Video Games and the skills they give us

Video games are good for you!!

It is a controversial saying that you’ve probably heard at one point in your life, whether you believe it or not. I am here to share with you an abundance of studies and facts about why video games are actually good for you.

They’re a fun way to get tricked into learning. Nowadays there are video games on just about everything. Early on, developers realized that video games could be used to improve reading and math skills. Today, there are games that incorporate world history, cooking, politics, chemistry, architecture, and other topics you may not have been exposed to in school. Games can even teach you to be a better problem solver. Open-world, mission-based, and multi-level games are designed like complex puzzles that take several hours to solve. Occasionally, the solution varies based on your actions in the game. Learning to think on your feet and strategize in a fast-paced fantasy environment is a skill that can translate to the real world. One long-term study showed that children who played strategy-based games showed an improvement in problem-solving skills—and thus, tended to get better grades—the next school year.

Regardless of the learning benefits you may be more interested in the benefits gaming can do for your mental health. Playing video games can help relieve stress. We all enjoy different ways of winding down, and, for many people, immersing themselves in a game is a great way of coping with, and gaining some perspective on, the stresses of daily life. Studies have shown that some video games can boost mood and make for better heart rhythms—a sign that they may also help relieve stress. Like all things it’s about moderation. Excessive gaming can take a toll on your mental and physical health just like how too much running can lead to joint problems and impact injuries. Done in moderation it is something that can still be beneficial for you and can do great things for your mental wellbeing. In general, playing the occasional video game is an activity you seek to have fun, and who isn’t gonna be happy when they are having fun?

It is also researched that gamers may have better social skills. The stereotype of a shy person who uses video games as a way to escape is not what the average gamer looks like. Past research involving children found that those who played more video games were more likely to have good social skills, perform better academically, and to have built better relationships with other students.

Gaming is really a workout for your mind disguised as fun. Studies have shown that playing video games regularly may increase grey matter in the brain and boost brain connectivity. It’s not just workouts for your mind that it can help improve manual dexterity, controller-based games can be great for your hands. In a study involving a group of surgeons, researchers found that those who played video games were faster at performing advanced procedures and made 37 percent fewer mistakes than those who didn’t. Special video games have also been used as physical therapy to help stroke victims regain control of their hands and wrists.

The world we live in is constantly changing, in a few years gamers may be one of the more physically active communities. Most major consoles now have the technology to get gamers off of the couch and onto their feet. The future of VR gaming will take things to a whole new level. Mobile game programmers have also started to create games that are played across physical space, building them around real-world location data and inspiring gamers to relocate in order to advance in the virtual world. An example of this could be the popular PokemonGo of 2016.

The future of Virtual reality in making fitness easier and even more fun is already taking place in today’s age. One of my favourite examples would be a project called CycleVR. They are working to incorporate cycling with google maps so you can literally cycle across the world in Virtual reality! There is even a treadmill from another company that comes with a built-in screen so you can run trails that you would have never gotten to, and all this is from your own home.

Now, this doesn’t mean everyone should take up intensive gaming in order to develop a better brain or emotional wellbeing. There are plenty of other ways to have fun and tackle some problems deeper down, But it’s nice to know that gaming isn’t necessarily making you dumb, or eating up your brain.

Sincerely Adam clark-emmerson

School study:
https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2013/11/video-games
Child social skills:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/video-games-children-learning-intelligence-social-skills-study-a6920961.html
Brain connectivity:
https://www.sciencealert.com/gamers-have-more-grey-matter-and-better-brain-connectivity-study-suggests
Surgeons:
https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2008/08/video-games