It is obvious that educational computer games are designed to enhance learning or perhaps even instruct. However, there is evidence that playing any type of video game can improve a number of learning skills!
Observation Skills: While gaming you are highly motivated to be observant. Being successful requires you to be acutely aware of your virtual surroundings. When playing multi-player you need not only be aware of your surroundings but simultaneously of the other players actions.
Reading and Spelling: Reading and spelling quickly and accurately is necessary for success many games. Frequent practice is the number one way to sharpen these skills.
Logical Thinking and Problem Solving: It has been suggested that three essentials of improving cognitive skills are that the student be motivated, graduated and receive feedback. Video gaming lends itself to this strategy. Deliberate practice is key for motivation. Allow me to assume here that players are willful participants! Graduated refers to a gradual increase in complexity which parallels a game advancing in level. And feedback is accomplished by scoring and level advancement. Strategy planning is a huge element of problem solving and is necessary to be successful at a significant amount of games.
Vocabulary Development: Repitition, personal relevance and imagery are key tools used to improve vocabulary. Video games are innately rich in these qualities. Personal Relevance is particularly interesting being that it is a virtual personal experience, but a personal experience non the less!
Map Making and Reading Skills: These skills are inevitably sharpened by using a small legend to navigate around a vast virtual area which can include different terrains using different types of transportation.
Although the degree of skills sharpened will vary depending on the game, the fact remains, that playing video games can improve a number of learning skills. These skills include observation skills, reading and spelling, logical thinking and problem solving, vocabulary development and map making and reading skills.