More often than not, you’ve heard from people such as your parents or teachers to spend less time gaming and use that time to study or go out instead.
It’s an understandable point of view from them as gaming wasn’t a thing during our parents’ time.
In the past, people usually spend their free time playing in their neighbourhood or going out with their friends. There was no such thing as PS4 or Xbox.
Computers were already invented during our parents’ time, but many were unable to afford one. A basic computer costed an exorbitant price of $95,000 in 1972, which is insane even for a modern computer!
With technology becoming more modernised, you can easily buy a low-end gaming computer capable of running most games just fine at $500.
That’s just 0.53% of the cost of a computer back in 1972!
Gaming is getting more popular these days as more people can afford a gaming computer or gaming consoles.
Due to its rising popularity, many scientists are studying how gaming affects the brain.
Contrary to popular beliefs, gaming is actually good for the brain! Read on to find out more about the benefits of gaming.
Gaming has more pros than you think. It’s scientifically proven that gaming has positive cognitive effects ranging from problem-solving skills to better memory.
I’ll be listing the new benefits of gaming to encourage you to keep playing,
1) Problem-Solving Skills
Games under the strategic and role-playing games (RPG) genres require players to rack their brains and solve complex problems.
Games such as Hearthstone, Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, etc. requires players to plan their strategy in order to win against their opponents. There are usually a variety of strategic moves in the game, which means players must think before every action they take.
Furthermore, 1 round of these games can take up to 10mins. That’s a lot of problem-solving they have to think through!
A 2013 study done by The American Psychological Association (APA) showed that the more adolescents and children play strategic and RPG, the better their academic grades due to improved problem-solving skills!
2) Spatial Visualisation
First Person Shooter (FPS) games have been known to be violent and gory. However, the 3D maps and objects in FPS games have shown to improve gamers’ spatial visualisation and navigation skills.
Popular FPS games like Counter Strike Global Offensive (CS GO) and Valorant require gamers to remember the maps and surroundings. Players who don’t know about the maps are at a disadvantage as they wouldn’t be able to plan their moves strategically.
The laws of physics do apply in such games too, for example, if you throw a grenade at a wall. Depending on the angle, it’ll bounce accordingly!
With more time spent in FPS games, gamers develop a better capacity to visualise and think of objects and scenarios in 3D.
Fields in Math, Science, and Technology can use some of these gamers’ spatial skills, so if you’re a pro FPS gamer, you might want to look into these fields for your career!
Action games that are fast-paced are known to keep gamers at the edge of their seats and require quick decision-making skills.
University of Rochester made a study in 2010 and showed that gamers who often play action games are able to make fast yet accurate decisions.
Researchers conducted an experiment and gathered a bunch of 18 to 25-years-old gamers and divided them into 2 groups. Group A played fast-paced games such as Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament, while Group B played slow-paced strategy game The Sim 2.
Both groups played for 50 hours and after the experiment, they were tasked to make quick decisions in several tests conducted by the researchers.
At the end of the tests, the researchers concluded that gamers from Group A were 25% faster at coming to an answer and getting it right.
The researchers said that action game players can make more right decisions per unit time, which is an important cognitive skill to possess if you’re a surgeon!
Most games played now, be it FPS or RPG, require strategy, decision-making, spatial recognition, and concentration. All these cognitive actions exercise your hippocampus, a complex brain structure that plays a huge role in learning and memory.
A 2015 study by University of California has shown that gamers who regularly played 3D games have better memory and performed much better in memory tests, as compared to gamers who play 2D games.
It’s also proven that non-gamers’ memory improves over time if they invest 30 minutes into playing 3D games every day.
People tend to lose their memory power as they age, hence playing 3D games regularly can help to keep your mind sharp as you grow older. It might even lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s!
How to Prevent Gaming Addiction
Despite the benefits gaming brings for the brain, there are still people who will succumb to their inner demons and fall into the realms of addiction.
To some people, video games give them a chance to escape from the harsh reality of the world. These people are more prone to falling into video game addiction.
There must be a balance in everything you do, too much of anything is never good.
So, here’s a few things you can do to prevent getting addicted to video games.
1) Set a Daily Time Limit
You should set a limit to how long you play daily. Depending on your schedule, you can set a limit of certain hours,
For example, when you’ve completed all the tasks for the day, you can set aside 2 hours to play.
Make sure that you’ve finished all your work and assignments first before playing your video games.
Don’t play more than 2 hours in one go. Make sure you rest your eyes before continuing.
Limit yourselves to not more than 4 hours of gaming daily and stick to this routine religiously.
2) Incorporate Daily Exercise
Set physical goals to achieve, like being able to do 50 push-ups by the end of the month or hitting the gym at least 4 days a week.
This way, you wouldn’t have your mind on just playing video games.
3) Seek Help from Family
If you’ve difficulty managing the addiction yourselves, you can always ask your family members for help.
For example, you can ask them to keep your phone and gaming devices away from you once you’ve played more than 4 hours a day.
Apart from that, their words of encouragement will make your journey of ridding the addiction easier.
Despite the common misconception that gaming instills violence and is an utter waste of time, recent studies have shown that gaming actually has quite a few cognitive benefits and can help improve student’s grades.
However, gamers should always practice gaming in moderation to prevent gaming addictions as it’s very unhealthy.
With that being said, if your parents and teachers only have negative comments on gaming, show this article to them and game on!
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