Video gaming is one of the most popular forms of entertainment across the globe. Studies that have been conducted have shown that video gamers collectively spend more than 3 billion hours each week in front of their screens. For this reason, scientists have researched to establish the relationship that exists between the brain and the behavior of the individual players of these video games. The studies by Shams, Tahireh A., et al. (2015), indicated that more than 150 million individuals within the United States are regular players of the video games. These people spend at least three hours every week playing video games. Individuals closer to them have indicated that the games have effects on the player's lives. Nonetheless, the studies produced a growing body of evidence indicating that the video games positively affect the brains of these players resulting into changes in various regions of the brain. This paper will focus on the positive effects of league of legends on the life of the players.
League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena video game released in 2009 for the MacOS and Microsoft Windows users by the Riot Games. The game operates on a freemium model with microtransactions. The development of League of Legends was inspired by the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne and Defense of the Ancients. In the game, the players act as the 'summoner' controlling the champion. The champion in League of Legend exhibit unique abilities that enable them to battle other champions under control of the computer or other players online. The ultimate goal in the game is always to destroy the 'nexus' of the opposing team. The 'nexus' is a structure found within the heart of the base which the champions protect through their defensive structures. The matches in the game are discrete and start as a fairly weaker team. They increase their strength from the accumulation of resources such as items and experience as the game proceeds.
From the time the game was released in 2009, the game has grown in popularity and fan base. According to Shams, Tahireh A., et al. (2015), League of Legends was the most played video game in Europe and North America regarding hours played (71). In 2014, the game had more than 67 million players every month, 27 million every day, and more than 7.5 million people playing concurrently during the peak hours. During these hours, the concentration of the players is always focused on the game. As a result, the players will acquire improvements in various types of attention such as selective attention and sustained attention. The development of these types of attention positively affects the regions of the brain responsible for the attention of the individuals. The more hours spent in the video games translates to the development of the brain. Thus, individuals who spend more time playing video games such as the League of Legends requires fewer efforts to stay focused on demanding tasks. The study by Anderson, Craig, and Brad (2001), also indicated that playing video games increases the size as well as the competence of various parts of the brain that are responsible for visuospatial skills (355). The visuospatial skills are the abilities of an individual to identify the existing visual and spatial relationships between objects. As a result, there is always an enlargement of the right hippocampus of the brain.
Apart from brain development, it is a good practice for the parents to allow their children to play video games. According to Rakhee (2017), children who play video games develop positive techniques such as problem solving skills, sharpened hand-eye coordination, enhanced critical thinking capabilities, better decision-making skills, improved motor skills, enriched social skills, magnified teamwork contribution, improved goal setting abilities, and better health. These cognitive abilities and skills not only apply to the children, but also to the adults who play video games. Video games such as League of Legends, indulges the brain into constant stimulation, resulting in a strengthened and improved performance of the brain. The activities are undertaken by the player and the actions on the screen often result in a mental stimulation resulting in the coordination of the mental, audial, and visual movements. The rules of the video games such as League of Legend which requires one to destroy the 'nexus' activates the reasoning capabilities of the player. Destruction of the 'nexus' requires the individual player to think before he or she can make any move to enable his or her stay in the game. These decisions are always instant and involve a lot of subconscious mind actions. The instructions of these video games are always provided at the beginning of the game, thus, requiring the player to remember them throughout the entire game. The ability to memorize and master these instructions results in the improvement of both the long-term and short-term memories.
However, too much of something is always dangerous. Despite having benefits, addiction of the video games may result in the functional and structural alterations in the neural reward system associated with learning, feeling pleasure, and motivation. As a result, the person will lose interest in various things. Prolonged play of League of Legends leads to preoccupation due to its highly interactive interface which takes control of the thinking process of the individual players. Apart from the mental health, playing League of Legends may also result in the negative effects on the physical health, psychological health, overall performance, and many others. The illnesses resulting from incessant gaming such as obesity, back pain, and insomnia are always very difficult to treat. The physical effects of video games result from sitting in one place for a long time. In addition to the obesity, back pain, and insomnia effects of video games, a research conducted by the Council on Science and Public Health by Dr. Mohamed K. Khan identified a potential risk to eyes of the video game players. The constant video gaming by these players puts them at the risk of photosensitive seizures (Anderson, Craig and Brad 357). A photosensitive seizure is a form of epilepsy which is triggered by the constant flashing lights and the speedily moving objects common in video games such as League of Legends. Individuals who spend long hours playing video games also social isolations due to the long hours they are alone. These individuals have also had difficulties in differentiating realities and fictions due to the hampering of the video games with their social lives. A video game such as League of Legends which involves strategies and combats may also make individuals aggressive and violent. These behaviors often result from the anxiety and depression resulting from the challenges faced in the levels. The addiction may also affect the overall academic performance of the students in school as well as their productivity.
Anderson, Craig A., and Brad J. Bushman. "Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: A meta-analytic review of the scientific literature." Psychological science 12.5 (2001): 353-359.
Khan, Mohamed K. "Report of the council on science and public health." 2006 annual report, http://www. ama-assn. org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/467/csaph12a07. doc (2007).
M, Rakhee. "Top 10 Positive Effects Of Video Games On Children." MomJunction. N. p., 2015. Web. 22 Oct. 2018.
Shams, Tahireh A., et al. "The effects of video games on cognition and brain structure: potential implications for neuropsychiatric disorders." Current psychiatry reports 17.9 (2015): 71.
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