Game Addiction, Smartphones, Sleep

Curated by CLAI

GAME ADDICTION: How can we make games addictive — and how we might use video games to make our minds stronger, faster and healthier? We might develop games to treat depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Or games that rewire our brains to improve memory and cognitive function. Maybe 5 years from now, you go to the doctor with a problem and he prescribes an F.D.A.-approved video game to play for two weeks.

  • Sometimes, games just seem unwinnable. Turns out, that helps explain why we keep playing them and try so hard to win. As we play them, we’re trying to fix something. In Candy Crush, for example, you can buy more lives; in Dots, you can buy more time. ‘If I can just get this bird past these pipes, I’ll fix it. I’ll save that little bird, and everything will be O.K. in the world.’
  • Those who play first-person shooter video games for two weeks can improve visual attention, mental reasoning and decision-making skills. Surgeons who played video games were 27% faster and made 37% fewer mistakes than nongamers during laparoscopic surgeries. Playing Tetris for extended periods may increase memory and cognitive skills.
Alarm Clock

Alarm Clock (Nick Bilton, NYTIMES)

SMARTPHONE ALARM CLOCKS: Banish cellphones from the bedroom? It’s a very slippery slope, once you’ve picked up your phone, to see what time it is, to checking your email, to lying awake with anxiety. Smartphones in the bedroom have led to a rise in sleep-related complaints from patients. For people I see in their 20s and 30s, the phone is becoming a more common contributing factor to insomnia.

MOBILE WIKIPEDIA: The shift to mobile away from desktops could pose long-term problems for Wikipedia for free contributing writers and editors. The mobile phone is not a great input device — especially a smaller phone.

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