Video Games as Medical Aid

Video games can be a controversial subject. They can arouse contradictory discussions, being able to incite people to take equally passionate opposite stances, for or against them. However, there is another side to video games that is less known and less talked about: their medical use. In this field, video games are quite the opposite of harmful, helping physicians in the treatment of various disorders, such as dyslexia, multiple sclerosis, or amblyopia (“lazy eye”).

In the case of dyslexics, it has been shown that they can improve their comprehension of what they have read, after playing action video games. The scientists believe that this is because this type of games demands intense focus from the players, their environments, challenges, and opponents changing sometimes constantly, and sometimes unpredictably.

In regards to multiple sclerosis, a disorder affecting multiple nerves, one study has shown that some video games can improve the sufferers’ balance, a problem with which they often struggle. The patients had to stand on balance boards while playing various video games that required physical interaction while standing.

Amblyopia is a third example of a beneficial use of video games. Another study had its patients play video games for forty hours, using only their “lazy” eye, the other one being obscured. The subjects have shown improvement, in some cases the vision being even normalized.

In conclusion, the objective results of several medical studies can serve as evidence for the fact that video games, in general, are not harmful, some of them even, under the right conditions, being quite beneficial for the people playing them.

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