Using fMRIs, researchers have viewed the two parts of the brain that become stimulated during video game play: the reward pathways, the part most associated with motivation and goal-orientation, and the hippocampus, the region responsible for learning and memory. During play, the gamer is constantly focused on a goal and motivated to reach the finish line. As the gamer anticipates his or her success, the reward pathways are stimulated.
Patients who suffer from Clinical Depression, have a chronically under stimulated, and ever shrinking reward pathways and hippocampus, thus correlating video games and positive effects on a gamer's mental health.
There is however a large caveat to this new finding. For those who play video games as a game, just for fun, can have very positive effects from it, for they build confidence and gain problem-solving skills. Yet, those who play video games as an escape from their daily lives will actually experience problematic results, like excess anxiety. About 41% of frequent game players claim they are escapists, and this portion of gamers are the ones many refer to when they say video games are a waste of time.