Research demonstrates that video games can have a positive impact on physical and mental health.
AT A GLANCE
- Playing popular video games improves visual attention, contrast sensitivity, spatial navigation, strategic planning, and fine motor skills in the hands.
- Incorporating theories of video game design can make healthy and educational tasks more enjoyable, increasing motivation for engagement in a process called “gamification”.
- Games requiring physical activity can be a good source of exercise. Specialized games have been used to teach youth cognitive behavioral skills, social skills, and even traffic safety.
- Specialized games have been proven effective as treatments for depression, anxiety, and behavioral problems and show promise for schizophrenia.
- Specialized video games are effective forms of medical treatments for amblyopia and obesity, aid in physical therapy, and provide valuable distraction from pain during medical procedures.
- Incorporated into traditional counseling, games can improve alliance and engagement.