One of the activities that has kept many busy (specially kids, the young and the young at heart) is playing video games. But many parents, teachers and well-meaning groups have expressed reservations and even opposition to playing video games saying that they expose kids to violence, danger and other bad influences.
But studies from cognitive psychology and brain research have shown that playing video games has several advantages for people of all ages, as long as one does not go overboard.
So now we count down the top five benefits of playing video games:
1.Playing video games strengthen your memory and attention
If one has to improve and progress smoothly in a game, video gamers must be able to condition the mind and improve its capability to store and remember information from different sources like texts, visuals and audio components. Because everything happens so fast in a video game, your brain is also trained to process information quickly.
2. Playing video games develop your ability to multi-task
The various stimuli present in video games requires for a player to successfully multi-task- whether it be to move the joystick or keyboard controls or getting your team mates to move about a certain direction to defeat the enemy. It also needs for a player to make quick decisions and take action— all in a matter of seconds. In fact, an ergonomics study in 2013 showed that 50 hours of video game time significantly improved the performance of individuals in the Multi-Attribute Task Battery, a test measuring the skills required in piloting an aircraft.
3. Video games improve your hand-eye coordination
Great hand-eye coordination is one of the musts on becoming a good video game player. Video games get your eyes and your hands to react quickly and accurately. This is especially true for active video games like Wii Sports and Kinect Adventures.
4. Video games are a great platform for learning.
Aside from games designed to be educational, a lot of games impart knowledge and relevant skills.
Historical games that are inspired by real-life events like Assassin’s Creed teach for gamers to be interested in history; Age of Mythology teaches about mythological characters; and Sci-fi games like BioShock and Half-Life introduce concepts related to physics. Even the popular Grand Theft Auto 3 teaches a person how to weigh his choices, decide what’s right or wrong and develop social relationships which can be applied in real life.
5. Video games decrease mental decline associated with aging
All of our mental facilities like memory and abstract reasoning decline with age, but research shows that playing video games helps combat memory degeneration and improves systematic thought. In elderly individuals, video games have also been shown to improve their self-actualization and outlook in life. Playing video games is also helpful in battling mental disorders like depression and ADHD, as well as addicting habits like smoking and alcohol.
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