Hey folks! As a kid, I was always told that playing video games would not benefit me in any way. It would not only waste my time but also distract me from my studies. And frankly, I have heard this from my parents so many times that I honestly don’t remember the count. But one constant thing that I did was to not stop playing games.
Sounds familiar? Let’s get started.
I have studied Psychology. Psychology is a source of fascination for many people and good reason. So as a student of psychology I was always interested in understanding the basics of the human mind and behavior. And how would they react and change under different situations? So, one such situation is playing video games.
Video games are more advanced than they ever were. Fascinating storylines, and more complex levels than before, these video games become more and more sought after by today’s youth. Parents would argue that video games corrupt the minds of the teens, and it could lead them to develop a violent personality that can make them become aggressive and commit crimes. And since we are all aware of the parenthood protective instinct, their concerns are understandable.
As much as it is true that Video Games are not at all bane, it is also true that Video games are not at all a boon. Talking about the disadvantages of Video games, it is true because of video games, children prefer to stay indoors and avoid physical games; which hamper their growth. they also develop many defects such as problems in vision, bone defects due to continuously sitting in one place. Children also tend to become solitary and do not become social. They also develop an aggressive, and violent attitude because of virtual war scenes. Many scientific reviews and studies conclude that exposure to media violence and violent video gaming increases the aggressive behavior of youths. But also according to a different study, it is suggested that when performing violent acts in video games may contribute to teenager’s aggression than just watching violent scenes on movies and TV shows.
Moreover, to explore the question about how playing video games may change the brain, researchers carried out a study on different students who were randomly chosen to play either a non-violent or a first-person shooter game (violent video game) every day at an interval of a week. “It was a long and boring process” so long story short, researchers came with a conclusion that the changes that happen to the brain while playing violent video games don’t appear to be permanent; however, documenting that the brain changes when playing the violent games even if it is for just a few hours a day for a whole week.
But this was just one side of the coin. Now the good part.
There are many benefits to playing games. Contrary to the traditional belief that gaming is merely an addictive source of entertainment and diversion, recent research has proved that gaming has numerous benefits and key among them, is the development of cognitive skills in both children and adults. Just as physical exercise helps in improving and strengthening your muscles, cognitive games help to indulge one’s brain in constant stimulation, thus improving the brain’s performance. The following are some of the cognitive benefits of playing video games.
1. Improves coordination
When an adult or child is playing a video game, he or she is not only staring at the computer inactively. The activities and actions on the screen provide a lot of mental stimulation. For one to play, he or she will need to coordinate their visual, audial, and physical movement.
2. Improves problem-solving skills
Video games involve certain rules. This means that the player has to think carefully before making any move to ensure that they stay within the required rules of that particular game. The player needs to make split-second decisions that will determine whether or not he or she will advance to the next level.
3. Enhances memory
Playing your favorite video game may require both visual and audial memory. The player is required to read or listen to the instructions which might only be provided at the beginning of the game, thus the need to remember them throughout the entire game. Mastery of the keys on your keyboard helps you easily move your characters in the game. This helps improve your memory, whether short- term or long-term.
4. Improves attention and concentration
Video games especially action games have proven to be able to capture the player’s attention for the entire period of the game. This is brought about by the player’s need to achieve certain objectives within the game, and be able to progress to the next level.
5. It is a great source of learning
Gaming is not only beneficial to adults and teenagers but children as well. Many modern education institutions incorporate video games as a teaching methodology. This helps these children improve their academic skills by providing video games that are specifically aimed at enhancing their cognitive and creative skills.
6. Improves the brain’s speed
While gaming, the brain receives multiple stimulations, both Visual and audial. According to research, individuals who play video games frequently can process these stimulators faster than others. These stimulators ensure that the brain is continuously working to interpret them.
7. Enhances multitasking skills
An action game, for example, may require you to be very observant. It requires you to be able to move your joystick or keys while looking at the various features on your screen such as energy levels, oncoming adversaries, ammunition left, available time among other factors, all which are vital to winning. This ensures that the player can observe and react according to all requirements of that particular game.
Personally, speaking I love playing violent video games because when I do so I forget about all my daily problems and I release all the frustration I assembled during the day by shooting zombies or damaging cars and buildings.
Though computer games might be beneficial, there is a need to play them in moderation. It is also important to pick the right game as not all of them provide the same cognitive benefits. Age should also be a factor. Small children should not be exposed to violent games.
So that was it for today. I hope you liked this piece of writing. And do comment below your favorite video game.
#StayHome StaySafe and keep playing games. All thanks to Corona for this overly unwanted extended vacation. Till next time “Auf Wiedersehen” it’s German as I am also a German Language Expert. 😉