Nothing has been debated as much about whether there are benefits or not in video games. Ever since they were first made, people have said that kids who like to play video games are bad because of them.
Most of these complaints come from worried parents and well-meaning groups that just don’t want their kids to be exposed to something dangerous.
But science has always been on the side of video games, despite what people say. Studies in cognitive psychology and brain science have shown that playing video games in moderation has a number of benefits. Games are good for kids and adults of all ages if they are played the right way.
In this article, we list 10 ways that playing video games can be good for you, whether it’s for your mind, your social life, or your real-world skills.
1: Video games help you pay attention and remember things.
Immersive games require you to remember details so you can move through the game smoothly. You have to pay attention to different sources at the same time, like text, images, and sounds. Video games train the brain and make it better at storing and remembering information, both in the short and long term.
Video games can also help you pay more attention and stop acting on impulse. During the game, you work towards a certain goal, so you learn how to focus and direct all of your actions toward that goal.
2: Gaming can help you see better.
Action gamers, especially those who play first-person shooter games like Call of Duty, have been shown to have better contrast sensitivity in their eyes. The ability to tell the difference between different shades of gray is called “visual contrast sensitivity.” Because your mind is more clear and alert, your sight (and other senses) are sharpened. This makes it easier to see even small differences in color.
Over time, it’s clear that spending too much time in front of a screen is bad for your eyes. To keep your exposure to a safe level and avoid problems like tired eyes, headaches, and long-term eye damage, you must take certain steps.
3: Video games train you to multi-task.
Any good game has many things that you have to think about while playing. Sometimes, you’ll have to use your joystick or keyboard controls while keeping track of fast-moving images, audio instructions, and the game’s main goal. You don’t just have to remember these pieces of information, though. You also have to respond to them and make decisions quickly after you figure out what they mean.
In 2013, an ergonomics study showed that people who played video games for 50 hours did much better on the Multi-Attribute Task Battery, a test that measures the skills needed to pilot an airplane. People who played video games did a great job at a variety of tasks, such as controlling the target, keeping an eye on fuel levels, and responding to radio calls.
4: Gaming helps your brain work faster and be more flexible.
Because everything happens so quickly in video games, your brain learns to do the same thing. People who play video games a lot can process different stimuli faster than others, but they still make smart decisions to get the job done.
Video games also make it easier to switch between tasks quickly and without making mistakes, even if the tasks are different and have different requirements.
5: Video games help you work together with your hands and eyes.
Hand-eye coordination is a key part of being a good gamer, and playing certain games can help you get better at it. Video games help you move your eyes and hands together so you can act quickly and accurately. This is true for all kinds of video games, but it’s especially true for games like Wii Sports and Kinect Adventures that make you move around.
6: Video games can help you meet new people and make friends.
In spite of what most people think, playing video games in moderation does not make kids or adults less social. Because many games are played online and with other people, they can help you be a good sport and be more friendly. Aside from a few bad apples, the online communities for your favorite games are also very friendly and open.
It’s the same for gamers who don’t use the internet. Online gamers get along well with each other because they are all interested in the same thing: playing games. People who play video games tend to be friendly and talkative, even when not talking about games.
7: Video games are a good way to learn new things.
Aside from games that were made to be educational, there are a lot of games that teach useful information and skills without being made for learning.
Games like Assassin’s Creed and Civilization, which are based on real-life events, are a great way to get gamers interested in history. Games like BioShock and Half-Life use physics that are based on real science but are played out in a funny way.
8: Playing video games can help you do better at work.
With all of the physical, mental, and social benefits of video games, it makes sense that the good things will spill over into real life.
Many studies show that playing video games makes you better at your job, especially if it requires you to make quick and smart decisions, have good hand-eye coordination, and do more than one thing at once. Neurosurgery, aviation, and civil engineering are some of the fields that have been looked at.
9: Video games slow down the mental decline that comes with getting older.
When you play video games, you not only feel young, but you also think young. Memory and the ability to think about things in a general way get worse as we get older, but research shows that playing video games can help stop this.
Online games help people of all ages learn new skills and improve the ones they already have by keeping their minds busy. Video games have also been shown to help older people become more self-aware and have a more positive view of life.
10: Video games can help people who are addicted to drugs or have mental disorders.
Video games have been linked to addiction many times, but always as the cause, never as the cure. On the contrary, video games have been used to help people with mental health problems because they have been shown to help people stop wanting to smoke or drink.
Video games are also used as therapy for people with mental disorders like depression and ADHD and learning disorders like dyslexia. This is because they sharpen the mind and improve skills like attention and hand-eye coordination.
Always keep in mind that too much of anything is bad.
With all these great things you can get from playing video games, it’s tempting to think that playing for 10 hours straight is fine, since you’re getting all the good stuff, right? Actually, no. When you play too many video games, the benefits tend to cancel each other out and hurt your physical, mental, and social health.
To get the most out of video games benefits, you should play them in a healthy way and in moderation. Also, it’s important to choose the right video games because not all games are good for your brain in the same way. Some online games may not be good for kids or people with sensitive minds.
Who knew that when we play your favorite video games, we are also sharpening our minds and getting ready for the real world?
Most of us don’t give games enough credit, but science shows that they can be good ways to learn and have fun. As long as you use them wisely and in a healthy way, it’s fine to play Mario Kart with your friends again.