Cognitive Benefits of Playing Video Games
2 February, 2018

The Cognitive Benefits of Playing Video Games

Recent research indicates that people of gaming can derive not only a great deal of enjoyment from playing video games but also get numerous benefits. If you are interested not only in why people play games but also in how games can impact you, then the following article is just for you.

Cognitive Benefits of Playing Computer Games

If you still wonder why do people play video games and probably do not approve this activity, then we must assure you that there are video games pros and cons. One of the most important cons is that the games can have a positive impact on cognitive performance:

  1. 3D games have a positive influence on spatial memory and the ability to recognize things (and pinpoint the difference between some new objects appearing in a game);
  2. Action games have a positive impact on reaction time and accuracy;
  3. Computer games also help juggle several tasks at once and quickly switch from one kind of activity to the other one;
  4. Video games teach how to improve your skill of paying attention to necessary details while ignoring unnecessary distractors;
  5. Playing computer games can enhance your attention span;

As you see, there are more advantages that you might have ever thought of. So, find video games to play when bored and you will see that you will get many more benefits in other areas.

Apart from cognitive benefits of playing video games, there are other benefits of playing video games for adults and children alike:

  • With the help of video games, you can calm down and decrease anxiety and stress levels;
  • Playing video games increases your self-esteem, self-confidence, and simply your mood. The more competent and experienced you become in the game, the more of your needs it can satisfy;
  • Playing video games where you are required to cooperate with others improves your teamwork and the ability to make quick decisions in stressful situations.

Short-Term and Long-Term Impact of Playing Video Games

According to research findings, the effect of video games can last even when you stopped playing some time ago. In particular, the cognitive improvements will be evident not only during the time of play - they will also be maintained further. Besides, research in the field of neurology has demonstrated that video games have a positive effect on memory, attention, and the way how the brain processes information.

What to Expect from Playing?

If you are really eager to get the most of playing video games, be aware of the 80/20 rule: you will derive 80% of benefits from only 20% of time devoted to playing. If you really want to improve your cognitive performance or get some social benefits of video games, mind to spend your time wisely and don't forget about other activities.

How to Know Whether Video Games Bring Benefits to You?

If you are one of those people who see only cons of video games, then the information presented below is special for you. Hopefully, it will make you think differently. To become more sure that video games can bring you benefits, try assessing your skills (or, to be more precise, your progress in those skills and activities) that are similar to the ones you have to perform in the game. If you have noticed that it takes you much less time to accomplish a specific task, solve a problem whatsoever, then you have derived some benefits from playing.

Still, sometimes it is hard to identify whether it was the game that helped you with developing and improving the skill or whether these were some other activities that you are engaged in. Therefore, try to pay more attention to how your cognitive abilities change/ improve after each time you play a game. You might also notice some progress in the process of playing: it always has something to do with the efficiency and the amount of time you spend on a specific task/ problem/ mission, etc.

All in all, now you know that playing video games has both pros and cons. Among the main advantages is that it improves cognitive abilities, such as memory, reaction, decision-making, and so on. Besides, video games have social benefits, which include reduced stress levels, increased self-confidence, and self-esteem, as well as teamwork.

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