Video Games: Beneficial or Disastrous?
By floria on Friday, July 12th, 2019 No Comments
Playing games is one of the oldest forms of passing the time adopted by human beings. In the earlier days, games used to be a purely physical activity. But in the 20th century, virtual forms of games came into existence and were played on a screen. Hence, the name of video games emerged.
Fast forward to today, and undoubtedly, video games are a significant part of the world. After all, the video game industry today is worth a lot more even than Hollywood! But video games have been for decades seen as a harmful activity and a cause for many issues that prevail in the world. Of course, its human nature to find something to blame for everything wrong with our planet, and historically speaking, video games have taken the bulk of that blame. But is that even justified? As it turns out, not really.
Most of the stigma surrounding video games can be chalked up to ignorance or lack of authentic research surrounding video games. But with studies and research done over video games in recent times, some remarkable discoveries have been made. Contrary to common belief, recent studies have found that video games can prove to be quite advantageous, bringing about a host of cognitive benefits.
Video games can help people who work in creative professions such as dissertation writers; this can be boiled down to the general underlying principle behind every video game. Passing a level in a video game requires players to think and come up with ways of passing it efficiently. Of course, this is just one example of how video games can be a great source of improvement in brain function. Many studies even claim that playing video games is a great form of exercise for the brain.
Obviously, as with anything, it’s important to be considerate of the harmful effects of video games. Luckily, as far as the video games are considered, the only probable downside is how addictive it can be. Video games are only proven to be harmful when played in excess, but then again isn’t that the rule for everything in life?
So let’s take a look at some of the benefits of playing video games, in moderation, of course.
Playing a video game doesn’t involve only staring at the screen. It involves taking in all the information, analysing it, and then doing actions that control what happens in the game. It’s all a delicate and fine balance of visual and physical activity.
This notion is only strengthened by numerous studies that confirm video games help improve hand-eye coordination. It goes even further than that, though. Video games make players utilise their visual, auditory and physical abilities. So in addition to hand-eye coordination, video games also improve coordination between all three visual, physical and auditory movements.
Life is full of problems. Looking at life from a simplistic view, one realises that life is just a maze of problems that people navigate in different manners. Problem-solving skills then is an extremely important thing to possess. That makes playing video games a great thing then. Every video game involves a set of rules that needs to be followed and asks for players to solve problems while staying within established boundaries. This forces the players to think carefully before making moves.
Furthermore, players also have to make split-second decisions. All of this comes together and makes for a great platform to improve problem-solving skills. These are skills that ultimately transform into real-life scenarios.
Every video game involves remembering basic rules and instructions. These instructions or rules are usually handed down at the start of the game. Remembering these, until the end, requires good visual as well as auditory memory.
Some games even include special sections where overcoming challenges requires memorising sequences or something like that. And then there are ‘memory games’ that revolve entirely around the idea of solving puzzles by memorising concepts. The one thing common between all types of games? They have been proven to improve memory in players, both long-term and short-term. Not bad, eh?
Attention and Concentration
The ‘instant gratification’ world we live in today has eroded our attention spans and the ability to concentrate on a single task for a long time. However, long-term focus and undivided attention is almost a ‘pre-requisite’ for games. As mentioned earlier, playing a game requires between physical and mental actions as well as remembering instructions.
None of this can be done without being fully focused on playing a game; this ultimately leads to improving players’ concentration and attention. Both concentration and attention are character traits that are in high demand in today’s world. They are both required for achieving deep-work. Deep-work is a state of work wherein one is so focused on a task that time seems to fly past; this is when productivity is at the highest. It’s no wonder then that people who can achieve deep-work are the most successful ones.
Great Source of Learning
Education, for all its benefits, is unfortunately perceived as a boring thing by students. But in recent times, a new concept which involves ‘gamifying education’ is emerging. Experts have found that education can be made fun by integrating gaming into education. Many educational institutes have already incorporated specialised forms of games into their syllabus, helping children improve their cognitive and creative skills.
But learning via video games isn’t only confined within the classroom walls. Many games today use history as the basis for their stories. Studies have shown that players who play such games develop a deeper interest in history and historical figures.
Furthermore, simulation games can help players learn new skills. Simulation games, as the name implies, are games that attempt to simulate real-world things. Some examples of simulation games are flight simulators, mechanic simulator, and driving simulators.
Games today are a lot more advanced than the simple 2-dimensional arcade games of the early days. And with advancements in games, cognitive benefits that we used to be unaware of have cropped up. It’s an exciting revelation, and one which will only be expanded upon further as games keep growing technologically.