Playing video games has its benefits

It's more than just boredom killer

When everyone is told to stay inside as much as they possibly can, at-home entertainment become our saving grace from boredom.

While others finally have the time to finish the movies and TV series on their watchlist, most people are now turning their attention to video games.

Records have shown an increase in the number of the gaming audience and video game usage as people spend more time at home.

While for years, video games have been criticized for making people more antisocial, overweight or depressed, researchers are now finding that games can actually change us for the better and can improve both our body and mind.

So, the next time someone tells you that playing video games is bad for you, you can turn to this list of benefits one can get from playing.

Video Games can help improve your vision 

We all used to hear the common parental refrain, “Don’t sit too close to the television.”

But did you know that there is actually not a lot of science to back it up.

Instead, scientists are discovering games in moderation may actually improve—not strain—your vision.

In a study conducted in America, six patients aged 19-31 with bad vision were asked to play 40 hours of video games over a one month period.

After the testing period, five of the six patients acknowledged that their vision had improved and that they had a 30 percent increase in the ability to recognize faces, read small print, and track moving dots during tests.

It is because when we play video games, our bodies experience a rise in adrenaline and dopamine, which promote extra brain activity that enhances visual acuity.

Can help boost reading skills

Think video games are bad for kids? You might have to reconsider.

Studies show that kids who play video games may actually get a boost to their reading skills. This is true even for kids who struggle with reading, and to those who have dyslexia.

Researchers think that this may happen because kids need to figure out text instructions in order to play. Also, kids who are reluctant to open a traditional book may rush to read a website or internet forum to get the latest on their favorite game.

But that doesn’t mean video games should replace books.

Improve spatial visualization skills

On top of improving your spatial memory, playing video games also helps you visualize space better.

A 2013 study from the US showed that shooter video games improve how you think about objects in three dimensions. Gamers are better at judging distances between objects or mentally rotating objects to imagine how they might fit into a space.

This enhanced spatial visualization has practical benefits, like knowing whether you will be able to parallel park in a tight spot or organizing your closet. Good spatial visualization is also essential for success in many STEM careers.

Improves social skills

Gamers are often stigmatized as being too aloof, but the opposite is actually true.

The rise of multi-player experiences online has given way to a new form of socializing in which players work together to solve problems.

By communicating with their teammates in a video game, they are strengthening their communication skills and learning valuable social skills that may carry over to real-life interactions.

In moderation. playing video games can be a great way to help children learn how to become well-rounded social individuals.

Can help develop decision-making skills

Fast-paced video games like Need For Speed or Call of Duty require you to stay on your toes and make decisions quickly.

These energizing action games can also improve your ability to make game-time decisions in real life. According to a study conducted in 2010, people who played action video games for 50 hours were just as accurate and significantly faster at making decisions, compared to gamers who played strategy-oriented or role-playing video games for the same amount of time.

And this prowess was evident on non-game-related tasks that called for quick decision-making, the study showed. Action video games help you make faster decisions across the board because you are learning to translate what you are seeing or hearing into correct probability. /bmjo

TAGS: boredom, ECQ, list, quarantine
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