There’s no need to exaggarate or try to sound superior to the rest of us by saying you’ve been playing longer or your wife’s hot (ex-NFL cheerleader? what happened? if you’re 26 what age was she when she left?) – everyone here agrees with you anyway, inferiority complex aside.

slimcat (profile) says:

Good brain exercise.

Learning to fly a One-Seventy in (PS2)>Star Wars Battlefront>Instant Action>Felucia Space, was a frustrating challenge for an over 60 grandpa like me. But, after a few hours of practice, I got pretty good at it and began to lose at 55 to 80 rather than 0 to 80. Now, I’m the clone ‘Raker’, a battle hardened, highly decorated space pilot.

I believe there is no question that a game like this can improve hand-eye coordination and can rewire connections in the brain that haven’t been used in a while. Brings you even closer to your grand children as well. 😉

PhysicsGuy says:

To coward

speaking of doing math, it’s only january, that means unless he was born jan. 01 – 22 of 1981 then he was born in 1980.

a decade consists of 10 years therefore when splitting a decade up into early, mid, and late he has approximately 3.3 years which we’ll call 3 years and 4 months. however, he could very well be considering the early 80s to be the first half of the 80s which is also valid, early and late. since the minimal time you could logically consider early 80s is 1984 then he could have been as old as 5.

are you trying to tell me 5 is too young to play video games? oh that’s right, you’ve apparently lost the ability to do simple arithmetic. that’s too bad….

Paul W says:

Re: games should go to hell

What? what kind of attitude is that? You have no proof as to whether it raises agression in people. Even if it does increase agression, don’t you think that movies, television, or the internet would do the same, or even worse? To say that “games are the devils way of corrupting little childrens minds” is a completely immature comment. If you actually did research on crime, it has actually decreased in the past 10 years. Obesity is part of the same statement. Reading books or attending sit-down classes aren’t any more physically stimulating than playing video games. Video games also stimulate the mind in ways that we have never seen before, so people are quick to shoot it down.

Que Meyer says:

I love games

Miller Boy should go to hell! Miller, I’m comin for you! Your sick mind is corrupt beyond measure and you need to stop making stupid assumptions about us video gamers! If I saw you around my neighborhood, I would tase your lazy ass and spray your eyeballs with mase and cut your tounge off so you could never speak or see again.

J. Ruder (profile) says:

Re: Que

Simply put, that is a mental disorder. My sister has schitzoeffective disorder and nearly put me IN JAIL for accusations against me. She, too, cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality. She’s been in and out of mental institutions for the past 7 years. It’s not the game’s fault. It’s the person who had a serious mental issue and did not recieve help.

zach miller says:


lets just be friends…oh wait your a game nerd. i hate gamers. how could you say such about my family. did you know that the Kennidys were killed by over aggresive gamers. Terrorist use games to brain wash fighters to have no mercy and lose sight of the bliss of life. many problems in the world today are caused by gaming. antigamers need to be voted into office Hillary for prez shit maybe evn Jack Thompson

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Que

Wow you say sports are a joke? You must be/have been one of those completely lazy and out of shape kids that could never make any sports teams. Being physically active, sports or otherwise, has an outstanding effect on physical health and expansion of life expectancy. You are more able to complete daily tasks without tiring, while people who sit around and do nothing are simply worthless to society. But don’t mind me, you can keep your lazy habits, out of shape body, and general sense of worthlessness. I’m perfectly happy with my balance of video games and sports. My video games provide great entertainment and stress relief, and my sports offer me some great scholarships, a fun time with my friends (but you wouldn’t know anything about that), and a sense of accomplishment truly more significant than beating a video game. I’m perfectly fine the way I am.

austin says:

Re: Re: Re: Que

I play lots of video games. I’m also on a highschool swim team and placed seventh in district relays. You can’t asume that people are unfit because of their hobbies. I also notice that most jocks are complete idiots and are extremely aggresive, you don’t see gamer “nerds” stuffing freshmen into trash cans.

Steve Ausdahl says:

Re: Violence just from gamers because of games?? idts

You’re complaining about videogames causing your family’s death… complaining it was because videogames made the killer violent… yet here you are threatening a gamer… sounds pretty violent to me.
As stated before, start doing the research on the gamers. The gamer picks the game, so a violent person will naturally pick a violent game. Then all people like you see is that ‘he plays violent games, therefore they made him violent.’
Think about how many people have and still do play videogames… and then lets figure out how many of them have committed a murder. That percentage is pretty low. But even then that number should technically be less because they already had the personality, and it just so happens that some of them have played games. It doesn’t mean it’s the games influence that made them kill.
I myself am an avid gamer. I love them. I’ve played them since I was four and I spend almost all of my free time playing them. I go to church and have many friends there, and I’m in college courses but I’m only a Junior. I truly consider myself a kind and benevolent person. I can’t stand the thought of hurting anyone, physically OR emotionally. It’s true my physical health isn’t top notch, but I’m not the most unhealthy person ever.
My point is games do have both good and bad aspects, but so does any ‘fun’ activity. TV? We watch shows on murder and crimes that can give people ideas on how to do it themselves without getting caught, so they try it, and whether or not they get away with it, the crime was committed. Music? How much of music is violent songs against ex-bfs or ex-gfs? Families? Friends? Too much. Many might say that books are the least harmful of all the media, but even they can contain ‘influencing’ entertainment. Lies, sex, deceit, drugs, murder… it’s all there.
It’s true that games are the only entertainment media that you have to do the actions yourself, everything else you see/hear/read, but that’s why the natural killers, the ones who kill people in the world, play games and not watch TV, not listen to as much music and don’t read. It’s so that they can DO something, so then when the study on the criminal is done they see that they played games and that’s as far as people go in the investigation.

Que Meyer says:


Dude get some legit information. Not once have gamers been accused of crimes just because they play violent video games. The real killers are people like use these accusations to kill off the gamers of the world just because your afraid of diversity. You want to be a perfect world like in the t.v. shows and the reality is it never will be so pick your ass off the floor and go do something with your crummy life.

Ian says:

Games leading to agression is a joke.

In my opinion…people should stop looking for things to blame their problems on, and instead take responsibility for what they do or what their children do. As far as young children playing violent games goes…yes, there are some things children shouldn’t be playing until they reach a certain age. However, that’s up to the parents. If the parents can’t watch and KNOW what their own children are playing, then they’re not watching their kids close enough. Also, as far as all these other studies showing “aggression”, I’d love to know exactly what the researchers define as aggression. I’ve played games my entire life, and am currently majoring in psychology. My teacher actually took a whole day to talk to us about this entire controversy, and all i can say is i highly disagree with any views believing that games lead to violence.

adayoldbagel says:

Just Use Your Head

“I will be making a website for antigamers to unite. Any antigamers who know how to make a site? Let me know on this blog. There is no place for gamers in society.”

wow… you know whats really ironic about this? people who are good at making websites are often found in the same circles as gamers themselves…
There is certainly a place for gamers in society. In any given group of people, the ones that game are the ones I enjoy talking to. They’re on average more intelligent, more thoughtful, and have MUCH more interesting things to say. Now this may or may not be BECAUSE of their gaming habits, and personally I think people who game are more intelligent before-hand and are drawn to games because of that.
WoW and Halo players are exceptions, however. I do not consider these people gamers any more than I consider people who use Myspace or Facebook technology-savvy, as every fool in any given frat house has these available to them.
Truly, a geek is worth ten jocks to me.

Mal says:

Games Bad? Good?

People can criticize games and can say that they are bad. I agree that its how the individual interprets the game. I play video games pretty much every day. Overall, I have learned a lot of interesting things from video games, whether it be Math, Science, Religion, etc. Some skills have improved too, like reflexes, quicker responses, etc etc. Come to think about it, the ‘Halo’ games helped me a few times in school, say with religion terms and history. Also, as a seventeen-year old currently under a lot of stress and depression [ALL CAUSED] by school, video games are what keep me well..sane. I would have lost it by now if I did not have the video game world to go to. It gives me time to be something I am not and just forget about the constant worries of real life and have fun. Hey, for all the people who say that people who are depressed will get violent from video games…well? All I play is war and shooter games, more so the Halo Franchise and would I ever consider going columbine? Not a fucking chance in hell. I keep the video game world separate from my real life and I would NEVER kill a human being in real life. And the people who do go postal either get there violence elsewhere or they just really do not know how to tell whats real and what isn’t. Anyway….just saying, in my opinion video games are not that bad at all.

Tori (user link) says:

Video Games Good or Bad.

I am pro-video gaming. I have to write a persuasive essay for my English class. I want to keep hearing every ones opinion so everyone keep posting the healthy things and maybe even the unhealthy things about video games. I personally think that people who all they do is sit and play video games all day are just lazy, but who knows maybe they really don’t have a life. PLEASE leave your opinion I love reading every ones little arguments and reading everybody’s opinion.

Jeff says:

Games are heaven.

I’ve been a gamer all my life. It was like my fate to be a gamer because I was born in 1987, which is the year video games was just getting invented. Through the years, I’ve seen all the game consoles that came out from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to the Playstation 3 (PS3). I think video games are healthy because they challenge your hand-eye coordination, perfect timing and learning how to strategize. I love First Person Shooters (FPS) because it teaches me when it’s the perfect time to take cover and when it’s the perfect time to take action, and I love puzzle games because they challenge me. But when I see dancing games like Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) and In The Groove (ITG), I go for it. Even though if it’s in an arcade i play it. I heard that these dancing games are used mostly in high schools in the United States for students who don’t like doing gym classes or if they have free time. These dancing games are healthy because it’s all about feet-eye coordination and it burns away the fat and calories. Just two words of caution. Firstly, don’t play Dance Dance Revolution or In The Groove after you’ve had a big meal, and secondly. If you have the home version for your PS3 or your XBOX 360, get the metal dancing mats or the ones that have a handle bar. Not those flimsy roll-out dancing mats because they will fly out from under your feet while dancing.

Abby says:

Dudes, chill the fuck out. Seriously, I found this site while doing a research project about video games, and honestly many video games DO help cognition and brain plasticity, but stop taking it so seriously.I thank all of you for your opinions but rest assured that no matter what you say, the gamers will still love games and the haters will still hate.

Anonymous Coward says:

a video games may give you a scene of accomplishment but that is going to make them happy with something that is not real. so there sense of achievement, fulfilling some “deep psychological needs is not real at all. why would anyone think someone is corsages when there character is 7ft tall and is built like the hulk is in a screen

wewrw says:


oh video games are bad they make you fat they make you wanna kill people fuck people who think that you retarted the kid i know that plays the most video games is really smart although he is messed up in the head but he has been like then since a kid but really videogames arent unhealthy if it makes a kid wanna kill someone guess what there fucking retarted they will doo thaat stuff whithonut video games

Quite Literally says:

Think of what else you could be doing!

Trouble is…There is so much that is taken away from the human form when all that is being done with the reality you live in, is simply not reality at all! Ponder that a moment…Next, when was the last time you hugged, truly laughed, or have been touched by another human being? Have you helped your mom take out the trash, do dishes, your laundry, or maybe help a young child complete some math problems. It’s important to notice that NOT ALL video games are bad. I love the Wii. It keeps me physically fit. I believe that braniacs created some of the games I have seen. It must be a fun, well-paid profession. Honestly, it must serve a point to mention that you must not completly preoccupy your mind all day long with games…when “real-life” needs you just as much!

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