Video gaming gets a lot of bad press. We think it’s time to right this wrong. We are told on a regular basis that video gaming is addictive and unsociable. We’re told that playing video games gives rise to violent behaviour, and that it results in a significant lack of physical activity, leading to health problems such as obesity and diabetes. Now, we’re not saying that these concerns, or fears, are wholly unfounded – if you spend 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, playing video games, you’re likely to suffer physically and mentally. We need sunlight, good food and exercise to keep our mind and body healthy. However, there are many benefits to playing video games that often get overlooked.
It’s All About Balance
For quite some time now, researchers have been conducting experiments to determine how video gaming affects us, and the results have been extremely positive – affirming what many of us already knew to be true. Video gaming has many health benefits – it can help with anxiety, it’s a great form of stress relief, it can help with pain management, and it can help improve issues with social interaction. So, if you were about to search out new video games at the newest online casinos at MrCasinova.com, but you were worried that playing games would be detrimental to your well-being, you can relax. As long as you balance video gaming with a good amount of exercise and out-door time (stick to a strict time limit and budget), you’ll find that your gaming habits are doing you some good.
In this article, however, we going to concentrate on how video gaming, rather than dulling our senses, enhances out cognitive abilities. We can benefit from gaming in several ways, particularly concerning decision-making, concentration, perception, and memory. Researchers put together numerous test groups that were made up of non-gamers. These non-gamers were then split into two groups, with one group tasked with playing video games for a set number of hours per day for a set number of days. The two groups were then given tasks that tested their cognitive and perceptual abilities. The findings showed that groups that had been playing video games consistently outperformed the non-gaming groups.
The Benefits Outweigh the Cons
The gaming groups showed marked improvements in spatial attention, the ability to keep track of specific moving objects in a field of similar-looking objects, the ability to multi-task, and the ability to switch focus from one task or problem to another completely different task or problem without making mistakes. Findings also showed that gamers were better able to control their responsiveness to external (non-target) stimuli, meaning that they could stay focused on the task at hand and were not easily distracted. It should be noted, however, that these improvements are dependent on the type of video game that is being played. Not all video games have all the gaming mechanics required to improve each area of cognitive ability, meaning players need to play a range of different video games in order to reap the full benefits of gaming.
Improvements in visual attention have also shown to help those with dyslexia. In many cases, the problems related to dyslexia are exacerbated by visual problems. Video gaming has proven to be more effective at enhancing visual processes, and therefore improving reading and speaking skills, than most of the training programs that have been specifically designed to help with dyslexia. And when speaking of visual processes, we should also point out that video gaming has been used to successfully treat amblyopia, or lazy eye, in adults that have had the condition since early childhood. This has led to the belief that allowing children with amblyopia to play video games for a controlled amount of time can help with the condition at a much early stage, effectively stopping it in its tracks.
You’re Never Too Old To Play
Another finding showed that video gaming can help stem the effects of aging on the brain. Cognitive abilities tend to decline as we get older, but experiments with test groups that were made up of elderly people have shown that video gaming can help slow down the decline. Elderly test subjects that played video games showed marked improvements in working memory, cognitive flexibility, abstract reasoning, and concentration. There was also an increase their self-esteem and their feelings of well-being.