There was a time when video games were played as a pastime. But these days, not only have they become a part of our lives but also part of our culture. Well, let me give you a basic example: we all have heard about Valorant. Just in case you were living under a rock and not aware of Valorant. It’s a multiplayer FPS game that took the gaming industry by storm.
Valorant not only brings all the competitiveness and thrill of the FPS genre to your screen but also unites all the different cultures of the world. All the characters in the game represent different cultures of the world. This was just a basic example; because of this, the GenZ are becoming aware of the different cultures of the world. It’s a revolution.
When it comes to breaking stereotypes, why not take a look at the fact that video games are played only for fun? Well, most people, especially the old ones, see video games as a fun or time-consuming activity. But if we dig deep or look at the brighter side of video games, it has a lot to offer to our brain power.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the ways video games can boost your brainpower. However, before I start, I want to say that there are drawbacks to everything; in this case, to get benefits from video games, there are certain rules or limits to playing them. Anything done in an excessive way can be harmful.
So, let’s dive into the list of ways video games can boost your brainpower. Starting off with:
Let’s start with a basic example. Suppose you are playing an open-world game. Initially, you have to take a look at the map in order to plan your movement in the game. However, after some time, you don’t have to look at the map. Just like this, there are video games that need serious strategy and attention.
Moreover, the more you explore, whether it’s the dungeons of Minecraft or locations of Fortnite. You don’t have to look for clues; your brain knows which resource is where and how to get it. It applies to all the video games. All of the things written here are not hypothetical; here’s a proven study.
When comparing gamers and non-gamers on memory tests, a 2015 study from the University of California, Irvine, found evidence for the cognitive advantages of playing video games. When it came to hippocampus-related memory tasks, individuals who regularly played challenging 3D video games outperformed those who didn’t play any or just played simple 2D games.
The study also showed that non-gamers memory improved over time when they played a challenging 3D game for 30 minutes every day. Well, we’ve just touched the peak of an iceberg; there are more things to present. So bear with me.
Let’s take a look at how video games improve our decision-making skills with two scenarios. At first, while playing video games, there will be moments when you have to make split-second decisions that can bring favorable or opposite results. For example, while playing fast-paced shooter games, when your one decision can bring victory or loss.
The other example is sometimes you have to make calculative and strategic decisions in video games, especially puzzle, story-driven, and mystery games. There, you have to make a decision according to the things you have experienced so far, and the decisions you make will affect the story ahead. Well, this is called a butterfly effect, where every decision counts.
This will improve the way you make decisions in real life. Let me give you a study to prove my statement. Researchers from the University of Rochester observed in 2010 that action game enthusiasts could make rapid, correct decisions more quickly than non-players or people who like to play easy video games. Participants in their study underwent activities that involved both visual and audible decision-making. The action gamer group finished the tasks up to 25% faster while maintaining approximately the same accuracy across all groups.
I know most of you are unaware of this term, but what if I say if you play video games frequently, then you have good spatial visualization? If you like to play shooter video games, then you know about an object or element placed on the map. Like the distance and shape of the object just by looking at it.
If we go by the definition, then spatial visualization determines a person’s ability to imagine how a two-dimensional object might appear if it were enlarged into three dimensions. Gamers are better at determining the spaces between items or mentally spinning objects to determine how they could fit.
According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association in 2013, they proved that playing shooter video games helps you think more logically about three-dimensional objects.
Problem-solving has to be one of the biggest pros of playing video games. We have already discussed better memory and decision-making skills. So it’s obvious that playing strategic and role-playing games can also help you improve your problem-solving skills.
What’s more, almost all video game genres need players to solve puzzles or discover the quickest way out. To tackle these issues, one may need to use a little creativity along with memory, analysis, and other skills. As you focus on the game to find clues and patterns, at the same time, you’ll look at real-life problems.
I know all of this sounds very imaginative, but you know me, I speak proven facts, not fantasies. In a 2013 study, the American Psychological Association found that teenagers who played strategic video games had superior problem-solving skills and higher grades in school. So kids, who are reading this article, show this to your parents 😂.
The gaming industry is so vast that you have games based on your mood. If you are feeling low, why not try so relaxing music-based game, having an adrenaline rush? Play some fast-paced action games; feeling angry? calm yourself with some hardcore fighting game, etc.
You don’t even have to have a gaming PC; a simple game can fix your mood. For example, you can play Angry Birds, Candy Crush, and many others, and it’ll lift up your mood. It’s a very effective way to cut you off from reality for some time; you don’t need to worry about work or pending bills. Relax and recharge.
In 2013, according to the American Psychological Association research, playing simple and quick games can boost happiness and mood.
Let me give you a real-life example. one of my friends was an introvert. But whenever we used to play some online multiplayer games, he used to be super expressive. As time passed, I saw him become more expressive socially than earlier. And the main reason behind it was the games we used to play.
Yes, video games do play a vital role in developing social skills. However, it is still debatable whether video games make you more social or less social. Well, Excessive gaming can lead to isolation. However, it’s been observed that moderate gaming can help you improve your social skills and mood.
Moreover, it’s noticed that more than 70% of gamers play games with their friends. This makes them more expressive and open. That’s fair because whenever I play with my friends, no matter if I lose or win, we enjoy the game a lot.
Who says that the video games are just for the young people? No matter the age, video games are for everyone. Some video games will make you feel like a teenager again. One of the key benefits of playing games is that you keep engaging yourself with the story, strategy, decision-making, and all the other brain activities.
It’s just like a mental workout; as we age, our thinking and decision-making abilities start getting blunt. But if we practice proper gaming every day, then the brain will still be young. According to Harvard Medical School, they study and mentioned 12 ways to keep your brain young, Out of which 3 pointed out were building social networks, caring for your emotions, and getting mental stimulation.
And all of these three things can be taken care of by playing video games. You can get connected with different gaming communities to build social networks. As mentioned earlier, video games can help you lift up your mood and make you happy. Lastly, you can solve puzzles to get better mental stimulation.
While playing games, we go through different challenges and puzzles. Throughout that process, our brain connects the dots and tries to know about the upcoming challenges. This makes us curious about the games. However, this habit is not only limited to our computer screens.
As our brain is getting trained to do so. The feeling of being curious and finding clues is also implemented in real life. Well, good for kids and teenagers; playing games will boost their creative thinking and, at the same time, make them more curious about their daily life activities.
Well, that’s one of the key benefits of gaming. I know this is one of the most debatable topics. Most people claim their kids got spoiled because of video games. But if we look on the brighter side, there are some games that can give some good historical knowledge to gamers, like the Assassins Creed Series.
By engaging in these activities, you not only have fun but also gain historical knowledge. A player may be inspired to continue studying about it on their own if they like the plot or setting of these games. There are other mini-games like Scribble, Monopoly, Suduko, Chess, and many more. Such games will not only bring the creative side but also improve the learning curve of individuals playing them.
Multi-tasking is a sort of skill that can bring you wonders in your personal and professional life. If you are able to multi-task, then your brain is very healthy and active. Moreover, when it comes to gamers, they are born multitaskers. Especially those who play hardcore action games, in which you have to coordinate your every sense.
I mean, have you ever seen a pro player playing any game? You can see how swift their reaction time and precision are. It’s how fast they look at things, then their brain processes it, and how quickly they react. Everything happens so quickly, and at the same time, they are multitasking. There are many games where your entire body has to work, from your brain to your fingers to your legs as well.
With practice, you can build yourself in such a way that you can process several pieces of information at the same time and bring the best outcomes.
Some see video games as a time waste, some see it as a pastime, some see it as a passion, and some see it as a profession. So, everyone has their own perspective towards video games. Moreover, why not make video games a workout routine that will not only entertain you but also help you get better mentally? So, we just looked at some points where video games can be a game changer.
Lastly, in order to boost our brain power and get the most out of video games, we must know our limits. Excessive of anything is harmful; we must know when to stop.