The *better* the game, the worse it is for your health

While I make this statement in a jovial manner, there is a lot more truth to it than not.

Let’s not pretend that gaming, or too much of it, can’t have negative results. There have been countless studies showing the negative results of ‘too much’ gaming. Then again too much of anything can be bad for you I always say, so it has never bothered me much. Science has proven the theories though and none more for me than that of Akio Mori, a cranial nerve specialist. Mori conducted a study on three groups: those who rarely played video games, those who played between 1 and 3 hours three to four times a week, and those who played 2 to 7 hours each day.

Firstly to understand how games react with your brain you need to understand the brain waves themselves. Beta waves indicate ‘liveliness and degree of tension in the prefrontal region of the brain’ and Alpha waves appear when the brain is resting . His results showed a higher decrease of beta waves the more one played games. “Beta wave activity in people in the highest amount of video game playing was constantly near zero, even when they weren’t playing, showing that they hardly used the prefrontal regions of their brains. He also found that people in this group reported that they got angry easily, had trouble concentrating, and had trouble associating with people.  This is a very common finding with gamers [apparently] which suggests that heavy gamers can negatively effect  key parts of the frontal region of their brain which become chronically underused, which in turn alters their moods.

When looking closer at the effects that games have on one, you have to also look at how it effects your nervous system. Many games make you tense with suspense or give you feeling of fear which causes involuntary responses from internal organ processes, such as breathing heavier and increasing the heart rate. Then this causes electrical signals to go to brain as chemical messengers called epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine. This activity is significantly increased when playing  games and the brain is responding to this “false” sense of danger. It cannot be good for your brain to think you are in regular danger can it?

Now these studies and observations were found when players got so caught up in the game that they would pay less attention to their surroundings and became totally absorbed by the game. As an avid gamer you will more than likely be a lot more involved with a online Call of Duty battle, than say a casual game of Tetris, right?

So one can actually deduce that, the better (or more engaging) the game, the worse it is for you. In theory at least.