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Do video games improve reflexes or not?

Video games, as well as the first-person gamers themselves and in general the entire video game industry, have long been accustomed to being the subject of media attacks by television broadcasts and other media with the accusation of being deleterious to health and the development of younger children.

In recent times, however, this not exactly positive trend, which is still not supported by concrete evidence today, would seem to have received some push in the opposite direction thanks to some scientific studies that would seem to demonstrate instead that video games could have some positive effects on the growth and development of children and teenagers – naturally if used without excess and with the correct methods of use.

In particular, a study by the University of Rochester (New York, USA) conducted by Daphne Bavelier and C. Shawn Green of the Center for Visual Science has in fact highlighted that boys in the age group from 18 to 23 who can be identified as regular gamers – that is, young people who spend at least 4 hours a week in contact with video games – would seem to have a much higher capacity to respond to the visual stimuli of the environment around them than those of their peers who do not play video games.

Specifically, the skills that improve in the sample of young gamers concern the ability to maintain attention on multiple different visual stimuli, the number of details that are recorded by observing an image for a very short period of time, and the breadth of the visual field that it can be kept under control by a single person at the same time. Furthermore, the young players are able to identify and distinguish sequential visual stimuli even extremely fast and close together, even at intervals of only 200-500 milliseconds between one and the other.

Finally, the same study instead highlighted and demonstrated that, by making non-gamers exercise daily with action or logic games, the latter was able to improve the quality and alertness of their reflexes within a few days. In general, it is, therefore, possible to say that proven scientific studies confirm that continued use of video games allows young gamers to improve their reflexes, in addition to other important qualities.



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