As long as you live an active lifestyle, gaming can help with your mental health in a variety of ways.
Two new independent studies demonstrate the potential for computer and video games to enhance players' cognitive functions and increase their overall well-being, bolstering existing research pointing to video games' positive impacts.
In one study, researchers at the University of Padua in Rome found there may be a correlation between playing action video games and improved individual reading levels among children with dyslexia. In the study, published online in Current Biology, researchers directed one group of 10 dyslexic children to play action video games for nine, 80-minute sessions. A separate group of 10 dyslexic children played non-action games for the same amount of time. The researchers measured participants' attention levels and reading skills before and after they played to assess the games' impact.
According to the study, kids who played action games scored significantly higher than those who played non-action games across several measures, including reading speed and accuracy, recognizing words made of random letters, and reaction time. Action game players also scored higher on tests that measured attention by introducing distractions as the children tried to accomplish various visual and auditory tasks.
"Our findings... pave the way for low-resource-demanding early prevention programs that could drastically reduce the incidence of reading disorders," said Dr. Andrea Facoetti, the study's lead researcher.