How many times have you been reprimanded for spending too much time in front of the TV playing games on your console or PC? If you’re a game freak, it’s probably been so many that you’ve lost count. Now is the time to prove to the skeptics that playing video games is good for your health, and we’re not just saying that!
It Improves Your Attention Span
Video games have frequently come under fire for allegedly fostering violence and increasing self-isolation. In certain nations, video games deemed “violent” have been criminalized. However, research has disputed the presence of a link between violence and video games and has concluded that video games have beneficial impacts on the brain and cognitive capacities.
While it may appear contrary to the widespread belief that video games lower children’s attention spans, research indicates that action games can boost visual attention and teach a user to focus on meaningful visual information. Currently, researchers are investigating the use of action games to enhance military training and rectify some visual deficiencies. When the brain is faced with an overwhelming amount of visual information (as when driving a car or fighting a battle), video games may serve as a training and preparation tool to help us maintain focus and discern between crucial and irrelevant information.
Strengthen your memory
In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, the link between video games and working memory was explored. For 30 days, participants were assigned either an action video game (such as Call of Duty) or a simulation video game (such as The Sims). The researchers discovered that playing action video games appeared to boost visual working memory more than other activities, which corroborates earlier findings. Other research indicates that action video games have a greater memory-improving effect than “Brain Training” games.
Improve your motor and visual skills.
Underground, a game in which players must guide a boy and his pet robot out of a mine, has been adapted to train surgeons in specific skills: players use adapted controllers that mimic surgical tools, and those who perform better in the game also perform better on assessments of their surgical skills. Certain games that require a high level of precision might serve as aids for fine motor training. Other studies have discovered that those who play action video games are more adept at identifying visual cues and shifting their attention between diverse stimuli. Professor Simone Kühn of the Max-Planck Institute for Human Development used brain-scanning technology to analyze people who were playing Super Mario 64 DS and discovered a growth in three areas of the brain over a two-month period: the prefrontal cortex, the right hippocampus, and the cerebellum, all of which are associated with fine motor control and spatial navigation skills.
Improve your social skills.
Other studies have discovered that the narrative features of video games can help youngsters, particularly those with certain types of autism, improve their social and emotional abilities. This development, which is also evident in those who regularly consume fiction, indicates that stories enable players to access the mental states of other people, thus benefiting children in developing their empathy and understanding of others.
Prevents brain aging
One component of video games that has the potential to be more ambitious and intriguing is their ability to reduce the wear and tear on adult brain capacities. A group of researchers and game designers from the University of California have developed a game called NeuroRacer to assist the elderly in improving their cognitive capacities. Individuals are required to operate a virtual car while performing other chores. After 12 hours of use, the researchers discovered that the seniors’ performance, working memory, and attention span had improved. More importantly, it was revealed that the acquired skills are transferrable and applicable in the actual world.
Playing without overdoing it
While playing video games is beneficial for both children’s and adults’ health, it is critical to monitor how we use them, especially with youngsters. Control the time you spend on it; some experts recommend spending no more than 3 or 4 hours every week. It is also critical to evaluate the type of content to which you are exposing the small children; each game specifies the suggested age range for its use; adhere to this age range to avoid confusion for the “little ones.”