During the early days of video games, a lot of people thought such things incited violence. Many parents persuaded their kids to stay out of the so-called bad habit. But as the years progressed and video games became more familiar and available to the greater masses, studies conducted on the psychological and physical effects of video games also expanded, revealing major findings that may come as a surprise to many people.
The following are science-based benefits that prove gaming is more than just a pastime.
Improves Fine Motor Skills
In an interesting experiment conducted by medical researchers comparing the hand-eye coordination skills of high school students, college kids, and medical residents, they were surprised that the high school students outperformed the other groups.
The surprising reason? The high school students played video games for an average of at least two hours per day.
Helps Overcome Dyslexia
The inability to maintain focus is one of the primary difficulties among people with dyslexia.
But after immersing dyslexic patients in immersive video games, they’ve shown an interesting improvement in reading comprehension, an increase attributed to the attention-intensive requirements common in most video games that force players to keep their focus frame by frame.
A lot of parents warn their kids about ruining their eyesight for being on-screen all day. But a 2009 experiment completely debunks this claim.
In a test involving experienced shooter players and casual gamers, it was found that shooter players showed signs of having better vision as compared to casual gamers, who played slower games.
Improves Quick Thinking
A lot of video-game situations require split-second decisions that can mean the difference between losing and winning. In this respect, players are forced not only to focus but also to think on their feet and make the right choices to be able to overcome a challenge and successfully progress in the game.
Video games with complex storylines usually incorporate a huge trove of facts that can rouse a player’s curiosity and encourage them to learn more.
Fosters Social Relationships
LAN parties were a thing, and they were the beginning of great friendships. Now with the internet and the arrival of massive co-op games, players from around the world can instantly connect.
Online has proven to be a great channel for cultivating gamers’ social lives and a lot of them actually meet in person.
While this one may be highly relative and depend on the players’ biological constitutions and the type of game being played, a lot of cases have shown the activity to lower cortisol and adrenaline levels among highly stressed gamers.
This is also perhaps why slow-paced games have such an appeal to a great portion of gamers.
Slows Down Aging
Engaging in highly creative activities that forces the brain to get to work such as that required in reading or playing video games induces the creation of new brain cells that maintain or increase cognitive functioning that may be affected by the natural aging process.
Play games, and keep sharp.
Highly immersive games may be welcome and effective distractions when it comes to pain management, but that’s not the sole reason they work. Playing video games produces an analgesic response to high cortical systems, in almost the same way the body responds to stress. This is why playing video games is a common postinjury prescription.
May Help Treat Depression
Depression has become a modern pandemic, affecting some 300 million people worldwide and is now considered the leading cause of disability globally.
In an effort to find treatments for this terrible mental condition, researchers from New Zealand have looked into many potential treatments, including the use of playing video games for therapy, and the findings have shown positive results.
Ready, Player 1?
All these are great reasons to explore video games other than the fact that games today have really come a long way since they permeated mainstream consciousness. Having taken a massive leap forward from their 2-D arcade classic predecessors, video game selections now have improved dramatically not only in terms of visuals but also in variety and complexity.
So see to it that you maximize your gaming experience with a solid gaming platform that can handle the hardware requirements of today’s graphics-rich games. If you want no-hassle plug-and-play with exclusive titles, gaming consoles are preferable, but if you want better graphics with more game varieties, a solid, high-quality gaming PC is the better option.
Have some awesome stories about how video games practically helped you improve in real life? Tell us about it in the comments below.