How computer games affect the brain, especially Chess

Do computer games spoil youth?

Computer games spoil the youth, “no sensible person can deny that”. Such criticism is often heard when a violent criminal turns out to be an excessive computer player.

But the problem is not the computer game, but the excessive explained neuroscientist Daphne Bavelier in a public lecture. She compares computer games to drinking wine: “There are unpleasant uses for wine,” she said, “but if you consume wine reasonably, it can be very healthy”.

Computer game clichés on the laboratory test bench

Daphne Bavelier has degrees from the most respected elite universities and is a professor in Switzerland and the USA. It is difficult to assume that someone lacks reason. In experiments, she examined common clichés:

Do computer games damage eyesight? Result: People who spend five to 15 hours a week playing action games have better eyesight. You can see small details better and distinguish more shades of gray than non-players. So a clear no.

Do computer games interfere with the ability to concentrate? To this end, Daphne Bavelier examined how well the test subjects resolve cognitive contradictions and how well they follow moving objects. The gamers performed significantly better. She also found out that gamers can switch from one task to another faster, and that the brain regions that control attention work better.

What the PISA study reveals about computer clichés

In Melbourne, economist Alberto Posso compared the results of the PISA study for 15-year-old Australian schoolchildren with their computer gaming habits: afterward, computer gamers had better grades in mathematics and science as well as better reading comprehension.

All of these findings initially prove that computer games probably do not harm. But are they also useful? The neuroscientist, Simone Kühn at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, examined this question. Your result: The game “Super Mario 3D” grows the brain regions responsible for spatial presentation, strategic planning and finger control.

She noticed that fun was involved. Because subjects in a comparison group who let them play a different, boring computer game had no fun with it, and their brains showed no changes either. Brain growth and fun are interrelated. It remains unclear for now what is the cause and what is the effect. Sometimes in mmo games, like WoW people use wow services, like at It enables the users to pump characters and play the next levels of the games. So they not get bored from content that not interesting for them and they just play in that part of game that they like..

In another experiment, Simone Kühn’s subjects were at least 65 years old. You should train the correction of misconduct, the so-called inhibition.

Here, you will find several pieces of evidence: Computer games are not only used to train specific brain functions. Due to the mature age of the participants, it is also clear that one can counteract the processes of degradation in the brains of older people.

Besides, her subjects were able to train inhibition, “because inhibition was previously considered untrainable”, explains the scientist with a hint of pride in her voice.


The rules of the game of chess are quickly learned—the goal: to immobilize the opposing king. But beginners will soon face a hopeless labyrinth. Nobody will ever fully master chess, even there are millions of chess players. Playing chess on the computer has become trendy.

An image of the war

Elephants, horses, chariots, running messengers, generals, officers and foot soldiers – around 1500 years ago, armies with all types of the army entered into perfect order of battle in India to defend their king.

Around this time, in the fifth century AD, a board game called “Caturanga” became known in India, in which the basic position of the figures corresponded to the formation of the Indian army. Caturanga is considered the archetype and forerunner of chess.

From India, the game first reached Persia. The Persians gave it its name: “Shah” is still the Persian word for “king”; “Matt” means “helpless” in Persian.

In the early Middle Ages, the Arabs brought the game of chess over Syria and Egypt to Greece and southern Italy and over Gibraltar to Spain. The abstract Arabic game pieces served as a model for the European chess pieces, whose shape remained virtually unchanged.

The royal game quickly began its triumphal march in Europe. It captivated people so much that church leaders eyed it suspiciously in the 12th century and sometimes even banned it as “devilish” – not least because money was often played for.

Step by step to today’s chess

Today’s chess rules only emerged over the centuries. For example, the very powerful lady of the Arabs in the Middle Ages in the form of the “vizier” was initially a very weak figure: she only moved diagonally to the next field and thus remained bound to the color of the original field.

At that time, the runner was still in the form of an Indian elephant; it only jumped diagonally into the field after the next and, therefore, only reached a total of eight fields on the entire field. This way, it was impossible to hit an elephant with another elephant. The tower and the king also went in different ways.

In contrast, the jumper’s original style of pull never seems to have changed. However, it is still inexplicable how the jumper train was created. Because for this strange movement – two steps forward, one to the side – nature knows no role models.

Changed rules: Chess in a stormy way

Surprising fakes, ambiguous actions, confusing combinations: These elements of the game of chess were reinforced by the fundamental changes in the rules at the end of the 15th century. Now, as the Italians said, they played “alla rabiosa” – “in a stormy way”.

Once again, it became clear that chess was a reflection of social and military developments. Because towards the end of the Middle Ages, no king plunged into battle at the head of his army. And so the king also became a sensitive, vulnerable figure on the game board. He only served as a representative of the game and could never take more than a single step.

On the other hand, the range of action of other figures increased: from now on, peasants were no longer allowed to advance only one but two spaces. Runners ran across their diagonals to the edge of the board. The lady hurried across all lines, rows and diagonals at will until she met an opponent. She was the strongest figure now. Historians suspect that the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Queen of Heaven” had brought her this position.

Chess becomes sporty

Those who dealt with chess until the 18th century were usually part of a preferred minority that stood out from the masses due to wealth and education. Chess was considered something special, a luxurious pastime for idlers.

That only changed in the 19th century, when the first chess clubs were often formed in the cafes and bars of European cities. The sporty element suddenly came to the fore; competition and ambition counted.

The first chess magazine appeared in Paris in 1836. Good players wanted to compete with competitors from other clubs. With increasing mobility due to fast rail connections, the number of tournaments increased.

In 1851, 16 masters from all over Europe took part in the first major international tournament in chess history in London. Adolf Anderssen, a high school professor of mathematics from Wroclaw, won surprisingly.

The Russians dominate the world championships

World chess championships were initially held at irregular intervals: whenever the reigning champion was challenged and accepted this challenge. After a game break due to the great war, the “International Chess Federation” decided to change the mode in 1948.

From then on, the umbrella organization of world chess, founded in 1924, organized the world championships in a fixed three-year cycle: First, the grandmasters had to qualify in regional competitions to determine the challengers among themselves in candidate battles.

By 1948 at the latest, Russians had taken over hegemony in world chess. Chess is a national passion in Russia. The country can look back on a long tradition and has developed an exceptional promotion system for young talents that is unique worldwide.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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