Video Games Not All Bad

Reuters London, July 15, 2005

In young children and adolescents video games can lead to excessive use and aggressive behaviour, but a leading expert said on Friday the games ease pain, distract patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer and help to develop dexterity.
“The degree of attention needed to play a game can distract the player from the sensation of pain,” Prof Mark Griffiths, of Nottingham University in England, said in an editorial in the British Medical Journal.
In patients with arm injuries, the games have been used to increase strength and dexterity while children with learning disabilities have played them to develop spatial ability.
Therapeutic benefits have also been reported for a variety of adult populations, including wheelchair users with spinal cord injuries, people with severe burns and people with muscular dystrophy.
Although the reported negative effects, which include wrist pain, hallucinations and repetitive strain injuries, have been widely reported, Griffiths said they tended to be temporary and could be caused by other factors.
“Some of these adverse effects seem to be rare and many resolve when the patients no long play the games,” he added.

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