You might be an occasional gamer, breaking out the PlayStation, Xbox, or PC when you need to give your brain a break. But, did you know that video games help solve real-world problems faster?
As the famous game developer and researcher, Jane McGonigal noted in her TEDTalk, gamers are out-of-the-box problem solvers. Why? Because, as she claims, gamers spend roughly 80% of their time failing while playing video games. Interestingly enough, constant failure makes one person quite the task in other aspects of life – but gamers are pleased with it. The more they fail, the harder they try to correct their failures and complete the task (or mission).
Game developers such as McGonigal see amazing potential in gamers. And with all the improved skills and desire to think and solve serious problems, gamers might be an amazing asset to humanity.
How do video games help in general?
Well, the first thing that video games help is that they are fun. Period. Your brain and body are relaxed to the highest level, so much that you have no worry in the world.
But, besides having fun, there are a lot of positive things that come out of gaming. Playing games, including violent shooter games, can boost one's learning, health, and social skills according to the American Psychological Association.
“Important research has already been conducted for decades on the negative effects of gaming, including addiction, depression and aggression, and we are certainly not suggesting that this should be ignored,” said lead author Isabela Granic, PhD, of Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands.
There are a lot of benefits from gaming, such as exercising your brain. To begin with, recent studies from noted research and scientific organization have proved something amazing: playing games could help improve the quality of life for the disabled or mentally ill.
The study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development found out that playing games increase the grey matter. Basically, that's the size of your brain, and it also helps refine learned and hardwired skills too.
In other terms, playing video games directly affects and impacts regions of the brain where memories are created and stored. Also, it affects the part of the brain responsible for spatial orientation, information organizations, and motor skills.
And additionally, the study conducts that, similar to exercising, playing games for at least 30 minutes a day can improve your life drastically.
How do video games help develop problem-solving skills?
Video games are a really fun way to spend your time. And the more popular the games have become, the more hooked we've gotten to it. Especially now that you have so many ways of playing video games. You have different gaming consoles, computers, laptops, tablets, and even smartphones. It really became a part of our life day by day. And, of course, having a Prebuilt Gaming PC helps you even more.
But, there's a silver lining here – we benefit from it. A lot.
Well, there are a couple of how video games help solve real-world problems faster:
- Learning from your mistakes
- You go through deep practice
- You get to try different things
- Learning when to give up
- You face a lot of different problems
All the benefits
We all make mistakes on a daily basis. But the difference between that and the video game mistake is that in video games you know immediately you made a mistake. If you try to jump from a cliff to the other and can't reach it, you learn to understand the distances that are too long to jump. This is a very imporant skill, as the ability to learn from your mistakes can be crucial.
Deep practice, on the other hand, is what psychologists call repeating a set of circumstances over and over again. Like, when you die at a boss's mission, and you keep repeating the same behavior until you eventually get it right and pass the mission. While this is tremendously frustrating, it teaches you consistency and it's useful in terms of problem-solving.
Another benefit of video games is that you could try different things to solve a problem without it costing you anything. The trial and error approach in video games is just as useful as it is in real life. But video games teach us that the solutions and the approaches w take aren't always obvious, and trying another thing is harmless.
And as funny as it may seem, video games teach you when to give up. In real life, you may often keep hitting a brick wall with your solution without knowing it's not the solution. In video games, it's kind of different. You will not try running the same minefield repeatedly 100 times because you'll learn soon enough that it always blows up.
How video games can improve hand-eye coordination
Until very recently, video games were only thought to be played by people with no social life whatsoever. However, a number of studies showed that video games actually have a positive impact on visuomotor control.
Visuomotor control is also known as hand-eye coordination, which is the harmony between eye and hand movement.
The University of Toronto found our from a study that people who play regularly video games perform better in the sensorimotor tasks. Especially people who play first-person shooters like "Call of Duty", or "Assassin's Creed". The study suggested also that playing those kinds of video games might become a treatment for people who suffer from hand-eye coordination or sensorimotor skills in general.
Another fascinating study back in 2014 showed that teenagers who played more games showed an increase in the cortical thickness in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This is a clear indication of a greater density and more brain cell connections, resulting in an improved brain function in those particular areas.
The left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for higher-order thinking, such as decision-making and problem-solving. So, if we think of the brain as a muscle, video games are an amazing exercise for it.
What are the positives of gaming for kids?
Contrary to the popular belief that gaming is an addictive source of entertainment, recent studies show numerous benefits and key among them.
The following are the positive things of gaming for kids:
- Improvement of coordination
- Problem-solving skills
- Attention and concentration
- Brain speed
- Multitasking skills
When a kid is playing a video game, he is not simply staring at the computer inactively. The activities on the screen help a lot on the mental stimulation. For a person to play a video game, the coordination of the visual is mandatory. And since all video game involves rules, the player has to think of solving problems. This helps the kids at a young age solve problems faster and better. And more often than not, players need to make split-second decisions that will determine if he will pass the level.
Video games also help a lot of the concentration of the kid. All of the video games require attention, and it's very well known that it can keep you occupied for a very long time. This is brought about by the player's need to achieve a certain objective in order to pass the level.
And that's how video games help solve real-world problems faster, generally speaking.
David Brooke has been working with writing challenged clients for over four years. He provides ghost writing, coaching and ghost editing services. His educational background in family science and journalism has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics.