Ever since Tetris from 1984, there’s been ongoing debate about the effects of video games in respect to our health. In the recent years, the debate shifted towards actual research. Two questions stand out: can video games sharpen our minds and help us fight brain diseases?
The short answer to both questions is yes.
Daphne Bavelier, a neuroscientist with the University of Rocherster shared her research results in TED talk. She said that “video games have a number of ingredients that are very powerful for brain plasticity, learning, attention or vision.” (source)
During her research, gamers playing first-person shooter video games for at least two weeks improved their visual attention, mental reasoning and the speed of their decision making. With these results, Bavelier and her team shifts to a different question: how can we leverage the time we’re spending playing video games? Naturally, by developing games that can help people with specific problems. In this case a low vision.
Complexity is the key
Is there any way of leveraging our daily playing time? Well, if we want to improve a specific ability or work on preventing a brain diseases, we need to play the right game, says another research conducted at NTU in Singapore.
Dr. Patterson and Adam Oei from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore reached the conclusion that games with a unique difficulty scaling are forcing players to change the way they think. Adapting to new challenges, puzzles and mechanics makes them think creatively. (source)
Puzzle games, like Tetris for example, usually follow the same mechanics over and over. So, the difficulty is based on the speed of the individual bricks. Beyond the ability to drive us crazy to beat our previous highest score, there’re little to none benefits in real life.
Leveraging our daily playtime
Today, it only takes a smartphone and the right puzzle game to turn our gaming time into a crusade against brain diseases.
The House of Da Vinci is the perfect weapon for such a crusade. The 3D point-and-click adventure puzzler is designed around the very idea of complexity, requiring you to shift around mechanisms and closely examine the game's many intricate puzzles. The game features five levels, mixing logical, sensual and mechanical puzzles, which challenge you to take your creativity to the next level.
We received invaluable and positive feedback from players battling various brain diseases. One recurring moment stands out in these reviews: tapping into the creative thinking of our players. But it isn’t always just about clinically engaging our neurons to escape the boredom. Sometimes, games help us levitate the pain.
“I have illness called Fibromyalgia, it’s hard illness and sometimes the pain and other things can make you unable to get out of bed, but this game helped me forget about my pain for the first time in a long time. I forgot about my pain and had fun and I found that I can do something with my brain.”
~ Toyah C.
So, based on the latest research, ten minutes of intensive creative thinking and problem solving is all you need to keep those neurons occupied.
Remember: occupied neurons are happy and healthy neurons. So go ahead and do something for your mental health by playing The House of Da Vinci today, available for iOS, Android, PC & Mac.