It might be hard to believe for some, but gaming can actually be good in many ways for the players, it can even be quite useful in the recovery for some serious health issues . This is why we dug up some scientific information to share with you in this matter. This could prove useful to support your point in a conversation about gaming!
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-Videogames as Therapy : An Updated Selective Review of the Medical and Psychological LiteratureInternational Journal of Privacy and Health Information Management Volume 5 • Issue 2 July-December 2017
-Online Gaming During the COVID-19 Pandemic in India:
Strategies for Work-Life Balance
Kritika Premnath Amin & Mark D. Griffiths & Deena Dimple Dsouza, 2020
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Welcome travelers to Getting Gamers: your Guide to Understanding the gamers in your life. I'm your host, Juke, my pronouns are they them,
and I am Perf. My pronouns are he him, and today we're going to talk about the benefits of gaming.
I think we've teased this probably a few times that there are benefits to gaming. It's just, it's a subject that we're relatively passionate about.
Of course, I am
Perf did the majority of the research on this topic, and the sources or the links will be in the description. And I only really watched one report, is it called a report document. It wasn't a documentary was like a news report.
Yeah, we can go in news report. Yeah,
I watched a news report about a study. So that's all I got.
As for me, there would be three main researches that would be used for this episode. But there's plenty more in the main one I'm going to talk about today.
Yeah. And generally, like there's a lot of research about the benefits of gaming. So if it's a subject you're interested in, or a subject that you want to make your parent or your girlfriend or your boyfriend understand. You can easily find a lot of really good articles on this subject. But before we get into it perfect. What video games have you been playing recently?
I've been playing quite a lot of Hearthstone. Because this weekend, I had a friendly tournament. And it went very well, actually. Because I won it. Victory indeed. So I'm gonna brag about it for a few weeks, but then I'm gonna be okay.
Yeah. If you guys are wondering what it was like to live with perf when he wins tournaments,
shout out to Zik and Divi, I beat the crap out of them this weekend. That's not true. It's true for Zik, but divi is actually the only one that beat me this weekend.
Yeah, but you still beat him because he won
I did win, Let's say it wasn't, it wasn't as clean as it could have been.
Mm hmm, I get that. Before we get into our subject. If there are terms that we've said in this episode that you don't understand. We will be coverin all of it throughout this podcast. But we do have a website, getting gamers on which we build a glossary that we update, as we cover terms on the podcast. And you can check out our our old episodes to see if we covered any of the terms that we say today. But you can also tweet us or write to us on Facebook, they'll let us know what what you need us to cover and what you need to be explained. So getting gamers on Twitter and on Facebook, you want to hit us with some knowledge.
I can do that. First, I'd like to mention that online gaming has been reported very effective by the World Health Organization collaborative campaign, since it's offering the population an activity that is both good for social distanciation respect.
Yeah, and I mean, like the World Health Organization is something I feel like nowadays with COVID and everything, we hear a lot about the WHO. So it feels really cool that they recognize gaming
I was actually surprised when I read the article that this organization was recognizing the benefits of gaming too. I actually use this article to follow through one of their reference, which has been the main source of information for this whole episode, actually. this research was underlying the fact that most engagement in gaming is a positive one.
Like engagement, like speaking to people and stuff like that, or just gaming in general
gaming in general.
Okay, so not just like the social part.
I was surprised. So I went in further. And there was indeed a lot of research on the positive benefits of playing video games. And most of it is related to people of course, that have a moderate activity with gaming,
addiction and, and extremism exists in all spheres of life.
True, but it is a very, very small percentage of gamers.
Yeah. And speaking about addiction. There is an episode that we do want to do about gaming addiction. But we're holding out because perf met someone who could be really cool to interview and would be a good, like, almost like a professional reference, right?
Yeah, it would be a professional reference Exactly.
But with COVID happening right now, it's a little hard to, it's a little hard to record with people and interview people. the basis of this podcast is interviewing various gamers, but we still have to stay safe during this quarantine time. So for a bit, we might not be able to interview that many people. And there might be some subjects that we hold out and wait for specific guests to be able to come on. So what were you gonna say before I interrupted you?
I was going with the fact that researches about video games are dating way back to the 1980s. Actually,
that's crazy. They've been researching the benefits of gaming almost since the beginning of video.
Yeah. And that's what I was surprised. That's really cool. And even back then they were pointing out the positive effects that gaming can have, which were an increase in reaction times, and improved hand eye coordination, and increased spatial visualization, and arrays in players self esteem.
And in the news report that I saw, they mentioned that there was improvements in reaction time concentration, multitasking, changing between tasks, vision, like peripheral vision, and like contrast perception, stuff like that.
Well, that is interesting, because in the conference I assisted that is also the special guests that I want to have on the podcast. We're reporting pretty much the same thing, actually. Because it says it's helping with a better observation and a peripheral vision capacities, a better reaction time, a better ability to multitask, and improvement in creativity in small mortar skills and also in analysis and problem solving.
Yeah. And like studies confirming each other.
yeah that's very important in the research field that many different sources are saying the same thing.
And of course, all of this takes into account that the player is playing moderately, and is eating properly, and having exercise and doing the basic everyday things to make sure that you're living a good life.
Yeah, just like you should do even if you're gaming or not,
yeah, like, no matter what activity what you're doing, you should still be taking care of yourself. And if you're hoping to get benefits out of any activity that you're doing, then you absolutely have to be taking care of yourself. Especially like Sleep, sleep is extremely important to consolidate skill. So if you want to get all these benefits that we're talking about, when we're talking about gaming, you have to have enough sleep and be eating and do your workout. Like we mentioned in another episode, but also, we mentioned a lot when we talk about Grubby, Grubby always does, like his squats at the end of a stream and stuff like that. And I think it's a great way to remind gamers that if we're going to be sitting down for a really long time we got to get those. We got to get that blood circulation going.
Exactly. And to recap the optimal level of benefits from video games. It was important to play many different kinds of video games. Yeah. And to not access about four hours a week.
Yes. Because in the study in the report that I saw, they were mentioning that there's they were mentioning all these benefits that you get from gaming. But then they were explaining at a certain point. Isn't that the more you play, the more benefits you get? Like Yes, at first, if you're going to play five minutes versus 15 minutes, you're going to get more benefits from playing 15 minutes, but there's a certain amount of time where the benefits plateau. And I'm guessing that's where the the four hour mark would
You play more than four hours a week. That's not true. No,
You definitely play more than four hours a week. I think just with the daily quests that I'm trying to get done in Hearthstone, even I might exceed the four hours a week, and I really don't play a lot.
I don't think that over four hours a week is considered problematic. But over that amount, you're not gonna get any better or
Yeah, the benefits plateau after four hours, it doesn't mean that more than four hours is detrimental. I'm sure that there's an amount of time that is detrimental. And we will probably try to find that out for our cyber addiction episode. But it isn't four hours a week.
Yeah, it is in the DSM right now. So it's a lot of clinical.
The DSM has, like an amount of time,
maybe not that amount of time, the there's a specific characteristic you have to fill to be considered a problematic user.
Okay, but there's no amount of hours.
I don't have it right now.
Okay. To be determined to be exactly. But yeah, about the the variety of games. The the research that I had seen, they had compared simulation and puzzle games versus shooting games and action games. And they do that study, they used a base of players that don't play video games, or rarely play video games, and made them play like a moderator time of hours per week, and decided the benefits in cognitive faculties and visual faculties were greater with those that played the shooting games and the action games. And they found that they really had remarkable improvements compared to the ones that played simulation and puzzle games, and that they were 10 to 12%, faster, like there and the reaction time was 10 to 12%, faster than the other group. But then again, see, they were only they were only looking at cognitive and visual benefits. And that was for shooter games. So I can imagine simulation and puzzle games are going to have tremendous benefits. In other faculties. Another thing that was mentioned, is that the benefits that you can get from gaming are greater, the younger you are, I'm sure that there's a like I remember learning among in my classes that like children, under the age of three years old, shouldn't be in front of a screen, I don't remember if it was two or three years old. But like I'm sure there's a there's a beginning age where kids need to not be staring at screens. But after that there is a certain benefits are starting younger because your brain is developing. And we all know that like if you want to get a certain muscle bigger than you got to practice it. And then the way I see it, is if I want to work on certain muscles in my brain, which could be cognitive faculties visual stuff, puzzles, whatever working on that, while my brain is developing is going to amplify the benefits. I think that's true in any circumstances. The other thing that I found super interesting from the news reports that I was watching is that the study that they were, like referring to and this was actually partly funded by the Navy research department. And that's because the benefits you get from gaming can be really, really beneficial for a variety of different careers. And in the army. There's a few of those and they even mentioned surgeons like the benefits that you can get from gaming and the fine motor skills and all that stuff.
it's funny that you're talking about the Navy because the military also is also reaping benefits from the gaming world. But it's mainly really it's not related to job but mainly to therapeutic context. Okay, in which they can actually mitigate the flashbacks they get from traumatic experiences,
because they found evidence that suggests that video games act as a protective mechanism versus nightmares and into into developing different coping skills.
So they would play games that are like specially made to help them avoid their nightmares
mainly puzzle games will have specifically of benefits.
Okay, so like working that part of your brain. by just doing puzzle games is gonna help you have better control over like your flashbacks.
That's what it's saying. Nice. Also, the text says that curiosity fun and the nature of the challenge also appear to have to a games therapeutic potential, in addition to some educational benefits that you would have mainly with younger People, I don't know if any of you remember the game adibou? Remember that? It's an educational game for where you have to do some maths, you have to do French exercises. And you had some real food rewards. Or it was it was very childish, but it was
I can, but I can see I'm sure I played something like that as a kid, like a math game. That's like Lion King themed or something.
Pretty sure people, at least people my age remembers. It was in school programs, too.
Yeah, it was in French, though. Okay. All these games also have positive effects and cognitive skills, like you mentioned a little bit earlier, which are being better at task switching, top down attentional control, which means being more efficient with the knowledge you already have. And finally, there's sub second time perception, which matches faster reaction time. And then there are also areas that can be held, including perceptual disorders, conceptual thinking, attention, concentration, memory, spatial cognition, mental rotation, creativity computation, visual plasticity, executive functioning, processing, speed, fluid intelligence, subjective cognitive performance, and difficulties with language. And all these concepts are underlying the fact that gaming can also help people that have more severe problems. I'm gonna, I'm gonna say ADHD. But it is an important thing to mention. Yeah, it's also helping with people with Down syndrome, people that have suffered cranial cerebral trauma. And apparently, it's also helping with stroke patients because it stimulates parts of their brain that have been damaged for various accidents. And it's helping their recovery time.
That's really cool. But I can see how it like being being someone who has ADHD, I can see how it could help with ADHD because you're, you're practicing decision making, and you're like refining your impulses when you're gaming.
Exactly. I read it, and it was actually good for decision making.
Well, I can imagine that like, I remember, we were playing Hearthstone and Divi and perf, they coach me a lot inhearthstone, like perf the most, we live together. But whenever divi comes over, that happens a lot of the times where that guy's we're just gonna coach me while I play a game. And Divi was saying, it's always your turn, its never not your turn. Because when someone else's turn, you're planning your next play. And I kind of just laughed because, for those who don't know hearthstone, it's a card game on the computer.
It's all very new a map in which you can just fidget by mass clicking everything that's in it.
Yeah, you can spam click a bunch of the stuff in the peripherals of the screen, like on the side of where you're playing. And those things are gonna have reactions. Like if there's little, if there's a castle, you can like tap this, the window and the window eventually will break and stuff like that. And I laughed, because I was telling Divi like, why would this screen be spam clickable. If I have to focus on my turn, focus, I'm clicking all over the place. And now I have to practice not clicking all over the place and doing the satisfying clicky breaking thing on the screen. And doing the less satisfying thing of reading my cards and planning my play, which in a long run will be more satisfying because there's more chances I win the game. So it's like working all these muscles that I have to work on. In my everyday ADHD life.
It's also very good for spatial temporal
time and space?
Yeah, in time and space. I mean, the very thing you are discouraged by in Resident Evil and all the games in third person view
having to control the camera. Yes, hate having to control the game
but its very good. Because it's practices all your peripheral vision and your ability to coordinate movements.
I still feel like the games would be better if I didn't have to control the camera.
But it's been proven to help people like you.
Yeah, no, I'm sure I'm sure it can. Like, I just get so frustrated when I have to play and then I'm shooting and I turn around and I can't see what I'm doing because I forgot to move the camera. But I'm also a person who has a hard time locating my body in regards to my environment. So
yeah, but the thing you just mentioned, it's exactly the thing which which is gonna help you.
Yeah, I believe it
is gonna help you. Yeah, but it's time to talk about the elderly.
Oh, yes. Something I just adore about old people playing video games,
elderly people can also reap some benefits from gaming. As it can improve their self esteem, their well being and their mental functioning.
They say the self esteem, like the rest of it, because of everything we talked about this episode, the rest of it makes sense. But the self esteem when I think of old people gaming, I just imagine an old person getting frustrated at technology because they can't get it to work, you know. So the whole self esteem part is hard for me to imagine, because I imagine them getting mad. But obviously, we're talking about a situation where these are games that are made for old people to use
pretty sure it's gonna be more like puzzle games. Yeah, instead of full, integrated survival or Yeah. Like resident immersive and very traumatic, almost, I don't think that's the kind of game that's going to help them. No, but I would be willing to pay to see one play.
Yeah, well, I'm sure you could get my grandma, my grandma is willing to try anything, you can talk her into trying Resident Evil, but it's gonna take a long time. It wouldn't last long.
pretty sure I would love to see that happen, in any case, is mainly related to puzzle game, I think. And it's also related to the fact that it stimulates their brain, usually they don't have a lot of activities or tasks that are requiring much of their attention and brainpower. And I know I'm over generalizing here. Yeah.
But it's as much as gaming, that is what you're trying to say. activities in their life that require as much attention and brainpower as gaming.
Please don't send all your all your grandmother and grandfather after me after when I said,
we're gonna get hate mail from, like 80 year old people that their grandson gossips to,
on a more serious note, it would be related to the fact that it's stimulating part of the brain, let's say the hippocampus, which is a heavily affected by Alzheimer's. And since it's stimulating this region of the brain, it would help people not recover, but at least slow the process of disbarred degrading in your brain.
So basically, working parts of the brain that work the hippocampus would help it from deteriorating less.
Yeah, it's part of the major a, it's a major part of Alzheimer's, okay. But I was saying that gaming can help in pain management, because it is an effective distractor because it requires a lot of your attention at the same time and also motor skills. So most of your focus is on the gaming instead of being an the pain that you can feel for whatever reason.
Okay, so it's all about drawing your attention away from the pain.
Exactly. And it's so efficient that it can actually reduce your need for paid painkillers. It has been proven. It's been proven with kids and other people in another ongoing chemotherapy. The kids that are gaming require less of painkillers. Really? Yeah. That was also
I wonder what type of games they're playing. I guess it's just as long as it takes up a lot of your attention span, or just a lot of your attention in general.
Yeah, it's just in general, because it's amongst all the things we've said so far. The pain distraction thing? is the one that you can generalize for every games.
Oh, yeah. Okay, because there's a lot of the stuff we were saying was specific to games like me and the shooter games, making people feel faster in reaction time. But then this applies to all games.
Yeah, it will. It doesn't require a therapeutic context or a special type of games. Okay. Last but not least, it's not very new at this point. But it's been proven to be very useful in a lot of other clinical disorders. And it's their virtual reality. A lot of therapists are starting to use more and more virtual therapy.
in one of my classes last semester, I don't know what the word is in English, but it was in I think, psychocriminologie or psychopathologie
in that class, my teacher was explaining that they use some virtual reality for people who have schizophrenia or other types of disorders where you have either like auditory or visual hallucinations have often a mean character. And this mean character is going to tell you to do bad things orstuff like that like it. Like schizophrenics have that sometimes a voice that tells them to, like hit their little sister or something like that, but they don't actually want to, but the voice is telling them too. And there's this program that therapists are using where the patient gets to kind of create a visual of that voice that they're hearing, or like the mean character that they're hallucinating, and they get to visually create it and then interact with that character that they've been hallucinating
what you're mentioning right here is the exact reason why this kind of therapy works because it's called... it uses exposition.
what's a term for exposed to what is causing you fear or is the source of your problem. Okay, so you can develop coping skills, that that's what the therapist doing with you is making. He's putting you inside a context where you are confronted to his problems you've got, and you've got to develop coping skills to overcome it.
Okay, so exposure therapy,
exposure, therapy. That's what,
like, when we were talking in episode, I don't know what when we were talking about the violence and gaming episode. We mentioned your fear of zombies. I guess that's kind of what you did is a bit of an exposure therapy.
It was clearly exposure therapy. Yeah. In a sense,
but just it wasn't VR. It was gaming. Yeah.
And it's been proven to help love those clinical disorders that exist anxiety disorder, acrophobia was that fear of heights, claustrophobia. Panic Disorder, agoraphobia, fear of flying, driving phobia, spider phobia, and even post traumatic stress disorder.
Hmm. The phobia I can imagine a lot of it because it just exposure therapy. Like if you use VR and hold a spider, or you use VR to pretend you're in a plane or something, it's gonna help you get used to like that scenario. But the PTSD is kind of surprising, because I'm trying to think like, oh do they put someone back into the traumatic scenario? Or, like, I'd be interested in, in knowing more about how they What do you do for PTSD? And VR? You know, like, I can't imagine someone having PTSD of like an, of being like, attacked, and then putting them in a VR situation where they're getting attacked.
To be honest, I don't know specifics. but you can search it because we're gonna put in the description. I've got something helpful at the end. Also, that's gonna help you with all these sources. But yeah, and surprisingly, not so surprisingly, but this virtual reality was proven to be actually very helpful with anxiety disorders.
Yeah, I wonder what they do for anxiety too, you know? Because like, what's the exposure? I mean, it's not the same as like a phobia where you can clearly do an exposure therapy, sometimes anxiety is more ambiguous, you know,
it's usually step by step, so it's not going to be a one time deal. Yeah, it's gonna be a slow exposure. They're not going full on right off the bat. If you have fear of spiders. Yeah, they're gonna make you think about it first, they're gonna put you in an environment in which there can be spiders. Maybe they're gonna just gonna make you look and stare at spider web for a while and then whoops, there's one spider, maybe there's gonna be a flood of spiders. And then you're gonna be confronted to spiders going through your skin.
Okay, stop. Everybody just clicked off the podcast.
Pretty sure that's what's gonna happen. Well, yeah, I know. There's a lot of stuff in everything I've said so far today, of course, it's only the surface of everything. I'm here to pique your curiosity and make us search for some more information. But I'm pretty sure there's a lot of things you can learn and even things that can help you or someone you know, go through some specific disorders. I'm not saying I'm not saying it's Gonna be a miracle option, but it could be another option.
Yeah. And like obviously, we're not doctors. We're just here to bring up some interesting topics and the next time your mom complains about your video games, you can send her this episode and tell her Look, these two weirdos are going to explain to you the benefits of gaming. Our episodes are not always going to be this fact heavy. But yeah, once in a while, we're gonna have some episodes like this where we're, we're heavier on the research, but generally our episodes are more conversational fun. Laid back type episodes. And this was our version of laid back research.
That's right. I am somewhat of a scientific myself.
He is a huge nerd.
I am. Approved nerd.
mm stamped seal of approval stamp of nerdiness. Yes, yes.
This is a real good merch idea
seal of approval like a stamp nerd approved.
Yes. It's ours. dont take it.
I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. Like I said earlier, you can always write to us about anything you didn't understand. Or if we got something wrong, please write to us. Because we want to make sure that everything we say is accurate. And we want to correct our mistakes whenever we do make mistakes. So perf Do you have anything to plug today?
I do. I would like to give a little shout out to the Sci hub that will be helpful in any of your research. So I'm gonna put the link into the description as well.
Sci hub is to find research and like, just more like it's basically like Google Scholar.
Not exactly, it's a site that enables you to actually access any article you would like
Well, then go check out Sci hub. That's perf's plug today. And if you want to find the podcast, you can obviously Find us on Twitter and on Facebook @gettinggamers. There's an S at the end. And you can find me on Twitch, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter. And maybe Reddit and I'm @Juke_ish. And I think that's it for today guys.
Thank you so much. Oh, before I forget, I always forget. And it's on my checklist but I always forget. Please, please rate and review the podcast. It helps us so much. It helps us be more visible to others. If you can share this podcast with your mom or your girlfriend, your boyfriend. Share it with gamers share it with non gamers. everybody this is this is where everyone man shall share the love share the nerdiness
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Alright guys, well thank you so much for listening. gg