Most of us have a favorite. Some of us love the thrill that comes from playing an action-packed shooter game. We relish eliminating digital enemies. But then some are in it for the strategies and ambushes they plan. They enjoy the challenge of their mental faculties.
The fun thing is that due to the advances in tech, we never lack for choice. Game developers and designers continuously come up with fresher and exceptional game fodder. It is just the reason that we players need to keep playing – as if we even needed one!
But you must have heard a lot about how games rot our brains. How they can make the younger generation more violent. And so on. While the jury’s out on the adverse effects of games, they have many positive effects that aren’t highlighted enough. I thought I’d shed light on those for you today:
- Games result in the improvement of memory
There are a great number of games that you cannot win unless you execute a brilliant strategy and concentrate.
Just think about building a civilization in the game, Minecraft. Or, consider how you must fight to live when you play a game like Fortnite. In both those examples, bringing to mind the location of specific resources or where you should go next are essential to the survival of the players. Try these 4 brain games to beef up your mental muscles!
Moreover, developers create such rich environments that stimulate our senses. There are 3D graphics to entice the ocular muscles. But there is also immersive audio to keep your ears busy.
You also use your hands to operate the controls. Therefore, you employ all these senses in tandem to navigate the virtual world of games, just as do in the real world.
What’s more, you must also focus, so you can successfully juggle multiple tasks and achieve your goals. That means you’re exercising your hippocampus, as well.
The hippocampus is the section of your brain that converts short-term memory to a more permanent type. It is also in charge of your spatial memory.
Keeping the hippocampus in functioning shape improves the way you navigate physical space and improves long-term memory. An example would be getting better at locating places and following directions. Take the Scratch and Match Animal game from Unlimited gamez mo out for a test!
The study conducted by University of California has shared a sheer evidence. Cognitive benefits between a group of non-gamers and those who played were tested. The former showed improved performance at memory tasks after they began playing.
- Games turn you into better problem solvers
Say you want to teach a child how they can use objects to explore their environments or solve problems. The game, Minecraft, is a great way to do both.
Similarly, by playing SimCity, teenagers can learn about planning a city. They also master the skill of thinking ahead. For example, they will discover that increasing the tax rate might have different consequences under varying circumstances. It could hurt a growing city or help it prosper. Or how street development might improve the state of the city in some cases while doing the opposite in others.
When they strategize, they are grasping resource management. Through the game, the students and players receive an explanation of what planning means.
They can then apply these strategies to life. Resource limitation leads to a deeper understanding of how to best use them. This, too, has used in real life situations. There are games like Age of Empires and Railroad Tycoon that are genuinely effective for this purpose.
The American Planning Association says SimCity is one reason why so many people are plotting their careers in urban planning and architecture.
Lastly, many games are based on historical events or current ones. The way they’re set up means that the players get a basic understanding of what happened in real life at those times. Some of them may even be interested in doing more research on those events and, thus, gain in-depth knowledge.
- Games will elevate your fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
While playing shooting games, as a character, you often have to run and shoot at the same time. That doesn’t just mean you aim. You’ll also need to monitor:
- Where you’re going
- How you’re getting there
- If your aim is hitting your enemies
And so on. Accounting for all these factors while your brain manages the rest of your body to react and keep shooting means you practice hand-eye coordination. With practice, it improves.
Players who are exceptionally good at it can put their skills to use for jobs requiring fine motor skills, such as surgery and flying fighter planes. A testament to these benefits of games is how skilled this generation’s pilots and surgeons are!
- Games may bring us relief from pain
Sure, playing games is a good way to spend time or relax. However, they can also be an excellent remedy for various kinds of pain. An American Journal of Preventive Medicine article reviewed almost 40 studies. Through them, the reviewers discovered that about 200 patients experienced relief on every front. Included in those studies were those dealing with psychological and physical pain.
Similarly, when the 2010 American Pain Society’s conference took place, a group of researchers demonstrated that games are also useful in the reduction of pain and anxiety stemming from medical procedures or chronic illness.
The main reason is that virtual reality draws the patient’s or player’s focus towards the game. It engages all their senses. Thus, they can temporarily forget their discomfort about the condition or the procedure that they will shortly go through.
You may begin to realize now that most of the benefits we mention here are highly transferable. It is this property that makes games so useful. What we experience as we play can also extend to the environment outside the game-playing context.
Finally, sure, there may be some negative consequences. However, those usually become an issue with excessive game playing.