As video games help to avoid depression and develop useful skills
A Life / / December 19, 2019
«All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy», - gaining the protagonist of "The Shining" on a typewriter. Indeed, the concept of "work" is often regarded as the opposite of the word "entertainment". However, recent research proved that the opposite of games is depression.
For the first time such an idea expressed Brian Sutton-Smith (Brian Sutton-Smith), a scientist who has devoted his life to the study of the psychological aspect of the game. He became famous in the 50-60-ies of XX century, when studying the impact of entertainment on children and adults. Sutton-Smith learned that during the games people become more self-confident and energetic, experienced strong positive emotions. In fact, all this is a description of the state, just the opposite of depression, when a person is incredibly pessimistic, especially about your own talents, opportunities and prospects.
Sutton-Smith spent most of his research long before scientists began to use technological apparatus for scanning the brain to track circulation processes and thereby diagnosing mental disease. And he worked without knowing that video games take over our world.
According to statistics, more than 1.23 billion people are addicted to computer games, but most importantly - we now know exactly what is happening in the minds of these people.
Over the past few years there have been many studies using functional magnetic resonance therapy. The most notable of them conducted Stanford University, who "looked" in the brain of gamers.
The results showed that when we play a video game, two areas of our brain is constantly stimulated: that which is responsible for the motivation, and the one that makes us want to achieve new goals.
Indeed, during this incredibly fun, we are focused on doing the job. It does not matter whether we solve complex problems, try to find the hidden objects that are committed to the finish line, or to gain maximum points. Any of these targets completely captures our attention, motivates and makes the focus. We expect that we will achieve success - and the corresponding proportion of the brain begins to work actively, forcing us to desire victory.
Meanwhile, all the games (not just education) are designed so that a person will learn. The first level is always simple, the player is easily drawn into the process checks the various strategies of action and their own skills. With each level the tasks become more complex, and most games are made so that people continued to learn throughout the script.
It is getting a new experience is the key to increasing interest in the player, and this is the secret pleasure of video games. When nothing happens, and you do not push to learn, enthusiasm disappears. Man stops playing.
So, very few adults love the classic "Tic-Tac-Toe" - all win strategy has already learned by heart.
But as long as the game will require you to zeal and diligence, the hippocampus will be included in the process, but the player himself - to enjoy it passes.
If you ever thought about why, failing 20 times in a row one level in Angry Birds, are making a new attempt to again and again, for this phenomenon has a scientific explanation. Such enthusiasm - the result of neurological activation scenario. For non-gamers such behavior may seem irrational and obsessive. But this is exactly what the steady state, which should be expected from a person whose brain is fully focused on achieving the goal. In addition, after passing a level gamer becomes more confident, thanks to the knowledge and experience.
And what is most interesting: if a person is in a state of clinical depression, two areas of the brain insufficiently stimulated, and these are the same regions that are stimulated well when we play video games.
In the neurological sense, the game is the direct opposite of depression.
When the area of the brain responsible for motivation, are not active enough, we do not expect any rewards and success. As a consequence, we cease to believe in themselves, become pessimistic and lose the desire to do anything. Low stimulation of the brain area means that there is no active circulation. Thus, long-term depression and lack of motivation can lead to the fact that we will lose the ability to learn.
The most common interpretation of the results of the survey tells us that depression can be cut short by a video game. Apparently, those players who are in the clinical condition, can engage in self-games. Gamers often experience a sense of relief, get rid of the symptoms of depression and enjoy.
But, of course, no one offers to treat depression in video games - it's quite a dangerous path. A player may distance themselves from their own problems or deal with the suppression of unpleasant emotions. Many people do use the game to escape into a world of illusion and the least possible contact with reality.
The fact that video games are changing our mood, should not scare you. The fact that you need to sit down for a game with a purpose: for example, to develop creativity (Minecraft), decide problem (Portal), to improve family relationships (Scrabble), to increase resistance to stress (League of Legends).
Researchers have found that if you play on purpose, it is possible to increase the self-confidence and develop skills needed in the real world. Playing to get better (what you want), you lower the risk of depression and become more resilient to changing life circumstances.
In order to benefit the game, you need to keep in mind the goals you want to achieve. Then of gaming as such becomes an empty pastime, but a real training.