Gaming has come a long way from being just a form of entertainment; it’s now recognized as a powerful tool for cognitive stimulation and mental engagement. This is absolutely incredible, right? It was once this small subculture back in the 1980s and 1990s that only the “nerds” would indulge in, and how, who isn’t playing video games? It’s so ingrained into the culture, and games are now being played on so many different devices, from Backgammon on the computer to Candy Crush on your phone, so you could basically say that everyone is a gamer now!
But it even goes a step further because now, games are becoming movies, like the recent blockbuster Mario movie, but more movies and shows are becoming games. In general, video games are just now such an integral part of culture and society. They’re perfect for escaping everyday life and all the heavy stressors that come with it.
But there is one thing you need to know, and that’s the cognitive benefits of video games. That’s right; rather than just keeping yourself entertained or learning random facts in gaming, you can actually get a sharper mind. So, here’s exactly how video games help you level up your mind!
Improved Cognitive Function
So, the biggest and most well-known benefit would be cognitive function. So, engaging in video games has been linked to improvements in various cognitive functions, including memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. For the most part, games often require players to strategize, remember rules, and make split-second decisions, which exercises and enhances these mental processes.
Many games, especially those in the action or strategy genres, and all of these demand high levels of concentration. Just think about it: you need to successfully navigate through complex virtual environments, solve puzzles, and stay alert to in-game changes, and some of these happen within mere seconds in video games. So, all contribute to improved attention and focus. In general, you can count on these skills to readily transfer to real-world scenarios.
Refind Problem-Solving Skills
When it comes to just about every game out there, there are problems that need to be solved. Within the big problem, you have the small ones, all of the little side quests. Think about the Legend of Zelda series for a moment; usually, the whole point is to save Hyrule and Princess Zelda from Ganon, but at the same time, there are all of these little side quests you can do to earn rewards.
So, as you can see, gaming is essentially a series of challenges that players must overcome- they’re pretty fun challenges at that. Whether it’s solving a puzzle, strategizing in a combat scenario, or figuring out the best route through a virtual world, you can basically count on games fostering these critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It’s honestly pretty nice getting to regularly exercise these skills since they can translate to more adept decision-making in everyday life.
Quick Decision Making
Once you get to the point where your problem-solving skills are spot-on, you’ll eventually become pretty fast with making decisions. In general, fast-paced and action-packed games require players to make quick decisions under pressure. There’s this constant need for rapid decision-making, and this, over time, is going to help hone cognitive abilities, helping individuals become more adept at processing information swiftly and efficiently.
Master of Multi-Tasking
If you’re currently bad at multitasking, then you can absolutely count on video games immediately boosting you up, and within time, you’ll become an amazing multi-tasker. So, how can it help? Well, many video games, especially multiplayer or strategy genres, involve managing multiple tasks simultaneously.
So you basically have multiple things you need to do all at the same time. As a gamer, you’ll need to track the movements of various characters, monitor the character’s health, and strategize the next move—all in real-time and all at the same time too. This multitasking requirement can eventually contribute to improved multitasking abilities in other aspects of your life.
Better Hand-Eye Coordination
This goes hand-in-hand with what was just said above. So, it’s not just multitasking; it’s having a solid idea about the environment too. Gaming often involves navigating through intricate virtual environments, honing spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination. That tenth of a second of what you see on screen means that you need to push the right button, which can make a huge difference. So, these skills are not only beneficial for in-game success but can also have fairly positive effects on real-world activities that require precision and coordination.