After years of condemning online games for their addictive nature, experts are now endorsing games as healthy ways to build your brain. That’s right. Playing Fortnite, Call of Duty or blackjack might actually be good for your mind.
A recent study published on Nature.com shows that experienced gamers have better attention spans than non-gamers. They have improved cognitive control and are better equipped at regulating their emotions than amateur players or non-players. Continue reading to find out five of the best ways playing games impacts your brain positively.
Helps Improve Problem Solving Skills
Many games involve solving specific problems to complete a mission. In the mobile game Candy Crush Saga, the objective is to lineup similar candies. But because the game makes it harder to complete levels down the line, you must think critically to advance.
In Battletech, you manage a group of mercenaries with a limited budget. That means you have to account for their mechanics and weapon. In war, you need to strategize to eliminate the enemy, make difficult choices and obliterate tough opponents.
People who’ve had to solve difficult challenges in online games have an easier time figuring out real-life problems. That’s not a coincidence. The part of your brain that deals with problem-solving become better with experience.
Makes your brain more Attentive
If you are the type of person who struggles to pay attention at work or school, you probably don’t play video games a lot. The research published on nature.com shows some games can help improve your brain’s ability to sustain attention selectively or on all topics.
Of course, experienced players demonstrate the best ability to stay attentive when handling work-intensive jobs. However, playing your favourite online game for as little as 30 minutes can have a significant impact on your ability to sustain attention.
Unfortunately, games’ ability to keep you attentive can also lead to an addiction. To avoid that, experts advise players to set a limit to the number of hours they play. Whether they love mobile games or online multiplayer games; having a schedule helps avoid the risk of addiction.
Improves Visuospatial Skills
Visuospatial skills describe the ability to understand and react to things you can see. It includes everyday activities like observing oncoming cars before crossing the road or interpreting a diagram in a biology class. Being able to understand things around us is obviously essential. And if you can do it better than most people, you’ll probably enjoy certain benefits in life.
For instance, being able to observe a complex city map and interpret tiny details helps city planners make correct decisions in real-life. On the other hand, having a picture of your home’s staircase in your mind can help you walk down even when blindfolded.
Although many visuospatial skills look normal to the average person, they are exceedingly necessary. Fortunately, you can enhance these abilities by playing most video games. Research actually shows games increase the size of the parts of your brain that deal with visual-spatial skills.
Helps Exercise your Brain
Like all organs in your body, the brain also needs to rest and relax. It also needs exercising, which you can do by running, riding your bike or playing poker. Of course, you would need to learn how to play poker first, so learn how to play the game on this website. After that, you can shuffle cards and have fun playing Texas Hold’em while you also exercise your brain.
The number of ways you can help your brain exercise is extensive, so don’t worry about not knowing how to play poker or ride a bike. Any activity that can help increase the heart’s rate also helps exercise the brain. It does this by pumping more oxygen to your brain and by enhancing the development of crucial cells.
Surprisingly, your brain also gets a “feel-good” moment which gets activated when its stress hormones decrease. Based on this study, therefore, failure to help your brain exercise is a typical recipe for promoting depression.
Enhances Sensorimotor Skills
One of the reasons scientists are now advocating video games is due to their sensory benefits among children and young adults. For the uninitiated, sensorimotor skills deal with the five common senses: hearing, touch, smell, taste and vision.
Playing online games help players help improve parts of the brain that stimulate your senses. For instance, you can point out small details from a crowded place better because your mind is used to analyzing similar situations in video games.
In class, children used to playing video games with colour schemes learn to differentiate colours faster than other kids. And because their sound receptors are more stimulated due to constant video gaming, they are better at that sector also.
Besides kids, adults and more so, senior citizens can benefit immensely from activities that would help stimulate their motor skills. Most of their abilities usually decrease with age, so playing games can help enhance some of these abilities.
Improves General Learning Skills
While controversial, multiple studies have shown kids that play online games moderately perform outstandingly in their academics. Of course, moderation is an essential factor. Teenagers who spend an excessive amount of time playing video games don’t fare well at school.
Again, some people argue spending time on video games means time lost that could have been used to do school assignments. However, some studies show that online games act as programs that help kids enhance different aspects of their lives.
For example, they improve their eye to hand coordination. They enhance their attention to studies and interpret complex school assignments more efficiently.
Although some researchers still dispute the benefits of online games, there’s undeniable proof that playing video games can help your brain. First off, gaming helps exercise the brain, reducing stress hormones and sending more oxygen to it.
More importantly, it stimulates crucial parts of the brain that can help improve your motor and visual-spatial skills. For learners, gaming can lead to more success in your academics.