These days, video games are a huge part of our society. They provide opportunities to meet new people, unwind, and pick up useful knowledge. The question is, though, what exactly are the effects of video games on our mental health care? How do we feel after playing them? And what’s an acceptable limit?
More than ninety-seven percent of American children and teenagers spend at least an hour every day playing video games. We acknowledge the importance of that study but believe that a more nuanced view is required, one that takes into account not only the potential drawbacks but also the advantages of gaming.
The previous decade has seen a tremendous shift like these games, with titles growing more sophisticated, diversified, authentic, and interactive. In the past few years, however, a sizable collection of studies has emerged to attest to these advantages.
Despite the common belief that engaging in video games is intellectually sluggish, multiple research projects covered in the article suggest that it may increase a variety of cognitive skills like spatial navigation, logic, memory, and perception. The authors found this to be especially true in first-person shooter games, which are known for their high levels of violence.
Benefits of Gaming
Enhanced Mental Capacity
Playing video games might help you sharpen your mind, particularly in the areas of focus and visual-spatial processing. The capacity to see, understand, and recall spatial relationships among objects. This ability is helpful in many situations, including driving, navigating a new place, and making sense of the world around you.
Math, physics, engineering, meteorology, and construction all rely heavily on spatial reasoning. This is one of the most important advantages of video games, and it will be useful not just in the classroom and the workplace, but also in the real world.
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Improved Capacity for Analyzing and Reasoning
There was a study done in 2015 by a group of Australian and Chinese researchers that found positive gaming to be beneficial to the development of both problem-solving and logical reasoning abilities.
Professional gamers have increased grey matter and “heightened connection between some subspaces in the insular cortex,” according to fMRI scans. In terms of how it manifests in the real world, this leads to gains in areas like reasoning and problem-solving.
It stands to reason that the parts of the brain responsible for problem-solving and logic would be more highly developed in gamers, given that many games demand extensive planning, strategic thinking, and the use of logic to accomplish goals inside the game.
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Better and Swifter Determination Making
In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester, they found that playing video games advantages to improves both the speed and accuracy with which players made decisions. The study also discovered that action gamers, in particular, outperformed both non-gamers and gamers who played slower games when it came to decision speed and accuracy.
Action gamers were up to 25 percent quicker at solving problems and making more correct decisions than those who played slower games. Gamers are predisposed to make quicker and more precise decisions, which might be useful in fields where these are essential, such as the battlefield or the medical field.
The Capacity to Juggle Multiple Tasks
Games can help you become a more efficient multitasker. One of the most obvious advantages of gaming is that it improves your capacity to multitask, which in turn allows you to get more done in less time. Especially in action games, players are often required to juggle several objectives at once.
Your character’s movement and actions require you to do more than just gaze at the screen to identify and avoid enemies and monitor your health and ammunition. You and your pals and teammates may be using a microphone to communicate. Modern games are known for their high levels of stimulation and rapid pace, which may help players enhance their capacity to multitask.
Playing video games is a terrific way to unwind and unburden yourself. Short, basic games like Angry Birds have been shown to boost mood and increase happiness. Positive effects of video games also include the improvement in mood and health. Intensely engrossing and cognitively taxing video games can also serve as a form of therapy. Immersed in a virtual world, a gamer can forget about the stresses of real life. When you need a mental break from the stresses of real life, playing video games is a great option.
More Efficient Work that Yields Better Results in Less Time
Playing video games has been linked to increased speed and precision in task completion. Young surgeons who play video games were included in a 2007 study that looked at laparoscopic (abdominal) surgeon training to determine if gamers had any disadvantages in the field of medicine.
Surgeons who reported current or former gaming experience made 37% fewer mistakes and were 27% faster at completing the task than their non-gaming counterparts, according to the study. With additional practice, they also become more precise. Even with only three hours a week devoted to gaming, the study indicated that gamers outperformed their non-gaming counterparts.
This study adds to the body of evidence we’ve presented so far suggesting that gamers have an advantage when it comes to completing tasks that call for quick reactions and precise movements of the hands and eyes.
Hand-Eye Coordination Improvements
Improved hand-eye coordination is another win for gaming. Regular gamers have higher sensorimotor abilities than non-gamers. Hand-eye coordination is essential for learning and mastering activities like riding a bike, typing, and other similar activities where your hands and eyes need to work together.
In the study, 18 players and 18 non-players were asked to do the same mouse-based activity of following green dots on their screens. At first glance, it didn’t seem like there were any substantial distinctions between the 2 categories. But as the test wore on and the tasks became routine, results indicated that gamers consistently outperformed non-gamers in terms of both speed and accuracy.
Playing video games can help you become more adept at learning sensorimotor patterns and motions, which could be useful in the real world.
People who play video games have better peripheral vision, according to research from 2012. This is particularly true for first-person shooter players, who rely heavily on peripheral vision to identify potential threats.
Better performance in common activities, like driving, is a direct result of enhanced central and peripheral vision. However, prolonged screen time can create eye irritation and eye strain, so it’s vital to give your eyes a break from displays, ideally for a few minutes per hour of use.
Help Overcome Dyslexia
Video gaming assists those who struggle with dyslexia to read and write more fluently. Difficulty reading is a hallmark of the learning impairment known as dyslexia, which is characterized by difficulties with both sound identification and letter-to-sound correspondence (decoding). Dyslexia, often known as a reading handicap, occurs when a person has variations in the parts of their brain that are responsible for understanding and using language.
It has been suggested that problems paying attention are central to dyslexia. According to one study, dyslexics who played action-oriented video games had their reading comprehension improve. According to the studies, this is because of the high concentration requirements posed by the games’ dynamic landscapes.
Balance Multiple Sclerosis
the ability to maintain one’s equilibrium in people with multiple sclerosis. When the brain and spinal cord are affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), a wide variety of symptoms may manifest. These may include issues with vision, movement of the arms and legs, feeling, and balance. It’s a chronic ailment that might be moderate or severe throughout a person’s lifetime.
Multiple sclerosis is an illness that can damage any of the nerves in the body, so it’s no surprise that those who suffer from it frequently struggle with maintaining their equilibrium. One study, however, found that MS patients who engaged in physically demanding games while standing on a balance board experienced significant improvement thereafter.
Improve Social Connections
enable you to meet new people and form meaningful relationships. There’s been a lot of back and forth about whether or not video games help kids develop social skills or cause them to withdraw from society. While prolonged exposure to video games has been linked to a decline in social skills and an increase in anxiety, research suggests that playing video games in moderation has the opposite effect.
Playing as a fictitious character in a digital setting allows gamers to practice appropriate social skills through role-playing. Those who have trouble interacting with others in real life can find it easier to practice these skills in a virtual environment like a video game. This will give them more self-assurance in their everyday interactions with others.
Some Video Games Encourage Cooperation
Video game players often engage in activities that need them to work with others to accomplish a common goal. Brigham Young University found that groups who played computer games together for 45 minutes outperformed control groups who engaged in other sorts of team-building exercises by as much as 20%.
This hints that gaming as a team-building exercise may be beneficial in fostering rapport amongst members of the group. This research also demonstrates that certain games may help players develop their social skills, making them better team players in the workplace.
Greater Acts of Kindness
While it’s true that spending too much time alone with a screen can lead to isolation, there are plenty of games that encourage interaction with others. Games that encourage contact between players via text or voice chat can help players develop skills useful in real life, like teamwork and communication. The social aspect of video games has advanced past simply playing games with a good purpose.
A common topic of discussion between students could be gaming. There is also a growing number of collegiate esports teams and organizations, as well as a merging of gaming with social media on sites like Twitch and Discord. While online gaming communities are great for meeting new people, it’s crucial to not let them replace real-life connections.
Compared to games where you sit still the whole time, those that encourage you to move around may be better for your physical health. Consider virtual reality games. Most of these games need some degree of physical activity, whether that’s walking about or just standing up; either way, it’s more beneficial to your health than sitting during a game.
It’s only an issue of time before virtual reality games become the standard over the next few years or decades, as gamers find them more engaging and satisfying than traditional gaming.
Do video games have positive effects?
Studies have shown that playing video games can boost cognitive abilities in the elderly, including their ability to respond quickly, focus, and remember information. However, not every game has these positive effects. Any given game may only be able to hone a specific set of abilities.
Why is gaming good for brain?
Video games are a beneficial mental workout in disguise. It has been shown by certain studies that regular gaming can enhance brain grey matter and improve brain connectivity.
What do video games teach you?
Playing games often might help keep you feeling upbeat and optimistic. Playing video games can help people learn to cope with negative emotions. More than 70% of gamers regularly engage in competitive or cooperative play with a friend, demonstrating the positive impact gaming has on socialization. Certain physical and mental illnesses are being treated with video games.
Can video games make you smarter?
Playing video games can help you pay attention for longer, make better decisions and solve tougher problems in pressure-packed situations, and even boost your memory and intelligence. Playing video games can help you develop the kinds of brainpower that today’s employers seek after.
Conclusion On Gaming Benefits
When practiced in moderation, gaming can provide both entertainment and educational benefits. Understanding why you play video games can help you reap the benefits of video games they offer. Playing games moderately, for entertainment and relaxation, can have positive effects.
But if you play games too much to avoid dealing with real-world issues, you may start to have problems as a result of your play and, in extreme situations, develop a gaming disorder. Consciously balancing the positive and negative effects that gaming has on your life is essential.
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