For the longest time, video games have gotten a bad rep as a negative influence in society. Gamers are usually portrayed as couch potatoes and video games as brain cell killers. However, recent studies show that video games are beneficial in many ways.
1. Improved Cognitive Performance
Video games have been shown to improve cognitive abilities such as memory, decision-making, visuospatial skills, and concentration in children and adults.
- Memory. Studies have shown that children who played video games had higher attention and memory than those who did not. Individuals who played video games did better with memory tasks even though they no longer played. Other studies have shown that video games can help prevent Dementia in older adults.
- Decision making. Video games can help players become better decision-makers. Due to their nature, most games promote faster decision-making as players are required to make choices that enhance the processes needed to make decisions.
- Visuospatial skills. Visuospatial refers to one’s ability to perceive the spatial relationship of objects, which is a skill needed in everyday tasks such as driving, reading a map, parking a car, or navigating an area. Video games enable players to enhance this skill, especially kids with Dyslexia.
- Attention. Attention to detail is essential when playing video games. Players need to find various locations and treasures, check for enemies or find their way to the next level. This skill is needed when working on different challenges in real life. Improves multitasking
2. Help With Social Interactions
Though some studies have shown gaming can make you antisocial, the COVID-19 Pandemic showed that gaming could be a great way to spend time with others. Most games have multi-player capabilities allowing players to play with their friends or other like-minded players online. Such games are available on both consoles and gaming PCs, which you can read more about in this guide by Tony Monzon.
In addition, collaborative games require players to team up to overcome various obstacles and gain treasure or move to a different level. This can help layers learn teamwork in real life.
As great as this is, it is important to pay attention to who your child plays with online. Ensure the games played are age appropriate and talk to them about safety when communicating with strangers online. Monitor any communication your child may be having with other players online.
3. Promotes Better Hand-Eye Coordination
Hand-eye coordination, also known as visuomotor control, refers to one’s ability to use your eyes and hands at the same time. This skill allows us to perform different day-to-day tasks like writing, tying shoelaces, drawing, or catching a ball. In addition, most sports require this essential skill.
Studies show players who regularly play games have better hand-eye coordination, especially those that use controllers. A 2008 study on video games showed that laparoscopic surgeons who played video games were 27 percent faster at surgical procedures and were 37 percent less likely to make errors when compared to those who did not play any video games.
Moreover, some games have also been used for therapeutic purposes to help stroke patients regain movement in their hands.
4. Increase Problem-Solving Abilities
We all face different problems that require solving, and some problems may be easier to solve than others. Video games with multi-levels or mission-based have various challenges that need solving. They are a great way to learn this important skill as they require players to strategize and plan.
Some games have deadlines or high-pressure stakes that require you to think fast on your feet and find ways to work around various obstacles.
In addition, most of the solutions needed in video games may require out-of-the-box thinking, helping players become more creative in their problem-solving.
5. Improves Vision
Some video games, particularly those that require players to read the fine print, or find moving objects, have been shown to improve contrast sensitivity. Contrast sensitivity enables you to see in foggy, low light, or glare situations, like when driving at night.
Video games increase brain activity and produce more dopamine and adrenaline in players. This increased brain activity enables players to develop better visual acuity. In fact, a study on patients with cataracts showed that playing video games improved vision in five out of the six patients and had a 30 percent improvement in contrast sensitivity, showing that video games could improve this necessary skill.
6. Increase Knowledge and Promote Creativity
Many teachers and tutors are using game-based learning to make learning enjoyable. This helps students retain more information than when they learn using traditional methods. Students become more motivated to learn as they earn rewards in the games. One of the most popular games used in learning is Minecraft.
You can find games that incorporate various subjects such as history, archeology, anthropology, mathematics, languages, and politics. Some of the lessons learned may be more than the knowledge you get in school.
Video games can be very beneficial when played. They help improve cognitive, sensory-motor, visual, problem-solving, and social skills. They can help you learn how to be persistent, confident, and patient. However, they should be played in moderation. Spending hours on end playing video games can cause more harm than good.