close
Advertisement
Magazine
 

8 Reasons Video Games Might Just Be Better for You Than Books

When we play games, we devote a special quality of mental attention that activities like reading or watching TV often don’t demand.

8 Reasons Video Games Might Just Be Better for You Than Books
iStock

Games demand full engagement – and when our brains are fully engaged, amazing things start to happen.

1. Games help break bad habits
1. Games help break bad habits
iStock

Bad habits form around rewards; nobody craves a pack of cigarettes or a tub of ice cream because they hate the way nicotine or sugar makes them feel. But while your local pharmacy offers a whole suite of products designed to curb physical cravings, staving off mental cravings is often on you. One proven solution: play a game.

A 2014 study conducted jointly by Brown University, the American Cancer Society and Stony Brook University found that smokers deprived of nicotine could reduce their cravings simply by playing two-player games or solving puzzles with their romantic partners. 

Why does this work? According to MRI scans of the participating couples’ brains, cooperative play and puzzle solving activated the exact same reward centers as nicotine does. Many games – especially the casual variety you are likely to find in your app store of choice – are designed to offer persistent rewards for completing challenges (think of the satisfying visual and sound effects when you obliterate a row of tiles in Candy Crush). So, the next time you feel a craving: reward yourself with a game first. 



Tales From The Animal Kingdom: Mummy Goats And Crafty Chickens

Hilarious and touching real life animal stories from the Reader's Digest community.
How Do You Make Those Tough Life Decisions?

How Do You Make Those Tough Life Decisions?

Too often, when faced with a fork in the road - whether picking up and moving cross-country or having a child - we fret and dither so long that choice is no longer an option.
How To Think Big And Realise Your Goals

How To Think Big And Realise Your Goals

How do you reach a goal, change your life, realise a dream? If you delve into the backstories of successful people, a common theme emerges: They think big.
10 Things You Must Know Before Adopting Exotic Pets

10 Things You Must Know Before Adopting Exotic Pets

Sure, it's cute, but is that pot-bellied pig really the best pet for you?
Managing Children With ADHD - And 12 Quotes To Help You Through The Day

12 Quotes To Help Parents Managing Children With ADHD Through The Day

These parents of children with ADHD have been through it all. Check out their takes and what the experts have to say about this difficult situation.

Advertisement