For years, video games have been considered as time-waster by most people but researchers have argued that playing games can have have positive effects on brain function. A study published by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development states that regularly playing video games can actually make your brain more powerful.
In this study scientists have asked adults to play the video game “Super Mario 64” over a period of two months for 30 minutes a day. A control group did not play video games. Brain volume was analyzed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In comparison to the control group the video gaming group showed increases of grey matter. Scientists believe that video games could be useful for patients with mental disorders in which brain regions are altered or reduced in size.
“While previous studies have shown differences in brain structure of video gamers, the present study can demonstrate the direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase. This proves that specific brain regions can be trained by means of video games”, says study leader Simone Kühn, senior scientist at the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.
So what does the study mean in practical terms? It means that playing a video game can actually build brain matter. So if your parents stop you from playing video games, make them read this. But its not an excuse to spend your whole day in front of screen.