Would you have guessed that video games could improve your mind, or your life? Some people may scoff at the idea that video games may be helpful or beneficial in any way, other than provide a little diversion. However, there are quite a few benefits from playing video games!
Let’s face it. Video games are primarily entertainment. They are enjoyed by millions of gamers all around the world for their cool graphics, great music, and interesting plots. To understand how these games can improve the minds of those that play them, we need to take a closer look.
1. Video games improve hand and eye coordination. This is easy to understand if you try to maneuver a character around using a game controller. Manipulating the game controller uses the same skills that it takes to maneuver a mouse around a computer screen, and is often more challenging since there are usually more buttons used in game play.
2. They feed the imagination. Of course, you can find some people claiming that while using television, videos, and gaming systems, people’s imaginations are not engaged because an entire virtual environment is supplied for them. They say that video games hurt the imagination because games supply the mind with complete imagery instead of encouraging the mind to fill in the details of the environment for you. I really disagree with that view. Instead, I find that the imagery in the games actually fuels the imagination and drives it to consider new possibilities that might not have arisen otherwise.
3. Video games improve strategic thinking. Most of these games require players to think ahead and make decisions two or three steps ahead of a current situation. Players quickly learn the advantage of strategic thinking and they start to apply it to game play and to real-world situations and opportunities.
4. They teach patience and perseverance. No great game can be conquered in a day. Gaming teaches dedication and endurance, as some of the best and most popular games take weeks or even months to finish.
5. Video games enhance memorization. Playing these games can have a strong influence on memorization. In some games, characters are outfitted with a wide array or weapons or skills, and the player is most effective when these features are remembered instead of having to be looked up. Also, the terrain portrayed in many games (the “maps”) represents a huge area, but accessing the maps can be disruptive to the game and cumbersome. To compensate, gamers will memorize a large portion of the terrain, and they’ll remember the tasks required to get to specific areas.
6. They teach consequences. Video and computer games operate off of an “action – reaction” principle, with the player’s actions determining next steps in the game play. This is a great opportunity to learn about consequences. Do something, and the game environment will be changed in a specific way.
7. Video games facilitate quick decision-making. The games often present the player with quick-changing situations. Game developers use the element of surprise to hold the interest and attention of gamers, and it’s what makes games exciting to play. The challenge of many games is that to win, players must be able to make fast and smart decisions to cope with the many impromptu situations.