5 Positive Effects of Playing Video Games

December 8, 2009 · Print This Article

We hear all the time about how bad video games are, but that’s rarely true. In fact, there are many benefits to playing video games. These positive effects make playing video games a viable option for occasional entertainment for both children and adults.

Improve Dexterity

By playing with handheld controllers and devices, gamers improve the movements in their hands. This allows them to perform small tasks with their hands better than those without video game experience, says the American Psychological Association. Researchers have found that surgeons who have played video games in their life have a better time using their hands while working on patients.

Better Problem-Solving

Most games have elements of puzzles and problem solving, even when they are not labeled as a ‘puzzle game’. With regular use of puzzles in games, players will have better problem-solving skills over the years. These skills can then be used in other aspects of life, including in school and work.

Technical Prowess

According to Steven Johnson of Discover Magazine, children who start playing video games at a young age show advanced technical prowess as they get older. With early access to technology, children are increasing their success as adults. They often have an easier time gaining a career because of their technical abilities.

Positive Effects Over Life Span

Researchers have found that playing video games can produce positive effects for players over their lifetime, according to the American Psychological Association. Adults with early experience in video games have found improvements in their life later on. While dexterity, problem solving and technical prowess may be enhanced while playing games, these skills are improved for a long time afterward as well.

The Difference in Video Game Content

Some video games have more of a positive effect than others. Researchers found that people who play strictly violent games were more hostile in other aspects of their life. They also found that those who played social games were less likely to get in a fight. Mixing different styles of games can have the best effect. If a teenager or adult plans to play a violent game, they should make sure to play other kinds of games as well.

Playing video games can be a much better option than other forms of entertainment. For instance, those watching television use their brain far less than those who play video games. When given a choice, parents should seriously weigh the options between passive television or active, educational games.


American Psychological Association, (2008, August 17). Playing video games offers learning across life span, say studies. Retrieved July 21, 2009, from APA Online Web site: apa.org/releases/videogamesC08.html

Johnson, Steven (2005, July 24). Your brain on video games. Discover Magazine, July 2005, Retrieved July 21, 2009, from discovermagazine.com/2005/jul/brain-on-video-games


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