Podcast 11: Video Games and Our Health

I admit it: I’m turning into my parents. When I was a kid I played a lot of games, and my parents had concerns about how it was affecting my physical and mental health. My mom and dad thought it would wreck my attention span, stunt my social skills, and make me generally unhealthy. As a result, I was made to go outside, play with friends, and get fresh air. Now that I have kids of my own, I can’t just stand by and let them play as much as they sometimes want to.

But a lot about video games and technology has changed in the time since I was a kid myself. And a lot of research has been done on how video games –and media in general– affect our physical and mental health. In fact, many games are now being designed specifically to promote health.

My guest this week is Dr. Cheryl K. Olson, the co-founder for the Center for Mental Health and Media at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She’s an expert on how media can affect our health –and how it can be used deliberately to benefit health. That includes both physical and mental health.

Dr. Cheryl K. Olson, performing research.

Dr. Cheryl K. Olson, performing research.

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