No one can dispute the fact that playing computer games is one of the most popular pastime activities available to you. In fact, in 2016, there were more than 2.5 billion video gamers around the globe, and the numbers seem to be rising with every passing day.
Among the available games, there are PC games, MMO games, mobile games, and some of the best online casino games. People spend hours and hours in front of a computer or mobile screen, which encouraged experts to take a closer look at how this behaviour can cause us harm.
However, not many people bring up the benefits of playing computer games. But there are, in fact, many pros to gaming, and you should be aware of them. Are you ready to find out more about how computer games can be beneficial to you?
5 Benefits of Gaming
Playing different kinds of games can have different effects on your mood and various cognitive skills. Multiple studies made a point of testing people’s reactions to puzzle games, action and adventure games, exergaming, first-person-shooter games (also known as FPS), and more.
Here are some of their conclusions, describing the areas in which games can prove to be useful, gathered in a systematic review published by Federica Pallavicini in 2018:
- A selection of cognitive skills – According to various studies conducted in the past decade, some games manage to improve an adult’s processing speed and reaction time, more specifically – action and adventure games, FPS games, and puzzle games. If your work requires some fast thinking, playing those types of games might prove to be helpful.
- Memory training – In our day and age, there is no longer a need to memorize anything, as tech aids do the work for us. Therefore, our memory is not what it used to be. So what can you do to improve your memory if you need, for example, to learn a presentation by heart? According to studies, puzzle games didn’t help in improving episodic memory – unlike the popular belief that solving crosswords will help you do just that. On the other hand, simulation, action, and adventure games served to improve visual and working memory. In addition to that, various brain training games (such as Brain Fitness) also help to sharpen your short-term memory.
- Emotional skills – Although common beliefs state that there are video games that can encourage aggressive behaviour, it turns out that some games can do the exact opposite. According to research, exergaming (anything that requires for you to move around while you play) and horror games (to our great surprise) can reduce your levels of stress, which then can translate to a calmer mood.
- The ability to multitask – Have you ever had to divide your attention between two completely different tasks? Of course, you must have. The question is, how successful were you in your endeavours? Although multitasking is not an easy feat, gaming can prepare you to do just that. As it turns out, the cost of dual-tasking decreased after playing puzzle games and custom-made video games. So if you want to improve your ability to switch your attention from one task to another, playing games can be of use to you.
- Reducing mental decline that comes with ageing – In various studies, it was proven that computer games had a hand in improving cognitive flexibility, attention, working memory, and abstract reasoning – all of which decline with age. Other studies also showed that playing video games managed to delay the decline in mental capabilities by several years, which is more than we could hope for.
In recent years, people were inclined to believe that most computer games can only cause harm. However, it is now clear that adults can benefit from playing different types of games in their spare time. What kind of game do you like playing the most?