Helping a teammate in the middle of a Dota 2 final is not just a strategic act, it's also an act of mutual aid, complicity and solidarity.

Beyond the eternal controversies designating video games as a catalyst for violence among young people, they are also a transmitter of moral and social values ​​to the point of being seen as interesting clinical tools.

From Mario to Rayman, from Lara Croft to Solid Snake, from your guild on WoW to your unbeatable team on Fortnite: what do video games transmit to us on a human, societal but also physiological level?

In this article :

  • The benefits of video games on us and our society
  • The disadvantages, the video game does not only do good

The video game, a vector of different values

Alongside its entire economic model, video games can be seen as a second school in which it is possible to learn, understand and improve.

Since the arrival of Pong in 1972, video game culture has continued to evolve, crossing generations, trends and forging new practices. Whatever some may think, video games are a key piece in the building of our society ... and here's why!

healthy video games

The video game, as a school of life and reason

We won't go so far as to say that Samus Aran is the equivalent of Socrates or a civics teacher, but gamers have been shown to develop a greater sense of morality than non-gaming individuals .

A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology affirms that adolescent gamers acquire a greater moral sense, since they are constantly subjected through games to make choices: should we fight or spare this criminal? should we help and abandon this stranger at the risk of losing some of our resources? Should we find Princess Peach?

By presenting complex moral dilemmas through their stories, video games question our thought process and our value system , both in and out of the game.

With games like Last of Us where our adventure is linked to the NPC that accompanies us (Ellie!!), games like GTA and Red Dead Redemption where our avatar sometimes has to make choices between good and evil, video games upset our relationship to ethics and help us to understand in a more nuanced way the moral complexity of our civilization.

Video games are interactive content loaded with stories that allow us to reason , but also to apprehend situations that we sometimes encounter in life and question us about our own choices.

The video game as a place of thoughts and messages

Many games make it possible to apprehend elements of our history or to understand the complexity of a situation linked to our society.

From our relationship to ecology with games like Sim City , where we have to monitor the level of pollution in our city, to our relationship with technology, as in the latest game from the French studio Quantic Dream, Detroit: Become Human , the video game conveys messages and confronts us with real facts that are part of our daily lives.

Video games are true mirrors of our world and its crises and it helps us, through a fun activity, to understand the mechanics and the problems that stand before us.

The video game as an engine of openness to others

You must know this cliché of the shy nerd who looks suspiciously like Napoleon Dynamite. Video games have very often been linked to these clichés of asocial individuals cloistered in their bedrooms . Fortunately, today, we are no longer there, although shyness may still exist.

Since the democratization of MMORPGs and massively multiplayer games, video games have entered a new dimension. It has opened up the possibility for gamers to interact – within a game itself – with other players and thereby create strong and active communities. Gaming has thus become over the past ten years a new way of getting in touch with others.

Video games good for the brain

Video games have become a special meeting place. It unites people, players, who gather around a stream, an e-sport match or in the middle of a game of Among Us .

There is a new sharing, a vibrant and entertaining interaction that gives rise to new experiences of community life. It's a new form of socialization , which has helped many of us open up to others and discover ourselves.

The video game as a charitable and humanitarian actor

Gamer communities around the world, in addition to the many enthusiasts and fans who accompany them, have now become true philanthropists. Video games have become a new lever for solidarity.

It is the great popularity of e-sports that has made all this possible. In 2017, the Zevent gaming marathon raised funds to help those affected by storm Irma. By broadcasting their performances live on Twitch, around thirty streamers managed to raise more than 450,000 euros for the Red Cross.

Therefore, we can say today that video games have become a new actor of solidarity thanks to communities of players who set up charitable events, which sometimes even go beyond the game.

Video games as a physiological and cognitive stimulant

Over the past two decades, video games have also been at the center of medical and clinical research. Numerous tests have made it possible to discover at what level the playful video activity acts on our body.

  • action on our visual attention

Battlefield , Warzone , Call Of , who would have thought that these games could have a positive effect on our attention and our visual faculties?

A study published in 2003 in the famous journal Nature stated that the ocular capacity of gamers weakened less quickly than that of non-gamers. They would have a better apprehension of space but also better motor skills in the environment.

Nevertheless, we must not forget that the prolonged practice of video games alters the health of our eyes and that protective glasses are generally recommended. To protect yourself, we recommend that you consult our guide .

  • action on our cognitive performance

A few years ago, German researchers invited about 50 adults to play Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes a day for two months. By analyzing the brain scan before and after the test, they discovered an increase in gray matter in certain parts of the brain (those related to orientation in space). The video game would increase our cognitive faculties.

Many other studies have also discovered that video games can awaken children or slow down brain aging.

video game good for memory

  • action on certain shortcomings and pathologies

Yes, video games have unsuspected benefits! Other studies, including the one published by Italian researchers in Current Biology, have confirmed that gaming activity helps to alleviate reading problems or even dyslexia in young gamers.

Video games also reduce hyperactivity and concentration problems. What to be calm like Sam Fischer!

The video game, the dark side of the Force

unhealthy video games

Despite a long list of qualities, video games also have their share of disadvantages : enough for the WHO to include " video game disorder " in its international classification of diseases in 2018.

Video game disorder is defined by 3 criteria :

  1. inability to stop (or loss of control)
  2. loss of interest in other activities
  3. the continuation of the game despite negative consequences on his entourage (social, professional or family)

Addiction to video games is real in some individuals. It can turn into a serious addiction.

Apart from this pathology, it is good to remember that video games can alter other mechanisms of our life or our organism:

  • sight : we talk about it quite often here. Prolonged screen time can accelerate the aging of your eyes. Protect your pupils here !
  • Obesity : Sitting for long hours raising your character's level on FF15 doesn't require a lot of muscular effort. Do not forget to get some fresh air, take breaks, have a sporting activity and always eat well to avoid other health concerns: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression... Moreover, as- Have you ever had the opportunity to read our dietary recommendations on this article ?
  • the trivialization of violence : ah here it is, finally, the eternal refrain of video game critics. Whether we agree or not, video games immerse us in playful and fictional universes. Some fragile individuals can sometimes lose the sense of reality... but again, this remains rare cases. So be careful, always.

The final word: video games, good or bad?

It is a certainty today, the world of video games goes beyond the simple playful act . In recent years, communities have grown stronger, games have become more and more complex and interesting. All this transformation has had a large impact on the players but also on society.

At Horus X, we like to see how this whole universe evolves, by also bringing our stone to the building by offering a product that protects your sight so that this magnificent community of gamers can continue to grow in the best conditions .

Tagged: Gaming