Video Games – Game over

Anyone who has ever picked up a controller knows that “game over” is a temporary state of being. If a particularly challenging level bests you, most games give you an immediate chance to retry, now armed with more of the knowledge, experience, and skill needed to complete your quest. For many gamers, real-life works the same way. A team of 25 scientists from Europe and North America recently reported that people who played nine or more hours of video games every week have higher gray matter volume in the reward-processing area of their brains. In other words, frequent gamers have more brainpower to devote to determination, motivation, and optimism than non-gamers. Why does this work? “When you have constant opportunities to try different strategies and get feedback, you get more frequent and more intense bursts of dopamine… not only do you get minute-to-minute pleasure, but the mindset starts changing in long-term ways,”” neuroscientist Judy Willis, MD, says in SuperBetter. “Your brain adapts to seek out more challenge, to be less afraid of fa.” These are other daily habits of optimistic people.

Videogaming Submitted by Brenda on February 24, 2015 – 4:49 pm I think the studies show that gamers get better at gaming. With the exception of the lazy eye, dyslexia study and possibly the impact of gaming on seniors, all the other studies are tautological. They ask, do gamers get better at doing the things that gaming requires people to do. It may be that some executive functions are involved in playing the games, but, in the total context of a child’s growing years – such executive functions may not be as important as embodied social play in the real world of people and weather. There is a particular kind of suffering these days for parents who have witnessed their bright lively child disappear into the dark enclosed hole of screen addiction. Everything else falls away from their lives while we listen to the world rationalize this form of “play” and it is so clearly destroying their physical, social and emotional health. No doubt, cocaine could also be studied for certain cognitive gains and alcohol has its health benefits – but for the developing brain, for the young body, the opportunity costs alone – without further study – outweigh the benefits, I believe. The games hijack everything else. Children have self-reported that they would prefer outdoor play with their friends over the screenplay, but they can’t get it or find it. Before we invest further in rationalizing the benefits of virtual play, we need to make it easier for children to find each other, their challenges and their freedoms in the real world. Reply to Brenda Quote Brenda

ACCOMPLISHMENT

Working towards goals and objectives to accomplish can contribute to a sense of achievement and satisfaction in life. This in turn contributes to feelings of competence and well-being. Ryan et al. suggested that the psychological “”pull”” of games is largely due to their capacity to engender feelings such as competence therefore enhancing psychological wellness. Competence is a psychological need for challenge and feelings of effectance. Therefore, factors that enhance the experience of competence (such as opportunities to acquire new skills or abilities, to be optimally challenged, or to receive positive feedback) enhance perceived competence. Competence is enhanced in gaming contexts where game controls are intuitive and readily mastered, and tasks within the game provide ongoing optimal challenges and opportunities for positive feedback (Ryan et al., 2006). Ryan et al. found the desire for future play was predicted by feelings of presence and players’ self- determined needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness.In a similar manner to competence, accomplishment can also be linked to videogame play. To this end, Yee and Suznjevic and Matijasevic found accomplishment was an important motive for playing MMOs. Female players were more driven by the relationships and more likely to use the MMO environment to build supportive social networks, confirming findings reported by Cole and Griffiths and Snodgrass et al. (2011a), that online gaming can support positive relationships.

However, male players were significantly more likely to be driven by accomplishment (Yee, 2006). The “”achievement”” factor measured the desire to become powerful in the context of the virtual environment through the achievement of goals and accumulation of items associated with power. While some users participated in the environment to make friends and form supportive social networks, others used the environment to become powerful through the accomplishment of goals.Structured goal setting (i.e., incorporating factors of goal quality, Clark et al., 2009) has been shown to stimulate motivation and promote goal attainment (Locke, 1996). Goal attainment in turn is associated with significant benefits to health and well-being. Studies have found that goal progress enhances positive affect, improves life satisfaction and enhances general well-being (Carver and Scheier, 1990; Sheldon and Kasser, 1995; Ryan and Deci, 2000). This suggests that not only does goal progress enable a person to attain the target goal; it also produces general benefits to overall well-being.

When structured goal setting is applied within tertiary mentoring programs students will not only improve their academic performance but will also experience enhanced general well-being.Whereas accomplishments can be infrequent, unrecognized, and sometime unachievable in real-life, within the videogame accomplishments are regular, achievable and immediately rewarding. Videogames often have clear tasks to complete (e.g., quests), instructions to complete the task, and the task can be challenging but achievable, aligning with the player’s current skill and experience. The player also receives immediate rewards and recognition when the task is completed (McGonigal, 2011). Players have a specific goal, an understanding of how to achieve the goal, the ability to complete the goal and importantly, the motivation to want to take on the goal. As (Seligman (2004, p.40) argues “”The most important resource building human trait is productivity at work.”” Game players can be highly productive in the games they play, accomplishing and achieving, and improving skills that contribute to positive experiences and enhanced self-worth.

But just as it has revealed a clearer picture of this vast pool of daily mental anguish, research has also revealed proven preventative solutions. There are simple techniques and practices that extensive clinical trials have shown improve wellbeing, reduce the incidence of mental illness and help treat it.,

It’s like that with the brain, Gazzaley says. The networks that control the three classes of cognitive ability “” working memory, attention and goal management “” all overlap.

Video game addiction is a mental health disorder, WHO says, but some health experts don’t agreeWHO officially classifies video game addiction as a mental health condition called ‘gaming disorder’ Monday. But a some mental health experts don’t agree.

My kids benefit from their screen time. When we don’t let them get on the computer, they complain, but eventually they read, play outside, help their dad in the workshop, etc. Those really important activities would not happen if we let them choose how much electronics they can have. (As that’s what they would mainly choose to do.)

Hi Holly and Peter, I can add some anecdotal observations about gaming vs schooling. My kids attend a non-coercive, self directed and democratic school where they can select whatever they do each day. And gaming is alive and well! Do they select gaming over “”more academic”” pursuits, as your father is concerned about? Yes, sometimes. Interestingly, I’ve noticed that they don’t stay just playing the same games over and over again. It’s human nature to learn and grow! So I’ve noticed one group is learning how to build a server so they can host their own group games (Minecraft, in this case). Others are teaching themselves programming so they can build their own games or mods for Minecraft. Another subgroup got interested in programming and has taken that over to robotics now. As they grow, our school works on a coaching model where we talk with them about what they want to do beyond school. And many at some point then choose the academics they will need to meet those goals. These kids easily slide into math and science classes. They have superior team building skills. They work towards goals in a very focused way. And communication skills are well practiced before any formal English classes are undertaken. There are certainly a lot of fears that kids will do nothing but game. But from a community that has actually let the kids do nothing but game, we can say that they consistently self select their paths and goals which may include gaming, but also so much more!!

How Our Helpline Works For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the MentalHelp.net helpline is a private and convenient solution. Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC). We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither MentalHelp.net nor AAC receives any commission or other fees that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose. For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit ours About AAC page.

When you’re having an anxiety attack around another person, the thing you tend to hear the most–apart from “What’s happening? What’s wrong?”” if that person has never seen an anxiety attack before–it is the reminder to take deep breaths. While there is a ton going on in your brain in the midst of an anxiety attack, breathing exercises can be super beneficial to help you regain control. Owen Harris, a game developer in Ireland, developed a game using Oculus Rift called Deep that essentially leads you into breathing exercises as you experience a peaceful, underwater world that responds to your breaths. The deeply immersive virtual reality experience of the underwater world can help you center your focus and relax seriously, you don’t even need to move a single appendage. Deepis all about breathing–calm, relaxing breathing.

Games make you more resilient (and optimistic) istock/zeljkosantrac Anyone who has ever picked up a controller knows that “”game over”” is a temporary state of being. If a particularly challenging level bests you, most games give you an immediate chance to retry, now armed with more of the knowledge, experience, and skill needed to complete your quest. For many gamers, real life works the same way. A team of 25 scientists from Europe and North America recently reported that people who play nine or more hours of video games every week have higher gray matter volume in the reward-processing area of their brains. In other words, frequent gamers have more brain power to devote to determination, motivation, and optimism than non-gamers. Why does this work? “”When you have constant opportunities to try different strategies and get feedback, you get more frequent and more intense bursts of dopamine… not only do you get minute-to-minute pleasure, but the mindset starts changing in long-term ways,”” neuroscientist Judy Willis, MD, says in SuperBetter. “”Your brain adapts to seek out more challenge, to be less afraid of failure, and to be more resilient in the face of setbacks.”” These are other daily habits of optimistic people.

Hi Holly and Peter, I can add some anecdotal observations about gaming vs schooling. My kids attend a non-coercive, self directed and democratic school where they can select whatever they do each day. And gaming is alive and well!

Perhaps the most striking fact amongst all the mental health research is that 50% of mental illnesses start before the age of 14. That statistic, when we think about what we want childhood to look like in our society, reveals a genuine tragedy that needs a lot more attention.

Nichols said she liked a version of the game where she was not competing against anyone or trying to rack up mammoth points. In her favorite version, colored gems drop endlessly onto the screen, and Nichols said she falls into a trance of simultaneous concentration and relaxation that she calls Zen.

Gamers have always had to defend their entertainment vice far more than your average cinephile orbibliophile over the years, but that’s all about to change thanks to science… and video games. Several scientists and mental health researchers (who are probably all avid gamers) have been conducting studies over the last decade proving that there are actual mental benefits to playing video games. Below are five shining examples of why playing video games is the best brain food activity on the planet and perfect ammo for all of the gamer haters of the world. Feel free to continue reading books or watching stuff on Netflix, but you’re brain will be way better off if you spend that time killing monsters, collecting gold coins, and saving princesses.

It’s common to try to distract ourselves from pain by paying attention to something else or focusing on other body mechanisms, but that’s not the only reason why games are a good post-injury prescription. Playing can actually produce an analgesic (pain-killing) response in our higher cortical systems. The more immersive, the better””which is why pending virtual reality systems may one day be as prevalent in hospitals as hand sanitizer.

I think it’s bizarre to defend the video game by saying “”many of the tasks are long boring and monotonous”” in order to “”earn”” items in the game. As if that’s noble somehow? Children wasting hours doing monotonous things to acquire virtual items? That have no real value? Yes I understand that it might be mimicking a “”real job”” scenario but again – why not use real life instead? Where they are physically doing something, and earning a tangible reward? Not only that, but they are contributing to the household, learning a sense of productivity, thereby gaining confidence and responsibility. For example, give them chores and an allowance. That’s real. I don’t understand substituting that with a game where the end product of so many hours of sitting and moving thumbs is just a virtual item. Where’s the value?

Another common mental health condition, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), has been shown to be treatable through video games. One study showed that individuals with PTSD that played Tetris experienced less flashbacks than those that didn’t play the game. Considering this, it’s no surprise that video games are starting to be used therapeutically as a way to treat the symptoms of some mental illnesses.

Some research points to attention difficulties as being a key component of dyslexia. One study has shown dyslexics improved their reading comprehension following sessions of games heavy on action. The reason, researchers believe, is that the games have constantly changing environments that require intense focus.

In my experiences Submitted by Meltokio on April 13, 2015 – 2:25pm Video games have been a very positive experience for me and I honestly believe the type of game one plays takes a strong role in development of various abilities. Consider the arcades and driving games, kids who become pros at it learn how to drive easily once they learn the controls in the car. It almost seems like a video game come to life. By a reasonable age your child should learn the difference between reality and fiction. Adult gamers for example might play video games for reasons different than children and may get different experiences as a result. In a reply I talked about MMOs and how many of them teach kids finances they will most undoubtably need in the real world. Many in depth fictional universes have an internal commerce, if you want that sword you need to save up for it. Runescape is a prime example here. With hard work, perserverence, etc, comes a good reward. Example? Let’s say your child is playing runescape, he does not have a high combat level, but he wants a very expensive outfit, your child makes inductive reasoning working through the various aspects of the game and what would make him the most money in the shortest time so he can purchase his prize. Many of these tasks to make money are long, tedious, boring, etc. It is just like an actual job working for your paycheck to pay your bills, or to buy that new item you wanted. You need to work this job to get the means to obtain your reward. I honestly believe these types of video games are very useful to use in real life experiences. Just make sure your child knows there is a world out there other than the fictional one on his or her screen. And get them interested in it by using the signifiers found in the games they play and connect them to the real world. Understanding your child and knowing what kinds of games they play is very important. Do not belittle a game until you learn what it is about and what it can teach your child. Taking an interest in your child’s games will make them much closer to you and you as a result will be able to keep more of an eye on them, learning what they learn on their gaming experiences.

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