We should be playing more video games

Dallas Murray, Editor

As school starts back up for the year, students will see their fair share of homework, quizzes, tests, football games, fine arts performances and much more.

With much more on our plates than during summer, more and more parents will tell us that we shouldn’t put video games into the mix, as a) they waste our time and b) they turn our brains into mush. However, and dare I say it, mother, video games can actually help us in the long run.

Video games are actually proven to make students smarter. A study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences proved that those who played violent action games such as Call of Duty and Fortnite have a greater capacity to learn than those who played non-violent action games and non-action games, such as The Sims and Minecraft.

After a nine-week period playing 50 hours of games, participants took a test to distinguish between rapidly-flashing black and white lines. Those who played violent action games were better able to predict a pattern and guess the next part of the pattern before it occurred.

Video games can also help students improve their social skills. Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York sent questionnaires to the parents and teachers of thousands of European children aged 6 to 11. Children who had a high video game usage were 1.75 times more likely to have high intellectual functioning than their non-gaming peers. Children who played a lot of video games were also 1.88 times more likely to have a high overall school competence.

Finally, video games help students reduce stress from our school life. A 2010 study from Texas A&M University proved that people who play violent video games long-term can “adopt mental skills to handle stress, become less depressed and get less hostile during stressful tasks,” per MakeUseOf.com.

Associate Professor Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson stated, “In this study, 103 young adults were given a frustration task. The results suggest that violent games reduce depression and hostile feelings in players through mood management.” Therefore, playing video games here and there could help students handle stress during the school week.

So, get out there and play some video games. Get some Fortnite wins, catch them all in Pokémon Go (if that’s still a thing), or play that new Spiderman game that everyone’s talking about. You’re helping your brain out in the process. Just remember, though, you’ve got homework to do.