Who doesn’t love video games? Though you might claim that you are not an avid gamer, at some point in your life, you might have enjoyed playing strategy games or enthralling shooter games. You might even have considered building a gaming computer. As technology becomes more and more sophisticated, with game developers always coming up with fresh new content, it seems like you have a new video game to play each day.
Nonetheless, over the years, video games have gained a bad rap. Studies show that playing violent video games such as Mortal Kombat and Doom promotes aggression among children.
On the other hand, more research has disproved the premise that video games promote violence. In fact, there are plenty of benefits of playing video games for your brain.
Benefits of Playing Video Games for the Brain
1. Enhances Memory
Most video games would need players to give serious concentration and strategy in playing. Those who played Fortnite or DOTA would understand that. The environments in video games are abundant in stimulus that makes you feel like exploring the real world. In a nutshell, playing video games has a positive effect on your memory. It helps exercise your hippocampus. This part of the brain is in charge of storing short-term memory to long-term and regulating spatial memory.
In a study conducted by the University of California, it was found that individuals who frequently play elaborate 3D video games perform better at hippocampus-related memory tasks. Applying this data in real life, it is suggested that regularly playing video games is an excellent way to keep one’s mind sharp even as you age.
2. Improves Spatial Visualization
Aside from keeping your memory sharp, immersing yourself in video games helps improve your spatial visualization. The American Psychological Association found out in one study that action video games enhance one’s perception of three-dimensional objects. The study further concludes that gamers are much better at perceiving the distance between objects.
Being able to visualize space better has functional benefits. Some of them include parallel parking with ease on tight spots and organizing one’s closet. It is said that individuals with excellent spatial visualization tend to have thriving careers in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
3. Optimizes Decision-making Skills
Video games like Call of Duty and Need for Speed demand you to be attentive and quick in decision-making as they are fast-paced video games. Being constantly exposed to these video games helps improve one’s capacity to make decisions quicker.
One research showed that gamers who play action games are more adept at making precise choices faster than those who do not play video games or even those who play passive ones. It further revealed that although all groups can provide the same exactitude, action video gamers can finish the tasks 25 percent quicker.
Having quick decision-making skills is beneficial in real life. From deciding what clothes to wear to reaction time when facing dangerous road situations, action-packed video games help make you a quick thinker.
Apart from helping you out in making quicker decisions, action gamers are keener on creating long-term plans. Games like SimCity trains one’s mind to recognize imaginable outcomes and implications of one’s choices, helping out in picking better choices to achieve the desired outcomes.
4. Boosts Mood
Playing video games is a great way to unwind and relax. Serious gamers would agree that online gaming is an effective stress reliever. Even short and simple video games such as Angry Birds or Plant vs. Zombies can boost one’s mood, according to a 2013 study.
When players enter into a virtual world, they are given a chance to let go of any real-life worries temporarily. Immersive and complex video games allow gamers to live out the fantasy they want. Such is therapeutic as it gives a person a chance to break away from the stress and anxiety of daily life.
5. Develops Social Skills
A lot of people would argue that video games result in isolation or a lack of social skills. However, that is not true at all. A study conducted involving over 700 games of massive multiplayer online games (MMOs) found that MMO engagement has a strong correlation to a sense of social identity.
Individuals with a high sense of social identity tend to have higher self-esteem, less loneliness, and more social competence. Having common interests leads players to build actual friendships and relationships. Interactive online games allow you to expand your social network as you get the chance to come across individuals from all parts of the world.
The list of health benefits of video gaming is endless. So parents, go ahead and give your kid a gaming computer. Who knows, you are actually raising a future game developer.