Video games often get bad press. And arguably, spending too much time in front of a screen has its downsides. Yet, more and more studies show that playing video games can harness a variety of aptitudes, from visual attention to problem-solving skills. For kids, playing an exciting game is the perfect way to learn almost without noticing. But adults can also benefit from the gaming experience, whether they’re looking for a stress-reliever or for some bonding time with friends. So, let’s find out about five benefits adults and kids can gain from video games.
In its definition, visual-spatial processing means the ability to locate objects in space. It also involves evaluating the distance between different items or persons. In short, that is an essential skill to navigate the world. So, when you try to parallel park your car or tie your shoes, you are effectively practicing visual-spatial abilities.
And researchers have shown that playing video games had a sizable impact on performing complex visual tasks. In fact, experienced action video gamers are able to better track objects at fast speed and narrow down details with more precision, which results in an improved vision. They can also switch from one task to another more quickly, showing their ability to shift focus rapidly.
Brain’s ability to focus
In a world full of distractions, keeping the brain focused on one task is getting increasingly difficult. And data shows that the average attention span keeps on declining. But with video games, the focus is of the essence.
In 2018, Chinese neuroscience researchers observed that gaming improved visual selective attention. By locating multiple objects simultaneously in a cluttered space, players could block out distractions more efficiently. And after an hour-long League of Legend gaming session, even non-experts showed changes in their brain activity.
Video games are all about overcoming challenges. Whether it’s finding the culprit in a mystery visual novel or defeating the final boss in a multi-level game, complex puzzles are at the heart of every gaming experience. Therefore, players need to apply flexible thinking and rational organization to figure out the best strategy to progress through the story.
In 2013, a long-term study even assessed that playing strategy-based games could help children improve their grades. But brain games and memory training can also prove beneficial for adults to develop coping strategies in their daily lives.
Mental health benefits
Conflict in the workplace, traffic jams on the way home, multiple sources of stress can spoil our daily routine. So, to cheer up a gloomy day, many adults turn to video games for a relaxing break. Indeed, gaming triggers a dopamine secretion, which helps relieve stress instantly. Video games also boost the player’s self-esteem with rewards when completing challenges. But stress-relief games don’t necessarily need to be competitive.
With their simple gameplay mechanics and intuitive interface, casual games are the perfect way for occasional players to let off steam. They range from farming simulation to tap-and-swipe mini-games. Casual gamers can also take the experience to mobile with fun mobile slots. Indeed, casino mobile games offer short and endearing gaming sessions to play during lunch break or on the bus. Plus, most of them are free-to-play. This allows gamblers to test dozens of slots without even risking real money.
Playing video games can be a lonely experience. But it doesn’t have to be. Indeed, multi-player games are an easy way to improve social interactions. For kids having trouble making friends at school, gaming can even provide shelter and give them a sense of belonging. However, parents should consistently monitor their child’s online activity. It is also best to push forward prosocial games that insist on positive behavior.
Indeed, video games are most beneficial when they help players work together to achieve common goals. And this spirit of teamwork can be applied at school as well as in the workplace, since gaming with co-workers can boost productivity.
Video games develop brainpower and even help cope with stress. Still, limits are essential to keep the gaming experience constructive for kids and grown-ups alike. But playing video games is no longer seen as a brainless activity, and for good reason.