A couple of times each year, some no-name “study” comes along heralding video games as a trojan horse for brain development.
Some of the more common headlines: Video games increase hand-eye coordination, video games give you ninja fast reflexes, and most recently, video games augment decision making.
They’re all lies, of course.
Like other forms of entertainmentâ€”including movies, music, and TVâ€”video games are really good at distracting humans for extended periods of time. That’s all.
Want to enhance brain development? Read a book. They’ll fuel anger, provoke self-analysis, teach language, and inspire ideas better than any other medium.
Wanna build hand-eye coordination? Play sports, Operation, or try to catch flies with chop sticks.
Want to augment decision making (whatever that means)? Get a job, study economics, launch a business, or start a family, I suppose.
Now if you want to escape into a hands-on world of audio-visual awesomeness, play a video game. They’re awesome at that. Some of them are even super creative and artistic to boot. Or super competitive. Or super socialâ€”all awesome side effects of gaming.
But please don’t tell me I’ll be smarter for playing them. I won’t be. Anything suggesting otherwise smacks of insecurity.