Video Games Can Make You More Sociable. Or, You Know, They Could Ruin Your Brain. While gaming may make you more attentive visually, that might be outweighed by the negative effects on your brain.

By Steve Dent

entrepreneur daily

This story originally appeared on Engadget

Shutterstock

Gaming has well known dark sides, but it can also improve spatial skills, reduce stress and even bring families together. Two new studies may further confuse you about the benefits, with one concluding that gaming makes you friendlier in the real world, and another implying it could ruin your brain.

First the plus side: Texas Tech researchers think that cooperative gameplay, whether in violent or non-violent games, makes people nicer. "We found that playing with a helpful partner increases the expectation of others to reciprocate that pro-social behavior," said author John Velez. He added that teaming up even makes you "nicer to the other team... that just tried to beat you."

Playing cooperatively, rather than alone -- even online -- can stimulate gamers' empathy so much that it negates the aggressive effects of violent games and even carries over into the real world. Velez found that players were more likely to help out pals in social situations and less likely to be hostile to friend and foe alike. "What we found was cooperative play seems to have the biggest effect in terms of decreasing aggression toward other people," he said.

On the downside, because of the way that gaming stimulates your brain, it may increase your risk to neurological disorders like Alzheimer's Disease. Researchers from the Douglas Institute and Université de Montréal found that gamers tend to navigate their environment using the brain's reward center (the caudate nucleas), rather than using spatial memory from the hippocampus like non-gamers.

The results were hardly conclusive, and the team said that further studies should focus on specific games. But the study shows that while gaming may make you more attentive visually, that might be outweighed by the negative effects on your brain.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Social Media

With This LinkedIn Algorithm Change, Your Best Posts Could Reach New Readers for Years

It's one of many new features rolling out on the platform in 2024.

Growing a Business

5 AI Hacks You Need to Know About in 2024

Despite its vast potential, the key to leveraging AI effectively lies in balancing automation with human oversight to avoid pitfalls and ensure that creativity and decision-making remain human-driven.

Side Hustle

20 Side Hustle Ideas for Summer 2024: Part One

Instead of spending money this summer, prepare now to make extra cash through the following side hustles while still enjoying your free time.

Living

Gary Vaynerchuk on the Power of Authenticity and Accountability

The entrepreneur has built his success by prioritizing these two traits.

Living

The CEO of Catholic Prayer and Meditation App Hallow Says Founders Need to Be Part of Something Bigger Than Themselves

On this episode of "The CEO Series," learn about the soulful journey of Hallow's CEO and founder Alex Jones.

Business News

A Popular Online Store for Household Products That Disappeared Last Year Is Making a Comeback

Overstock's online store will reopen in collaboration with Shopify in the coming weeks.