The cognitive benefits of playing video games

Video games are all the rage in the 21st century. Everyone you meet plays a video game or two. The video game industry has become an 81.5 billion dollar market. Young and old alike are hooked. Many people are worried about video games because it promotes a sedentary lifestyle and does not encourage interpersonal interactions. But scientific research has proven otherwise. Scientists found that playing video games has mental health benefits, ie cognitive benefits.  

Wii Sports

Each video game has mental and physical benefits. Take Wii Sports and Wii Sports on Wii Fit and sports games. These games simulate the actual physical movements of playing the sport, minus the injury. Playing these virtual sports games is better than just sitting on the couch. 

 Puzzle Games

World of Warcraft is one of the highest grossing video game franchises or all time. It is popular because of the variety of game play. Elderly people who played this game for at least 2 hours a day for 2 weeks showed marked improvement in cognitive focus and spatial ability. As players complete quests in the game, it encourages eye-hand coordination, focus, spatial attention, process visual and auditory information quickly, which lead to decision-making and problem-solving. It also trains the brain to remember, which in turn boosts memory. I bet Blackjack on  casino websites  also improves focus and decision-making. 

Who knew that simple puzzle games like Bookworm encourage word recall and memory. Angry Birds, on the other hand, improves calculation and estimation. In addition, the East Carolina University study alludes that playing games 30 minutes a day can reduce the symptoms of  clinical depression  and anxiety. 

Memory is sharpened through 3D platform games like Super Mario 3D World. This is corroborated by a University of Montreal study, a Cambridge University study, and the UK’s Medical Research Council study. Such games are able to defer the onset of  dementia . Even games that require remembering details definitely help enhance one’s memory.  

 

Now, there are video games that are played alone and there are video games that require multiple players. The latter child encourages social interaction. A study conducted by Columbia University researchers found out that these games build social skills, especially in the mentally impaired. Games like Rock Band requires playing with other players, thus encouraging teamwork. Ditto for World of Warcraft, being a multiplayer game. You may be halfway around the world, it still promotes teamwork, which requires social skills. 

 

A caveat though. Even though research is slowly proving the benefits of playing video games, anything that is excessive is detrimental to our health. Video gaming excessively may lead to mental health disorders. Playing video games should be done in moderation and should be mixed with other physical and social activities. 

 

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