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15 Ways Video Games Make You Smarter And Healthier
Business Insider,  SEP. 20, 2014

Video games are a huge industry and a big part of our society — take a look at Microsoft’s recent purchase of a game studio for $2.5 billion — but games get a bad rap.

They’re often portrayed as antisocial, violent, and as an addictive waste of time that encourages obesity.

But that’s not necessarily accurate, and it’s definitely not the full story. Lots of people play video games. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 59% of Americans play games. Despite problems with sexism in the gaming world, 48% of those players are women, and the average player is 31 years old.

It’s a big business too. The global gaming industry was worth $67 billion in 2013 and is projected to grow to $82 billion by 2017. Robert Morris University announced this year that they would start giving scholarships to League of Legends players — a game that top competitors make a ton of money playing.

Contrary to their reputation, many games have educational, physical, and psychological benefits for players. Games that use repetitive actions, such as the swinging of a bat or targeting a moving object, train the brain and muscles to perform better in real-life activities.

Video game brain training has the same effect as reading a book or riding a bike — when the brain is learning, thousands of new connections are being formed. The addition of a reward system motivates players to continuously improve their skills.

  1. People who play action-based games make accurate decisions 25% faster.
  2. A driving game improved memory, focus, and multitasking ability in older adults.
  3. Video games encourage physical activity.
  4. Video games improve vision.
  5. Surgeons improved their laparoscopic skills by playing video games.
  6. Children with dyslexia had better reading ability after playing video games.
  7. Kids who play sports games are more likely to then go play the real sport.
  8. Video games can help burn victims manage pain.
  9. Researchers are using virtual reality to help people get over phobias and PTSD.
  10. Kids who spend moderate amounts of time playing video games are more well adjusted.
  11. Video games can teach us about biological processes.
  12. Video games can make us better people.
  13. Cancer patients who play video games have a more positive outlook.
  14. People who play video games have more control over their dreams
  15. Pre-schoolers who play video games have better motor skills.

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