When you play a video game, you are engaging in a form of mental exercise. The brain activity required for gaming exercises the hippocampus, which is responsible for spatial memory.
Logic games in particular have been proven to improve your ability to recognize visual information. Researchers have also linked video gaming to improved performance in keyhole surgery.
Playing video games used to be viewed as something that rots your brain, but it’s actually good for you. As long as you don’t become a compulsive gamer, video games can improve your memory and cognitive function, especially if they require concentration and strategic thinking.
For example, one study showed that people who played first-person shooter video games for 30 hours experienced a boost in their ability to register visual information and recognize it quickly. This skill can help you learn new things faster and overcome distractions.
Another advantage of gaming is that it can improve your ability to visualize spatial information. A study showed that gamers were better at judging distances between objects, mentally rotating them to see how they fit into a space, and recognizing patterns in visual images than non-gamers.
Moreover, immersive games like Minecraft, which allow players to build their own worlds, can help them remember where they put items or how to navigate a complicated area. Moreover, playing video games can also help older adults deal with memory decline.
Those who regularly play action games have improved spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination skills, which is a bonus for those with disabilities or those suffering from conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s. Additionally, those who play video games can improve their power of concentration and memory, as well as language skills.
Video games require creativity to solve puzzles and complete missions. They also teach players how to make quick decisions and avoid making mistakes that could ruin their progress. These are valuable skills for life in general, especially when it comes to navigating complex problems that may not have an easy answer.
Researchers at Michigan State University have discovered that both boys and girls who play video games are more creative than their non-gaming counterparts. Their study involved having participants play a first-person shooter, a sandbox game, and a puzzle game. Then they had them take a standard creativity test. The results showed that both the sandbox and the puzzle games promoted more creativity than the first-person shooter.
While this is encouraging, it’s important to note that not all video games are created equal. The game genre and the specific gameplay have a large impact on the brain’s plasticity, meaning that different types of games will affect your brain in different ways.
While the research shows that gaming can help your brain in many ways, it’s still essential to find healthy and stimulating activities outside of video games. Staying up all night to fight off zombies isn’t the best thing for your body, but learning how to create your own video games can give kids and teens a competitive edge when it comes to landing dream internships and jobs down the road.
Improves Decision-Making Skills
Video games often require players to make quick decisions on the fly, such as how best to defeat a boss or overcome an obstacle. Several studies show that gamers are better at making these decisions than non-gamers.
For example, a study found that action video game players were 25 percent faster at responding to decision-making tests than their non-gamer counterparts. They also were able to identify objects in cluttered images more accurately. The researchers suspect that video gaming improves a person’s ability to track multiple objects and rapidly extract relevant information.
Other researchers have used fMRI to discover that extensive gaming alters the network in the brain involved in processing complex visual tasks, which leads to faster and more accurate decision-making. The changes in the brain also help gamers allocate their attention more efficiently.
A separate study found that action video gamers could judge the direction of a moving sound more quickly than non-gamers without sacrificing accuracy. This may be because their training on action video games has improved their ability to process rapid, changing visual information.
Despite the benefits of video gaming, some research has highlighted the negative impact that playing these games can have on a person’s social and moral skills. For instance, the video gaming community’s toxic culture of bullying and misogyny discourages female gamers. In addition, it has been reported that video games encourage a violent culture and contribute to the social problems of obesity and substance abuse among adolescents.
Video games can be used as a tool to reduce stress, especially for kids. Whether it’s a role-playing game, such as Minecraft, Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing, or a puzzle game, such as Tetris, these types of games are known to help improve cognitive abilities, such as hand-eye coordination and multitasking. But it’s important to remember that kids should only play these games for fun and not as a form of escapism.
Video games are very immersive and can make the player feel completely absorbed in their game, which is a great stress reliever. They also produce a lot of dopamine, which makes you feel happy. Aside from this, gamers usually don’t have to think about their work or bills while playing video games, which can help them relax.
Some people might view violent video games as a stress-inducing activity, but it really depends on the type of gaming and the person. Studies show that high-adrenaline, fast-paced games can reduce stress for some people because it helps them enter the flow state, where they are so engrossed in the game that they forget about their worries.
However, it is important to balance gaming with real-life activities and to take breaks from gaming for healthy eating and exercising. This will ensure that the stress-relief benefits of gaming are not being lost due to unhealthy habits.