Is playing video games a guilty pleasure for you? Are you trying to give up on this habit because everybody is telling you how bad video games are for your health? It looks like you should stop worrying, since scientists have found multiple evidence suggesting video games come with surprising benefits. Unless you are addicted to video games and you don’t forget to eat and sleep because you can’t leave your computer or video game console, the following list of benefits is for you. If you know how to balance video games with other activities such as work, rest, socializing with other people and physical exercise, you’ll definitely enjoy the following advantages:
1. Improving vision
Playing games in moderation could improve your vision. A study has shown that after 10 weeks of play, subjects were able to distinguish between more shades of grey. In another study, people played video games using their eye with poorer vision, while the good one was obscured – improvement in the lazy eye was noticed at the end of the experiment.
2. Improving general knowledge
Many games have fascinating storyline and use history to make their narrative more interesting. This can sparkle one’s interest for history and culture and determine them to research books and other resources on topics they have seen in video games.
3. Improving cognitive functions in older players
If you are a fan of brain games, you will probably maintain your mental abilities at an older age. Multiple studies on participants 50 and older showed that after several hours of playing puzzles, memory games, and problem-solving games, these people had superior cognitive functioning and the effect lasted for years.
4. Faster decision-making
Some people are able to make the right decision in a split second and thus save their lives in difficult situations. It looks like this ability can be cultivated through gaming. Studies have shown that people who played fast-paced games had a higher reaction speed to unexpected stimuli than those who didn’t play at all.
5. Reducing stress
Video games are your comfort activity after a stressful day at work? You shouldn’t give up on the habit, because some games can reduce your adrenaline response by over 50% – of course, we are not talking here about violent games.
6. Better eye-hand coordination
Exercising ability helps improving it, and the same happens with eye-hand coordination, which can be trained by playing video games. This can be extremely helpful in a number of professions – for instance, surgeons can benefit from video games. A study performed on laparoscopic specialist showed that doctors who played video games for more than three hours a week made fewer errors that those who didn’t play – 32% fewer mistakes, actually.
7. Helping with dyslexia
Since the cause of dyslexia is not being able to concentrate one’s attention on visual stimuli, video games can help with this condition. A study performed on dyslexic children showed that 12 hours of playing video games helped to elevate their scores on reading and phonology tests – the same effect or even better than being enrolled in programs that treat dyslexia.
8. Better multitasking
Although multitasking is actually impossible since the human brain can only concentrate on one task at a time, in many professions people need to be able to switch their attention from one stimulus to another in a repeated manner. A study has shown that gamers who took a test modelled after skills required in piloting aircraft delivered superior performance compared to those who don’t play video games at all.
9. Making friends
Making friends is easier when you share a common interest with other people. Although parents see gaming as an isolated activity, children have a different opinion and see games as a common ground with other kids. Games are a conversation subject, especially for young boys, and children play video games with a group of friends, either in the same room or online. Some children may choose to play video games just to have a pretext to befriend other kids.
10. Encouraging physical exercise
This may sound like nonsense in the first place, but it’s not. Children who play sports games learn about all kinds of moves and strategies and are eager to try them in real life. They may go outside and practice very hard just to reproduce what they’ve seen in these realistic sports games.
11. Advancing your career
Some games can sharpen skills like governance, leadership, strategic thinking and so on – training these abilities can have a positive impact in one’s professional life. Having to make the right decision, and fast, in a game can make you respond better to crisis situations at the office.
All in all, video games are not good or bad themselves. What matters is how you use them, and moderation is once again the key to healthy living. Playing video games for a limited time while also engaging in other beneficial activities will bring you the benefits mentioned in this article and help you lead a happier, fuller life.