There has long been a debate over the benefits and drawbacks of video games for people who are frequent players. The media is filled with stories about gunmen who were inspired by the violence of role-playing and other video games to commit atrocities. It’s been a mixed bag of praise and criticisms about the effects that these games have on avid players. It may be surprising to learn that there are several psychological and physiological benefits of video games.
How video games inspire learning
Certain video games that require problem-solving can help people of all ages to develop their logic and critical thinking skills. Although the actions are performed through a virtual reality simulation, it still amounts to practice and neural activity. Most games are equipped with settings that allow players to gradually build their problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles that become harder to figure out through the progression of the levels. This keeps them interested in improving and conquering ever increasing difficultly levels.
Enhanced cognitive processes
Video games can boost brain power by requiring the player use their memory recall as they attempt to beat the same levels over and over again. They must use their visual memory recall to remember the mistakes that they made, or where valuable resources exist in the game. In addition to this the player must multitask by maintaining a constant awareness of the game environment while performing a series of tasks simultaneously.
Physical reaction times increase
The stimulation of intense action games that put the player in a life or death situation, calls for immediate decision making to act in a way that preserves the life of the character. The situations often call for quick thinking and using the game controller to move the character to avoid perilous situations. The skills learned in these games translate into real life situations that may arise. Games that require driving a vehicle help with spatial learning and estimating distances, rate of speed and estimated times of arrival for projectiles or other combative features.
Release of aggression
Some believe that violent video games create hostility, but they also have the potential for giving people an outlet to vent feelings of frustration and anger by taking it out on their opponents in the game. Video games can offer a safe environment to blow off accumulations of steam from a hard day. While this may not apply to everyone who plays video games, it certainly does for some.
With all the negative opinions about the effects of video games on the physical and psychological states of gamers, more information needs to be distributed about the positive effects. Some pros and cons go hand in hand with video gaming, but it’s important to assess the benefits that gaming has on individuals fairly. Playing video games is a popular pastime that isn’t likely to go away any time soon. Instead of focusing on the potential dangers and drawbacks of gaming, it’s about time that we look at the good things that come from it.