Here are Some of the Many Reasons why Gaming is So Great for your Brain
It doesn’t matter whether you play challenging strategy games or whether you prefer apocalyptic shooter games that are action-packed because as tech advances, there seems to be new games out every single day. If you want to start playing video games more, but you want to make sure that it is not impacting your health, then you have nothing to worry about because there are actually some benefits to playing video games. If you want to find out more then take a look below.
So many video games require a lot of strategy. You will also need to concentrate as well. If you have ever built your own city in Civilisation or if you have ever fought for your life in the Legend of Zelda then you will know how important it is to remember where specific resources are, or where you should be going next. Navigating a virtual world is very stimulating and it can also have a very positive impact on both your memory and your everyday life too.
When you know that you need to juggle various tasks and goals, you will be exercising the hippocampus part of the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for converting your short-term memory into your long-term memory. It’s also responsible for controlling your spatial memory too. If you can work to keep the hippocampus in shape, then you will certainly see that your long-term memory improves.
The University of California has done a study that shows the cognitive benefits that come with video games as well. They tested a group of gamers and a group of non-gamers in various memory-related tasks. This all related to the hippocampus. Those who played complex or 3D games did way better in memory-related tasks when compared to those who did not play video games at all, or those who only played 2D video games.
The study showed that when non-gamers played a complex game every day for just half an hour, their memory improved rapidly. As you age, your memory may decline, so it’s a very good idea for you to try and keep your mind sharp even as you get older.
As if the spatial memory improvement isn’t enough, you should also know that playing video games will help you to visualise space much better. A study from 2013 has shown that shooter video games can improve how you think about objects that are three-dimensional. Gamers are much better at being able to judge the distance between objects and they are also better at rotating objects mentally so that they can then fit into a space.
Of course, the enhanced spatial visualisation really does come with some practical benefits. This could help you to know whether it is possible for you to park in a parallel space or whether you need to organise a closet so that everything fits. If you are unable to judge distance or if you struggle to see the small details on video games, then you may need glasses. Luckily, they are very easy to order online.
When faced with competing stimuli or a complex environment, your brain will create a template that helps you to decide what is important, and what isn’t. This perceptual template will help you to respond to a situation in the right way. Studies have shown that those who play video games, or action games have a much stronger perceptual template. Of course, high-action video games can also really boost your ability to distinguish between shades of grey or even patterns. Scientists have found that those who played around 6 hours of video games a week, for 9 weeks experienced a 43% improvement in their sensitivity to contrast.
A gamer’s brain was able to process stimuli much more efficiently and this improvement lasted for quite a while after the experiment ended. If you want to know how this could benefit you, then you should know that you will be able to keep track of your friends better in a crowd, or you will be able to find something you dropped much easier.
When you play video games that are faster-paced, such as Call of Duty or even Need for Speed, you will soon find that you need to stay on your toes and you also need to make decisions fast as well. Energising games can help you to make much better decisions in real life. A study done in 2010 from the University of Rochester has shown that those who love action games were able to make fast decisions much better and they also showed much more confidence too. Of course, the ability to make much faster decisions is really beneficial in everyday life as you will accomplish more.
You will be able to react to real-life situations faster, which could include a car being out of control and swerving into you or even having to try and step in to help someone. Video games can also help you to improve your long-term planning. When you play games like SimCity or even Civilisation, the decisions you make will go on to benefit you later down the road. Games like this train your brain to recognise the various, potential outcomes of a situation and you will also pay for the consequences too. If you practice skills like this in the gaming world, you will soon see that you can go on to reap the benefits in the real world.
Strategic games or role-playing games will challenge you to solve complex problems. The American Psychological Association study done in 2013 has shown that those who played strategy games had a much higher level of problem-solving skills and that they had much better grades in school as well. There was also a correlation between how long people played games and the benefits that they saw. In short, the more strategy games you play, the more you will improve your problem-solving skills.
At the end of the day, nearly every single genre of video game involves some kind of problem-solving. It doesn’t matter whether you are trying to figure out a puzzle or whether you are trying to find the quickest escape route in a game because these problems can involve both analysis or memorisation. Obstacles in video games are often open-ended and you may not have much instruction.
This means that you will have to experiment through trial and error. When your attempt fails the first time, or even the first ten times, you will then be able to keep on trying. This will teach you how to be persistent and it will also help you to deal with the challenges you face in real life too.
Video games can be a fantastic way for you to relax. Short and simple games, which include Angry Birds, can help you to improve your mood while making you feel way happier. Video games which are short can help you to be happier, but video games that are immersive can help you to feel more therapeutic. When you are fully absorbed in the digital world, you will soon find that you just don’t have time to worry about bills or even work. Ultimately, video games can be the ideal way for you to give your brain a break from the stress you experience in your day to day life.
Of course, there are so many benefits to playing video games and some of them are even proved by science. If you want to find out more about video games, then why not try and play a few for yourself to see if you can find a genre that resonates with you?