Playing video games is often believed to lead to aggression, violence and addiction. Negative findings related to gaming addiction have led to public condemnation of playing video games.
However, the cognitive benefit of playing video games is coming to light in current research. Contrary to certain beliefs, the average American gamer is a 35-year-old adult and many adults play games regularly for at least three hours per week.
An article in American Journal of Play summarized research that found evidence of the positive effects of playing video games on some basic mental processes, such as memory, attention, decision-making and perception.
Most of this research related to action video games where players had to move quickly, keep many details in their minds at once and make speedy decisions. Here are five cognitive benefits.
1. Improves problem-solving skills
Video games all have certain rules and players have to think carefully about how to deal with specific situations while staying within these rules. Decision-making and strategizing are important skills players learn.
They have to predict an opponent’s thoughts, weigh risks and rewards and make educated guesses about the moves they should make next. The speed at which a player makes the right decisions often determine success.
When playing World of Warcraft, a WoW classic boost from boostcarry.com helps to improve different aspects of the gaming experience, from leveling up and farming to mastering skills and killing demons.
2. Enhances memory
Players need to read or listen to instructions before playing the game and then recall them throughout playing of the game. Visual working memory has been effectively trained by researchers using both action games and adventure games.
Games that are move-based require control combinations that need to be memorized and practiced in order for successful execution. Repeatedly performing complex actions can also contribute to hand-eye coordination and help to train muscle memory
3. Affects attention and focus
Studies included in a review of 116 scientific studies published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience show that video game players were able to sustain attention and selective attention. Playing video games seems to not only change how the brain performs but affect its structure too.
Researchers found that the regions of the brain playing a role in attention were more efficient in gamers compared with non-gamers. Gamers are able to stay more focused on demanding tasks.
4. Helps with multi-tasking
An action video game often requires a player to be very observant and to perform certain actions with a joystick or keys while also paying attention to features on the screen. This requires paying attention to various factors at once, such as watching for oncoming adversaries on the screen while moving the joystick and tapping keys.
Many popular games require players to keep track of complex information, character levels, resources and much more at the same time. Players have to learn how to prioritize their resources to accomplish their goals and work with many elements simultaneously.
5. Improves spatial navigation
In a paper published in American Psychologist, researchers found that players of shooter games had improved ability to think about objects in three dimensions. Gamers tend to display greater sensitivity to visual contrast and are able to rotate objects more accurately. Think about how useful this skill could be for all kinds of careers, such as for a pilot trying to navigate in heavy fog.
Researchers have found that in long-term gamers, the right hippocampus is enlarged. This is the part of the brain responsible for identifying visual and spatial relationships among objects.