The Psychological Benefits of Gaming with Josue Cardona of PsychTech Podcast and Geek Tharapy
Michael is joined by gamer and fellow clinician/podcaster, Josue Cardona to talk about the common misconceptions that stem from gaming and how we can use game theory and techniques to benefit our lives.
When most people think about the “effects of video games,” their minds automatically go to desensitization, possibly anger coming from violence that young children are simulating.
Many will remember the infamous case Chris Harper-Mercer, the man who murdered ten and injured seven more in a mass shooting that he had previously announced he was going to carry out on a reddit chain. After committing this horrific crime, he shot himself.
Some of the disturbing responses and other conversations on this reddit chain were taunting him to carry this out, and praising him after he had already died.
“You might want to target a girl’s school which is safer because there are no beta males throwing themselves for their rescue.”
“I am so excited for this. If this comes true then thank you for my late birthday gift anon.”
“I suggest you enter a classroom and tell people that you will take them as hostages. Make everyone get in one corner and then open fire. Make sure that there is no way that someone can disarm you as it possible. I suggest you carry a knife on your belt as last resort if someone is holding your gun,”
“Do not use a shotgun. I would suggest a powerful assault rifle and a pistol or 2x pistols. Possibly the type of pistols who have 15+ ammo”
Here are the responses after the shooting:
“THE MADMAN ACTUALLY DID IT”
“That score, ouch. Not even double digits on current reports.”
“GOOD SHOW OP”
“MAY YOU RIP IN PEACE.”
But Michael is joined by gaming and technology enthusiast, Josue Cardona of the PsychTech Podcast and Geek Therapy Network to talk about the other side of this debate.
Throughout the episode, both Michael and Josue argue that there are some very real positive effects from gaming, and that if used in the right way, gaming can improve your health in many ways.
Josue Cardona, during the episode references the SuperBetter game and App created by Jane McGonigal, made famous by a TedTalks video that uses gaming to improve people’s mental health.
By attributing game-theories like achievements, power-ups and positive reinforcement, you can recover from injury, bring your mental state up to a positive level, etc.
She says: “Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.”
1. German Researchers Show Video Games Improve Your Brain
This is your brain. This is your brain on Super Mario 64. See how the gray matter is increased? A new study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatrysuggests a whole lot of benefits to playing video games.
“I’ve been waiting to do this for years.” Those were the words of Chris Harper-Mercer before he killed 10 people, including himself, and left seven more injured in the massacre that took place on the Umpqua campus.
It seems that almost every week the airwaves are flooded with mass shootings at the hand of violent, enraged gunmen. Violence and shootings affect hundreds, if not thousands of innocent people every year as well as our nation’s stability as a whole. Through research, reports often indicate many mass killers were addicted to violent video games. Harper-Mercer was no exception to this trend.
— Michael Drane, MA, LAC