The plus-side to gaming

Sam Graves, Staff writers

It is widely believed that playing video games has harmful effects on people of all ages. What you never hear about is that playing video games also has a few benefits that non-supporters of video games fail to realize.

One such example is that video games may improve a person’s hand-eye coordination. According to a recent study at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, there is a link between playing video games and surgical success. Twenty-one doctors with only three years of experience, along with 12 more who had almost 13 years of experience, participated in the study.Forty-two percent had never played a video game, but 30% had played video games almost every day at one stage of their lives.

During the study, participants were questioned on their video game playing habits.  They then had to do simulated surgery drills and were assessed on how much time it took them to do the drills and how many errors they made. The study reported that current video game players made 31% fewer errors and were 24% faster than doctors who did not play video games.

Other sources, such as, report that playing video games can also distract people who are ill or injured from their ailments. Many hospitals encourage their patients to play video games while they are recovering from a medical procedure. Concentrating on the game keeps the mind from thinking about the ailment.

Also, video games can motivate and give self-confidence to people who play them. Games may be difficult and inspire players to try harder at certain tasks to get past the challenges that they face. If players succeed, they may gain self-confidence. This can lead to success in other aspects of life.

Companies have recently started making video game systems, like Wii, Xbox Kinect, and PlayStation Move, that have players make the movements that the characters in the game make. These systems are a good form of exercise, even when you just are playing a game, and encourages gamers to be healthy.

Though many people believe video games only have negative effects, they actually can benefit people if they are played in moderation. Now video gamers have an excuse when getting into the habit of playing games: “I’m not addicted. I’m just honing my surgical skills.”