Entertainment

Published on May 18th, 2020 | by Alycia Gordan

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Top 6 ways video games can help you in real life

The global video game market reached a whopping $134.9 billion in 2018.

For the first time in history, the industry is worth more than music and film combined, yet there is a certain stigma attached to gamers. However, the bad rap is swiftly disappearing as more and more people realize the real-life benefits of online games.

Research and credible studies have shown that playing video games can be useful for your mental and physical health. They can teach you valuable lessons and skills that will assist you in real-life situations.

In this article, we explore some of the ways in which video games can help you in real-life. Let’s break these traits and skills one by one.

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Decision making

Certain video games can have a massive impact on our thinking behavior. Strategy titles like Quandary are designed in a way that they challenge the mental skills of gamers. Such games train the players to make decisions that are wiser and more ethical in a real-life scenario.

Playing a game will not suddenly help gamers to make better decisions in life. However, games can certainly introduce ideas that can be developed through additional activities and reflective conversations with other people.

Quick thinking

Fast-paced games and shooting titles generally require the players to think quickly in order to avoid being killed. This can help players keep a better sense of what is happening around them in real life.

According to scientists from the University of Rochester, such titles can also help gamers to deal better in situations that require quick decision making.

These findings are also backed by research in which participants between the age of 18 and 25 were subjected to play different games. One group played action video games, including ‘Unreal Tournament’ and ‘Call of Duty 2’ for fifty hours while the other group played the strategy game ‘The Sims 2’ for a similar duration.

The group which playing the action games made 25 percent faster decisions without sacrificing accuracy, compared to those who played the strategy game. The study found that gamers who play action games make more correct decisions in tasks unrelated to games.

Socializing skills

The earlier console games that were played before the broadband era involved a physical gathering of gamers in front of a single screen. Today, the same sentiments are reproduced, albeit not to the same degree, by online multiplayer games where players can communicate via video and voice chat.

The social aspect of video games like Fortnite or Pokémon can no longer be ignored. It could be argued that some video games have enabled introspective individuals to improve their social skills.

Certain titles that have a following from around the world have encouraged friendships among like-minded people on online and social media platforms. After all, the real benefit of a video game isn’t playing the game per se, but enjoying the shared experience with the community that plays it.

Risk-taking ability

Video games enable players to be daring and take calculated risks. Similar to a gambler who uses money in a bid to achieve something or make more money, gamers use their coins and resources to win or unlock stages in the game.

Action-based games and first-time shooters can have numerous scenarios where the players have to delve into enemy territory and explore uncharted lands. Progress in games like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed cannot be made without overcoming fear of the unknown.

In real-life, games like these can help players to better handle tricky situations that involve high-risk decisions. Many psychologists and experts strongly believe that risk-taking is one of the most needed qualities to succeed in life. Videos games have you achieve this quality.

Multitasking

Most video games require intensive awareness and management of the situation at different levels. Gamers have to deal with the auditory and visual distractions as well as manage more than one thing simultaneously during the gameplay. Multiplayer games add the extra factor to communicate with game members.

Players can also develop essential skills like teamwork and multitasking while playing video games. This will reflect greatly on your productivity in the workplace, at home, and in real-life in general.

Better observation

Action-based games like the Tactical Squad by Unlimited Gamez mo can improve the gamer’s observation and visual awareness. This happens become action games quickly change the brain’s pathway responsible for visual processing.

In real-life, these skills can help us inform about the environment and understand people’s motives. A study by Daphne Bavelier also validates the improved contrast sensitivity of gamers and their ability to be more sensitive to different color shades.

Boost in the gray matter

Recent studies have proven that video games can increase the volume of gray matter in the part of the brain responsible for spatial awareness, memory, and strategic thinking. Grey matter is an area in the brain that hosts most of the neuronal cell bodies. It includes parts that control sensory and muscle perceptions, like seeing, hearing, and speech.

In the study conducted by the Simone Kuehn of the Max Planck Institute for human development, 23 participants with a median age of 25 were asked to play Super Mario 64 half an hour per day for two months.

By the end of the study, they compared MRI images of the brains of gamers with a control group who played no games and observed vast differences between the two groups. The group which played the game had experienced a boost in gray matter in the right hippocampal formation, the prefrontal cortex, and on both sides of the cerebellum.

Summing up

Although popular research may suggest otherwise, there are several benefits of playing video games. Though no one can deny the entertainment that they bring, the educative factor of video games can no longer be ignored. They can help us develop skills like multitasking, observation, perseverance, and socializing, all of which can find useful applications in real-life.

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About the Author

Freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia



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