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Gaming and the Brain

Gaming and the Brain

Here at Bluvos, we love gaming. One of the biggest reasons we created Bluvos is we wanted to develop a product that would help us become better, more alert players. You see, in researching the Bluvos formula, we discovered that becoming a better gamer requires an intense amount of focus and attention to the environment being played in.

As it turns out, becoming better at a video game is not about acquiring better skills. Rather, it is becoming more aware of the game, it’s environment and how we understand, interact and ultimately manipulate that environment. Improving at a game doesn’t come from learning button combos or acquiring a better weapon. It’s instead learning where, when and how to use those combos and weapons, how your opponent will react and how knowing the environment can place you five steps ahead of anyone or anything else.

“Improving at a game doesn’t come from learning button combos or acquiring a better weapon.”

Sound a little out there? Stay with us on this. When we play video games, we are entering a new reality that is outside our own physical world. What is interesting about this reality is we cannot touch it, feel it or physically connect with it. The only way we are interacting with a video game reality is by deconstructing it with our brains. Therefore, if we are able to better learn about and deconstruct the simple rules of the game, we can eventually master it.

What many gamers fail to understand is not just engaging in mindless actions. Rather, playing video games is an expansion of consciousness and awareness. How a player understands a game stems directly from how his or her mind creates it. We call this process experiential learning. In another article, we explain how the brain learns through repetitive experience to construct an environment, giving us greater awareness in how we understand and manipulate said environments. Through experiential learning, the brain is being pushed to understand a new environment, how it functions and how one can control and manipulate it. Essentially, if a player wants to improve at a game, their brain needs to be primed to learn.

“How a player understands a game stems directly from how his or her mind creates it.”

Helps temporarily to:

-Support mental focus and mental stamina †

-Promote alertness and wakefulness †

-Relieve fatigue and symptoms of stress †

In several studies, repetitive, experiential gameplay demonstrated various learning triggers in the brain. For example, a study out of the Max-Planck Institute of Human Development studied the brains of individuals playing Super Mario 64 DS over a two-month period. Results from gameplay demonstrated that among other areas, the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus regions of the brain grew. These two areas have implications for memory, decision making and planning complex cognitive behaviour.

Daphne Bavelier, who researches cognitive science and the brain at the University of Rochester notes that the brain is constantly trying to anticipate the next move in almost all everyday actions. Bavelier quotes, “In order to sharpen its prediction skills, our brains constantly build models, or ‘templates,’ of the world.” Bavelier further notes that, “the better the template, the better the performance.”

“...the brain is constantly trying to anticipate the next move in almost all everyday actions.”

In another study by the BBC’s Horizon programme, elderly individuals were given a karting game to play, logging roughly 15 hours of gameplay each over five weeks. The working memory and attention plan of these subjects, as they pertained to the gaim, were found to have increased by roughly 30%. These studies demonstrate that the brain is working hard to learn patterns and structures of the new environment supplied by a video game. However, if the brain is not operating at an optimal level, it’s ability to learn will be minimized (see our article here about healthy brain function).

“...if the brain is not operating at an optimal level, it’s ability to learn will be minimized.”

It is evident from this discussion, as well as our previous articles, that the brain learns best when it is working at optimal levels. Therefore, everyday effects such as fatigue and lack of focus can dig into our ability to properly learn and master a game’s reality. Sugary and chemical-filled energy drinks and supplements may temporarily help maintain a certain focus. However, users may also experience an inevitable crash, resulting in a loss of alertness and potential cognitive retention.

Maximizing on your learning and ability to play a game at optimal alertness is where Bluvos comes in. We have developed a formula that helps your body optimize its natural energy, regulate and potentially improve your memory-retention functions as well as enhance learning habits. We want your brain to be operating healthy, and in a manner that can enable it to not only learn from your gaming experience, but use that knowledge to perform better.

Sources

Anderson, P., Morris, R., Amaral, D., Bliss, T., O’Keefe. (2006). The Hippocampus Book. Oxford University Press. Cary, NC. pp. 872

BBC News (Sept. 16, 2015). Horizon: How video games can change your brain. Retrieved From the BBC News website on Feb 12, 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/Technology-34255492

Bejjanki, VR., Zhang, R., Li, R., Pouget, A., Green, CS., Lu, Z., Bavelier, D. (2014). Action video game play facilitates the development of better perceptual templates.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111(47).

Bigl, B., Stoppe, S. (2013). Playing with Virtuality : Theories and Methods of Computer Game Studies. Peter Lang GmbH, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenchaften. pp. 432

Martin, J. (2003). Neuroanatomy: Text and Atlas. 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill Medical. pp. 532

N.A. (Oct. 20, 2013). How video gaming can be beneficial for the brain. Retrieved from the Max-Planck Institute for Human Development website on Feb 12. 2017. https://www.mpg.de/research/video-games-brain

Patenaude, M. (November 10, 2014). Playing action video games can boost learning. Retrieved from the University of Rochester Newscenter website on Feb 12, 2017. http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/playing-action-video-games-can-boost-learning-78452/

Russell, G. (Producer & Director)., Crabtree, S. (Series Editor). (2015). Are Video Games Really That Bad? [Television series episode]. Horizon. United Kingdom: BBC Two.

Yang, Y., Raine, A. (2009). Prefrontal Structural and Functional Brain Imaging findings in Antisocial, Violent, and Psychopathic Individuals: A Meta-Analysis. Phyciatry Res. 174(2): 81-88

Here at Bluvos, we love gaming. One of the biggest reasons we created Bluvos is we wanted to develop a …
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