Despite its world-wide popularity, gaming has always struggled against critics and brickbats. It is addictive, it curbs one’s social tendencies, it is unhealthy, they say.
But did you know that there is a lot more to gaming than just disadvantages? Did you know, for instance, that the positive effects of gaming are the subject of many scientific studies?
If you are pleasantly surprised and relieved to hear that gaming can actually improve your life, read on. Here are 5 ways gaming can indeed benefit you.
Exercise for the Brain
Unlike watching TV, where there is no two-way involvement, you are actively engaged in gaming. Typically, playing a game requires a high level of coordination between one’s auditory, visual and physical senses. The experience stimulates and exercises the brain.
After all, it is not just your body that requires physical exercise to remain fit. The brain too, needs to stay agile and robust through regular stimulus. While games like a crossword or a puzzle can challenge your mind, they do not make you multitask to the extent an audio-visual game can. A well exercised brain stays younger and consequently, can slow down aging too.
Enhances Cognitive Skills
Games are often complex in their design, compelling you to solve problems, analyze, negotiate, strategize and take a decision. All these mental gymnastics heighten your cognitive function and develop your brain.
It is not surprising then, to know that scientific research has noted improved cognitive skills and neurophysiology in gaming players. In fact, specific brain regions in the frontal lobe have been found to be enhanced in regular players.
Are you already astonished about the positive effects of gaming in your life? This one will further astound you. Science has revealed that gaming not just improves your short term memory, but also your spatial orientation, strategic viewpoint and fine motor skills!
Also, since you are required to assimilate a whole lot of sensory data and take resultant decisions, gaming hones your decision making skills. So much skill development and self improvement from gaming? Yes indeed, it is all scientifically backed.
Makes You a Better Learner
Organizations and education systems that have recognized the positive aspects of gaming have started using it as a medium for learning. Gaming-based learning is an effective form of experiential learning. It improves focus and concentration, keeps you engaged and develops your hand-eye coordination.
In fact medical training now requires aspiring doctors to perform surgeries virtually, while pilots fly airplanes in simulated environments before coming hands-on inside a real cockpit.
Develops Your Social Skills
We have all heard the common allegation that gamers remain in their own world and don’t socialize with people. That is not the whole truth, since a lot of online games like rummy actually engage multiple players. Each individual learns to communicate with the others and one often takes collective decisions.
Some gamers who gain expertise become the go-to person for other players. These ‘gurus’ learn to teach with patience and communicate with ease, qualities that are an essential part of one’s social skills.
Also, not everyone is strong in field sports, so gaming can be an arena to satisfy one’s natural competitive urge. Hundreds of gamers meet at events where they come together to compete and yet, it is not all about rivalries. Many everlasting friendships are born in the gaming world.
We hope this article has been able to offer you some food for thought. Isn’t it making you think about the much condemned world of gaming all over again?
Of course, anything in excess is detrimental to one’s well-being. Limit gaming to a couple of hours a week, indulge in healthy competition with your friends and watch the positive outcomes seep into your life. Above all, have fun and stay healthy!