My name is Panagiotis Tsimpos and I am a Greek researcher doing my PhD on Developmental Genetics in the ULB neuroscience department. Other than biology, one of my greatest passions are video games and all the hours of interactive entertainment they can provide to both young children and adults, but there are huge misconceptions around them. Many people believe that video games are bad for your brain and optic development, as well as cause violent behaviours, but that cannot be further from the truth.
Current research from many labs around the world have shown that 3D gaming applications can inprove memory formation and improve eye-to-hand coordination. More well known, Clemenson GD and Stark CE from The University of California (Clemenson GD, Stark CE. Virtual Environmental Enrichment through Video Games Improves Hippocampal-Associated Memory. J Neurosci. 2015;35(49):16116-16125. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2580-15.2015) used non-gamer college students to play either a video game with a passive, two-dimensional environment (“Angry Birds”) or one with an intricate, 3D setting (“Super Mario 3D World”) for 30 minutes per day over two weeks. Before and after the two-week period, the students took memory tests that engaged the brain’s hippocampus and results showed that the students playing the 3D video game improved their scores on the memory test, while the 2D gamers did not. Memory performance increased by about 12 percent, the same amount it normally decreases between the ages of 45 and 70.
So next time you think video games are bad, think of all the good a little italian plummer can provide to your mental health.