Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Video Gaming Debate

The video gaming debate? What video gaming debate, you may well ask. We all know that playing video games, computer games, Gameboy games... call them what you will... is a bad idea, right?

Right. So I was understandably shaken when I read the following:

"Before you assume gadgets and video games fry the minds of the future, consider this: Canadian researchers are finding evidence that the high-speed, multitasking of the young and wireless can help protect their brains from aging."
(Better living through video games?, CAROLYN ABRAHAM, Globe and Mail)

Research carried out on 100 students in Toronto suggests that playing video games provides benefits in exercising the mind. Video gamers become skilled at shutting out distractions in order to be able to switch attention between different tasks.

In effect, the study suggests that playing video games may help you learn the skill of multitasking. But before you rush off to play Doom - or whatever it is teenagers play nowadays - consider this: multitasking is not always a desirable thing. Multitasking can lead to stress and burnout in certain individuals. If you want to find out how susceptible you are to stress in a multitasking situation, please purchase a Working Style Analysis profile from our website (

Also, bear in mind that video gaming can become addictive. To see whether you or your family are at risk, please see our earlier blog on Internet Safety.

So, to video game or not to video game, that is the question. Well, here is a thought for you: remember our recent blog about the benefits of knowing more than one language? Consider this: video gamers consistently outperform their non-playing counterparts in tricky mental tests... BUT... if they also happened to be bilingual, they are invincible.

In other words, if you want to be on the safe side, instead of perfecting your Nintendo skills, you might like to consider learning Esperanto. :-)

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