Today we triumph, gamers!
Finally, it has been proven that video games not only have no correlation with the real-life violence. Moreover, they don’t even harm your health in the ways people think they do. And as if that was not enough, it has been proven that computer games, in fact, can improve your cognitive and perceptive abilities, relieve stress and help develop social skills. Bam! So when your parents or friends nag you again about your gaming hobby, show them this article and go indulge in your favorite game.
Top 5 Gaming Benefits You Didn’t Know About
1) Makes your eyesight better
That’s how you start with a blast, right? But this is not a deceiving hook to catch your attention – video games have a positive impact on your vision if applied moderately of course. But by these we don’t mean five minutes per day, you can play several hours and still be good. The one thing that can harm you is slowed blinking, so make sure to take breaks and let your eyes rest for a couple of minutes.
And now off to the benefits. Scientists have found evidence of two main positive impacts on your eyesight:
- Visual contrast sensitivity
Research has shown that fifty hours of FPS and action games (spread over ten to twelve weeks, so that’s just five hours per week) contributed to improving the contrast sensitivity – the ability to discern subtle shades of grey. This, for example, is very beneficial when driving at night.
- Amblyopia treatment
Fast-paced RPGs and shooters have proven to be an effective treatment of eye condition called amblyopia, also known as lazy eye. It can arise in early childhood and make one of the eyes nearly non-functional. The patients with the condition which were asked to play games showed astonishing improvement of their situation, in some cases even restoring a 20/20 and fully stereoscopic vision.
2) Improves attention and vigilance
- Spatial attention.
Video gaming has proved to improve your special attention abilities, which means that you will be abler to locate a target stimulus among a field of distractions. This has shown to manifest as better driving skills when a person learns to drive.
- Ability to track moving objects among distractions.
FPS and other fast-paced games, such as battle royale subgenre, will improve your ability to track moving objects and distinguish the target objects better against a static background and a set of other similar moving objects. This ability will be useful not only while driving but also when performing other tasks that require a fast response – e.g., sports, emergencies, etc.
- Reduced impulsiveness.
Here’s another mind-boggling fact for you backed up by research – spending time with your favorite CS:GO, or PUBG helps to reduce impulsiveness, not to increase it contrary to popular belief. A group of people that were asked to play action games over the test period of time showed an increased ability to distinguish between target and non-target stimuli and retain from reacting to the wrong one. They have also shown to increase the capacity to restrain from responding when shown an incentive that didn’t call for a response.
- Dyslexia treatment.
Dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects learning ability. It changes the way that the brain processes the reading material, causing difficulties with spelling, recognizing words and comprehensions. The cause is still unknown, but apparently, in some cases, the problem can derive from visual attention problems. A study conducted in 2013 has shown that 12 hours of video gaming improved children’s reading and phonology abilities. Plus, gaming is way more fun than doing regular exercises specifically designed to treat the condition.
3) Develops executive skills
If you have played at least one team-based game, you know that in most cases you have to analyze a situation and decide upon your next steps fast, while defending your base. Various town survival simulators are also good at this, such as Frost Punk and They Are Billions, despite being a single-payer. When referring to executive skills, scientists usually refer to the ability to make effective decisions fast. Numerous research pieces have proven that spending your time in game will upgrade this skill:
- Increased ability to multitask.
Research conducted in 2013 confirmed that 50 hours of gameplay increased the test subjects’ scores on the Multi-Attribute Task Battery, a program modeled to resemble tasks that pilots perform in an aircraft. The test involved using a joystick to locate a target and keep it in the center of the screen, monitoring fuel levels, responding to light signals appearing on the instrument panel and communicating with other participants. Excellent performance on this test corresponds with real-life piloting skills.
- Developing mental flexibility.
Various research held from 2010 to 2014 has proven that fast-paced games develop the player’s ability to switch between two tasks with conflicting demands and perform them with a lesser amount of errors or no errors at all. So all hail FPS and all the dumb panic induced deaths when you were trying to heal quickly.
- Reverse mental power decline associated with aging.
Get your grandma and grandad a computer and teach them how to play PUBG. Seriously, research papers as old as 2018 prove that playing video games increases mental flexibility, working memory, attention and abstract reasoning in elderly patients. One study conducted in 2011 even found that games led to improved quality of life and better self-concepts. So don’t be too depressed when your grandma beats you in CS and gets to the regional qualifiers.
4) Makes you persistent
A lot of gamers agree on the fact that when you are trying to get that last boss in Dark Souls, you learn how to be persistent. At first, you rage, then you cry, and then you calmly accept the fact that DS will suck all of your nerves and let you with an empty void, which you can refill only with the DS II and III. All jokes aside, gaming takes your emotional “stamina” to a whole new level.
This is another important function performed by gaming – training you to endure failures and keep trying. Contrary to beliefs gaming opponents might have, this trait of onscreen reality helps to maintain better grades, pursue your goals and live a fulfilling life. Of course, in case you are actually living your life and not spending every hour in a game – but that’s another story.
5) Teaches you to manage unpleasant emotions
It may sound counterintuitive, especially seeing the numerous rage videos and gifs, but computer gaming actually teaches us containing and controlling our emotions. But how can the factor that actually causes all the negative emotions help gamers learn self-regulation? Well, the answer is more straightforward than you think – games are specifically designed to induce negative feelings and, therefore, help the players to contain and control them.
As research proves, play in its different forms has always been a perfect tool for exploring the outer and inner world and learning how to operate in society. Computer games are no different, they are merely a technology-enhanced experience. So, when a game makes you want to crash the controller and the screen, remember that these negative emotions are an essential training of your emotional stability. Plus, quality displays are expensive.