Video games could be a controversial topic, especially among caregivers or parents concerned about the impacts of spending time in front of the gaming consoles. However, many people claim playing video games could make one smarter; however, intelligence is a broad concept. Various studies offer evaluation of video games and their benefits. Even then, numerous studies have indicated that video games significantly impact human cognition. Those who claim video games are beneficial to the cognitive mind claim that video games could enhance one’s attention span. Furthermore, they could improve the decision-making abilities and problem-solving skills in a competitive aspect and enhance learning and memory. Furthermore, video games could enhance the cognitive abilities valued mainly by society. On the other hand, various studies claim gaming had detrimental impacts on that shoed problematic gaming habits associated with the maladaptive coping strategies, poor school performance, and negative emotions. Besides, they could cause anxiety, stress, and even seclusion when addiction becomes severe. Hence, this study will conduct a literature review on the cognitive effects of video games.
Reynaldo et al. (2021) studied video games to enhance cognitive abilities and decision-making capabilities. The study aims to determine if video games could improve cognitive abilities and decision-making skills. Besides, the study wanted to find out the specific video games that affect a particular mental skill. Video games also offer a way to enhance human mental abilities. According to the study, various game genres impact the various cognitive subcategory. Reynaldo et al. (2021) conducted a qualitative study whereby the paper evaluated 37 literature and experimental reviews to conclude. The reviews’ results indicated that video games improved decision-making and mental abilities. Cognitive abilities like decision-making, attentional management, and perception are enhanced when the participants are trained to play video games. As for the video games genre, the players involved in the Real-Time strategy outperformed the First-person shooter players on the cognitive flexibilities as the First-person players seemed to have low switching costs at work. The study further noted that people like doctors and nurses showed more outstanding risk assessment and decision-making abilities.
Mayer et al. (2019) evaluated the ability of young adults to learn executive functions abilities through playing focused video games. The study aims to determine the probability of using computer games to enhance Mayer et al. (2019) mainly focused on the cognitive development of the executive operational abilities, like the young adults shifting their focus and attention from one specific task to the other. The study used cognitive consequences research as the most appropriate methodology to address the computer game’s instructional effectiveness in learning. The methodology compared the pretest to the after test gains in a specific cognitive skill of a group that engages in a particular game for a more extended period to the pretest to posttest results of another group that engages in the control game unassociated with the targeting ability for a similar amount of time. The study results indicated no convincing evidence of the games enhancing executive abilities. Furthermore, there is no consistent evidence showing that the long-term engagement in the cognitive training games improves performance in the non-game tests of the administrative operation like shifting.
Another study by Kühn et al. (2019) conducted a longitudinal evaluation on whether one could be aggressive by playing violent video games. According to the study, there are significant concerns that violent video games enhance aggression, increase impulsivity, minimize pro-social behaviors, and interfere with mood and cognition among the players. Even though the previous studies assessed the short-term impact of violent video gameplay on aggression, there are numerous reasons to think that the effects are due to priming.
The study experimented on ninety healthy participants recruited through the internet and flyers advertisements. The sample size entails college students and participants from the community. The participants played violent video games, including Grand Theft Auto and nonviolent games. According to the results by Kühn et al. (2019), they showed strong evidence against the constantly argued adverse impacts of violent video games among adults.
Hisam et al. (2018) assessed whether playing video games affected cognitive functions, particularly among ten Pakistani children. The study refers to cognition as the collection of the various mental methods and abilities associated with attention, working memory, decision making, and problem-solving. The cognitive methods utilize the existing sources of knowledge and generate current ideas. Hisam et al. (2018) note that the adoption of video games has increased exponentially, especially among the younger populations, thus resulting in claims that the persistent playing of the games improves the individual’s cognitive functions. The differing aspect between the media and video games is the interactive qualities.
The study conducted a comparative cross-sectional evaluation in various schools within Rawalpindi. There were almost 171 participants that were evaluated in the study through a mixed questionnaire. Two groups were distinct as being non-video gamers and video gamers. Video gamers were the learners that used video games for more than two hours. The Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test Questionnaire was used to determine the cognitive abilities among the students. Hisam et al. (2018) found out that the gamers exhibited better cognitive abilities, especially those that entailed processing speed, analogy, and the application of mathematical intelligence.
Green & Seitz (2015) discuss the effects of video games on cognition. Also, they offer insights on how the policies could help define the industry. According to the study, playing video games has become a prevalent American lifestyle. The significant upsurge in video game acceptance has resulted in a great interest among researchers to evaluate the effects of video games on behavior and the brain. Green & Seitz (2015) notes that even though not all commercial video games can result in impactful changes in a significant aspect of human conduct, including cognitive abilities. There has been a rise in brain games that are different from a video games in recent times. These are games created with the purposeful aim of improving cognitive abilities. Even though studies on the various brain games are still in existence, the results are not entirely positive. There are various reasons for more optimism whereby custom gams could be created that ensure a positive and lasting effect on human mental abilities. The study claims that there is a need for further research on the impact of electronic games on cognitive abilities.
Penuelas-Calvo et al. (2020) discuss video games use n the treatment and diagnosis of Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. They systematically evaluate the evidence concerning the video game-centered assessment evaluations and tools for the kids specifically diagnosed with ADHD. According to the research, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder are severe and prevalent disorders. Most evaluations using video games have indicated the ability to help kids’ welfare. Video games can contribute to the management and evaluation of the disorder. However, it is worth noting that there are no previous studies related to the topic. Hence, it is challenging to determine the actual effect of the video games used as an intervention for ADHD.
The study methodology applied Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews (PRISMA) and used the Meta-Analyses guidelines. The protocol review was recorded in the PROSPERO database. The systematic review evaluated works from various search engines, including Embase, PubMed, and PsycINFO, to determine the original studies that evaluate either the video game-center evaluation or the video game-based interventions. The study indicated that the video game-centered relaxing methods were well received and actually enhanced the cognitive aspects while minimizing the ADHD symptoms. Cognitive and gamification training could be the significant aspects that underlie the effectiveness and usefulness of video game-based evaluation interventions and tools.
Anguera& Gazzaley (2015) evaluate the connection between cognitive exercise, video games, and improved cognitive abilities. Even though various interventions have indicated the ability to improve the cognitive abilities varying from the more conventional methods such as exercise and nutrition to more digital and technological aspects like genetic therapies and pharmaceuticals. However, a controversial approach that has been ignored is the application of interactive digital media to help cognition, referred to as cognitive evaluation. Video games are created on two primary goals: sustained player engagement and enjoyment. Most modern video games entail intrinsic art and storylines to form an immersive environment for a great client experience.
The study leveraged the abilities associated with cognitive exercise and video games by creating a hybrid with the help of the video game professional to remediate and characterize the deficient cognitive management abilities among the older adults. The study’s findings showed that various aspects need to be evaluated when creating a cognitive training therapy and validating benefits.
Brühl & Sahakian (2016) discuss the cognition changes in teenagers after they play video games. The current research has indicated that video games could impact cognition among teenagers. However, it is uncertain whether the teen condition shifts in the short term after playing the games. Hence, the study evaluated the alterations in processing speed, discerning attention, cognitive flexibility, and constant attention at the various time intervals after the children played the games. The study used three varying tests: the Stroop Task, the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test, and the Sustained Attention to Response Task.
Additionally, they offered a 250 arithmetic test though it did not reveal the processing speed variations between the gamers. The study affirmed video games enhanced cognitive abilities through the experiment also indicated that the video game playing teems worse selective a sustained attention after they played the games. It would be necessary for future studies to increase the time variable to indicate how video games impact children’s cognition or attention after an extended time with a bigger sample size.
Unsworth et al. (2015) tested whether playing video games was associated with mental abilities. It evaluated the association between cognitive abilities and video-game encounters. The study used two experiments whereby the participants were tasked with various full intelligence, working memory, and attention management measures. They filled out questionnaires detailing their gaming encounters. The first experiment entailed an extreme groups evaluation which showed how the experienced players outperformed the non-players on the various mental test measures. However, in the first and second experiments, when the analyses evaluated the entire subjects’ range as task levels, the associations between cognitive skills and video games were almost zero. The results indicated doubts and unreliability on the suggestions that playing electronic games improves mental abilities. Methodological and statistical issues with the previous studies have also been noted in the study.
Zayeni et al. (2020) evaluate the significance of video games as therapeutic and preventive methods in adolescent and kid’s psychiatry. The study’s main aim was to determine the application and usefulness of using commercial and serious games as a therapeutic option in the prevention and treatment of psychological disorders among adolescents and children. The study notes that for the last ten years, psychiatry has been involved in the use of serious games and commercial video games. The games tend to become relevant adjuncts or options to conventional psychotherapy, mainly when the effectiveness of using a particular game is established. The study used a literature review of various articles that offered various perspectives on video games as a therapeutic option.
It is worth noting that even though video games have existed for a long time, it is until recent times that the technology has been applied in the medical field. The majority of parents and professionals often consider video games as entertainment, especially among children. The study by Zayeni et al. (2020) used various articles posted between January 2012 and July 2019. The study only included comparative studies that focused on the adolescent and children’s interventions, particularly with psychiatric disorders. The study results indicated that the commercially available and severe video games were an effective shift in psychotherapy, particularly in adolescent and child psychiatry. However, no longitudinal research will evaluate the persistent impacts of the games and the standards for considerable assessment of their effectiveness.
The study evaluates the effect of video games on cognitive abilities. The literature review evaluates nine studies that offer different conclusions regarding video games’ impact on cognitive abilities. Video games also offer a way to enhance human mental abilities. The participants who played violent video games showed strong evidence against the constantly argued adverse impacts of violent video games among adults. The cognitive methods utilize the existing sources of knowledge and generate current ideas; playing video games has become a pervasive aspect of American culture. Even though not all commercial video games can result in impactful changes in a significant aspect of human conduct, including cognitive abilities. There has been a rise in brain games that are different from a video games in recent times. Various interventions have indicated the ability to improve cognitive abilities varying from the more conventional methods such as exercise and nutrition to more digital and technological aspects like genetic therapies and pharmaceuticals. A controversial approach is the application of interactive digital media to help cognition, referred to as cognitive evaluation. Most of the studies indicated that video games were beneficial to cognitive abilities. Video games are beneficial to the cognitive mind claim is that video games could enhance one’s attention span. They could enhance the cognitive abilities that are most valued by society. Cognitive abilities like decision making, attentional management, and perception were enhanced when the participants were trained to play video games. However, various studies showed no correlation between good cognitive abilities and video games. However, almost no studies indicated video games had a detrimental effect on cognitive functions.
Anguera, J. A., & Gazzaley, A. (2015). Video games, cognitive exercises, and the enhancement of cognitive abilities. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 4, 160-165.
Brühl, A. B., & Sahakian, B. J. (2016). Drugs, games, and devices for enhancing cognition: implications for work and society. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1369(1), 195-217.
Green, C. S., & Seitz, A. R. (2015). The impacts of video games on cognition (and how the government can guide the industry). Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2(1), 101-110.
Hisam, A., Mashhadi, S. F., Faheem, M., Sohail, M., Ikhlaq, B., & Iqbal, I. (2018). Does playing video games affect cognitive abilities in Pakistani children?. Pakistan journal of medical sciences, 34(6), 1507.
Kühn, S., Kugler, D. T., Schmalen, K., Weichenberger, M., Witt, C., & Gallinat, J. (2019). Does playing violent video games cause aggression? A longitudinal intervention study. Molecular psychiatry, 24(8), 1220-1234.
Mayer, R. E., Parong, J., & Bainbridge, K. (2019). Young adults learning executive function skills by playing focused video games. Cognitive Development, 49, 43-50.
Penuelas-Calvo, I., Jiang-Lin, L. K., Girela-Serrano, B., Delgado-Gomez, D., Navarro-Jimenez, R., Baca-Garcia, E., & Porras-Segovia, A. (2020). Video games for the assessment and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A systematic review. European child & adolescent psychiatry, 1-16.
Reynaldo, C., Christian, R., Hosea, H., & Gunawan, A. A. (2021). Using video games to improve capabilities in decision making and cognitive skill: A literature review. Procedia Computer Science, 179, 211-221.
Unsworth, N., Redick, T. S., McMillan, B. D., Hambrick, D. Z., Kane, M. J., & Engle, R. W. (2015). Is playing video games related to cognitive abilities?. Psychological science, 26(6), 759-774.
Zayeni, D., Raynaud, J. P., & Revet, A. (2020). Therapeutic and preventive use of video games in child and adolescent psychiatry: a systematic review. Frontiers in psychiatry, 11, 36.