Whether video games are good or bad for you, has been a controversial topic for years. Many argue that playing video games is bad for your health, while others argue for the benefits video gaming offers. Now, a new study conducted by the University of California suggests that prescription video games could become the medicine given to help children focus.
This research to support the notion that prescription video games could potentially replace conventional medicine as a form of treating certain attention issues in children was supported by a tech company called Akili which is developing its own prescription video games. Project: EVO is a mobile video game being developed by Akili, which is currently in phase III clinical trials as required by the US FDA. However, if the company succeeds, it will have created one of the first prescription video games, breaking new grounds for technological advancement in medicine.
Lead neuroscientist Dr. Adam Gazzaleyr believes that small amounts of personal prescription video games could help improve people’s brain function:
What we wind up with is a truly integrated, multi-modal, close-looped system. This is the future of using technology to create these powerful targeted and adaptive tools to help improve brain function, for people who are healthy and those that are impaired.
On the other hand, many other researchers and academics believe that video games are the cause of attention problems in children and could be potentially threatening to one’s health due to disorders like video game addiction. A study looking at adolescents playing video games negatively concluded against prescription video games being the answer to treating attention problems:
Adolescents who play more than one hour of console or Internet video games may have more or more intense symptoms of ADHD or inattention than those who do not. Given the possible negative effects these conditions may have on scholastic performance, the added consequences of more time spent on video games may also place these individuals at increased risk for problems in school.
Whether or not prescription video games could become an effective treatment for attention and other health problems, remains to be seen.