The benefits of video games

The social connections established through games can be deep and last many years. (Photo: Freepik)
Growing up, video games were always criticized and treated with disdain. Whether it was that playing them too much “will rot your brain” or that they’ll “stunt your mental development”, there was always a specific sort of stigma associated with them. But now, many studies later, there is undeniable proof that all that negative critique was blatantly wrong, and, you’d be surprised to see just how beneficial playing video games can be. So, let’s jump right into some of these benefits.اضافة اعلان

Improved vision and reading

Contrary to popular belief, playing video games — in moderation of course — could actually improve your vision. Strange, right? You grow up hearing how constantly staring at your screen will be detrimental to your sight, but scientists are discovering that playing games without pushing your eyes to strain might be doing the exact opposite. Studies show that people who played games were getting better at discerning slight shades of color, and some players were seeing an improvement in the clarity of their vision.

(Photo: RawPixel)

In 2013, Italian researchers focusing on people with dyslexia found that participants’ reading abilities improved after playing video games that featured a lot of action and text. Researchers believe that the reason for this could be that video games have constantly changing variables that require one’s complete attention, thus resulting in these improvements.

Builds leadership

Studies have found that video game genres that focus on having players provide for and take care of a community could lead to the development of leadership traits. Multiplayer survival games are a great example of such games, often requiring players to think critically about resources their base needs and planning ahead to ensure, well, survival. These moments in games seem to correlate to real life motivation in some players, with people applying similar thought patterns to their daily lives. Studies have also found that improvising in video games can help with thinking faster on your feet, making you quicker to take charge of an office crisis if one were to arise.

Brain health and focus

It isn’t all that surprising to find out that focusing on playing video games ends up helping your general ability to retain focus, but studies have also shown that playing “brain games” has a positive effect on increasing cognitive function. Players who engage with games that are oriented heavily around puzzle solving and memory tend to see lasting positive effects on their cognitive functions; with the effects lasting for several years, in some cases.

(Photo: RawPixel)

A strange example, perhaps, involved a study that showed that those who played video games tended to be better surgeons. In this study, people who played video games made 32 percent fewer errors than their non-gaming peers when participating in practice procedures. This could be attributed to the finer dexterity and focus required for some games.

Social connections and new interests

A lot of people play video games socially, but with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic this kicked into high gear and many — not just people who self-identify as “gamers” — have found themselves engaging in social gaming. The social connections established through games are not necessarily shallow simply because of the video-game medium; many people the world over form deep and meaningful friendships that last years.

As a result of these connections, people develop new interests. Video games have led people to discovering interests they may never have otherwise. Whether it’s a budding interest in history through games like Civilization, or a fascination with physics by playing Kerbal Space Program, it’s clear that a medium that was once stigmatized has added variety to the lives of many gamers.

A healthy mental break

Games do sometimes have the reputation of being stress inducting, especially those in which you’re forced to fight for your character’s life, but the opposite can be true as well. One study showed that the heart rate and adrenaline levels in players was reduced by more than 50 percent.

Many people play video games as a way to escape the trouble of their daily lives, offering a different world that can be explored with the click of a button.

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, maybe you could try picking up a video game and giving it a go.

(Photo: RawPixel)

Don’t be fooled by what people say about video games, as studies have made it evident that there are potential benefits from playing them. Grab a controller or keyboard and reap the benefits.

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