The dialogue and perception surrounding video gaming has gradually evolved over the past two decades. What was once routinely criticized as being a mindless and possibly dangerous activity for kids is now a far more respected pastime that researchers are beginning to realize has some incredible potential to work cognitive magic.
A separate study of the classic puzzle game Tetris, versions of which are available on virtually every gaming device ever made, helped lower the occurrence of flashbacks in people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s theorized that playing games like Tetris activates the same visuospatial processing centers in the brain that flashbacks do, essentially running interference on them.
That’s why an overwhelming majority of disabled gamers, who play casual games more often than hardcore gamers, reported mental or physical benefits from playing games in a study conducted by PopCap Games. The most common positives cited were stress relief, improved concentration, and the ability to forget about their condition for a while.