5 Unusual Reasons to Play Video Games

5 Unusual Reasons to Play Video Games

It may sound unlikely, but playing video games can actually do great things for your mind, and body.

You feel guilty playing them “too much”, ask your kids to put them away and wish your partner wouldn’t tell people that they play them all the time… but you still love them: video games.

The crux of evil itself is sitting right there in your living room.

But are they really all that bad? Sure, many have gratuitous violence and risky content that isn’t made for everybody’s eyes, but research indicates that playing them in moderation can actually help us out.

Here are 5 somewhat unusual benefits of engaging in video games:

1) They Can Help You Beat PTSD


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If you find yourself being put through a traumatic experience or situation that could potentially cause you to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), check out this info.

Researchers from Sweden recently discovered that playing Tetris can help to reduce the occurrence of PTSD, if the game is played within hours of a serious car accident.

Since playing Tetris works well on car accident victims, it seems likely that it could potentially work in other situations.

Researchers found that playing the game helped victims have up to 62% fewer flashbacks. The key is, the game is so visually involving that it distracts the brain enough to reduce the creation of bad visual memories.

2) They’re Making People Into Better Surgeons


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This one is somewhat related to the first point: it’s all about improving visual abilities. A report by CBS News from back in 2004 indicated that surgeons who play video games for at least 3 hours a week made 37% fewer mistakes when conducting laparoscopic surgery, and were 27% faster than the average non-gaming surgeon.

Related: Want to Reward Your Kids for Exercising? There’s an App For That

So, if you’re doctor has a Sony Playstation in his office the next time you visit, don’t be alarmed. Apparently, it’s all in the name of professional development.

3) They Help People Who Suffer From Dyslexia


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Suffering from dyslexia can be extremely frustrating-it causes problems with reading in individuals with normal or high intelligence. If you fall in this category and have some video games with lots of action on hand though, you may want to indulge. Or, indulge your kid.

Related: Are 3D Images Bad For Your Eyes?

A study done in Italy in 2013 found that children with dyslexia improved their reading speed and attention skills when they played video games with lots of action.

It has something to do with having to pull your attention to various parts of the screen quickly when playing that strengthens the brain’s ability to attend to symbols.

4) They Can Help You Curb Cravings


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It might sound like a large chunk of pseudo science hogwash, but researchers have actually found that playing Tetris- and maybe other games-can also curb your cravings.

A study published in the journal Appetite proved that playing the game of shapes stopped the brain from producing images that can cause us to give into overindulging in things we shouldn’t.

5) They’re a Natural Pain Killer


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Finally, oddly enough playing games like Nintendo can offer you pain relief. It might even be more effective than pain medication. The games work by distracting the mind, letting it concentrate on something else, rather than your throbbing hip. Non-medicated relief is always welcome.

Happy gaming.

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