Playing video games has been proven by science to be an excellent exercise for our brains. In other times stigmatized and accused of damaging the mind of children, video games nowadays have gained an amazing popularity. One reason for this may be the fact that medicine has brought to the spotlight real benefits for our brain hidden in this great hobby.
You might be a person that loves spending time alone or with friends playing video games and perhaps you might be already taking advantage of this benefits, or in the opposite case if you’re not a player but you want to find an exciting activity to practice in your free time that will also have beneficial effects on you, Either case keep reading as we list some of the benefits proven by science that video games have on the development and maintenance of our brain and its skills. Check here more online games that will help your eye-hand coordination.
Video games mechanics have proven to help the brain to retain information
In video games we often find ourselves in the presence of a challenge of some kind. Developers want their titles to remain in the memory of the people playing them as a remarkable experience. With this in mind they recurrently make us go through challenging and exciting places, like temples full of traps, or solving puzzles to get answers to a mystery.
Medical studies researching the effects of videogames in the brain have shown that this kind of mental challenge works as an exercise for the brain, keeping processes like, quick problem analysis and resolution in plane shape. Memory is also enhanced by video games. Memorizing patterns, information, places and a good sort of new names and characters is something common if you are a passionate gamer. This is something that helps keep different kinds of memory intact for more time, and also helps slow the process of memory loss that inevitably comes with age.
Videogames and Students
It was also believed that video games made students of all levels decrease their grades. Nothing further from the truth, groups of study divided in students that played video games versus those that didn’t and the results were that students that played videogames had an advantage when it came to finding creative solutions to problems, retaining information, as well as making connections between different ideas to find common points.
Video games have beneficial effects in helping regulate stress
Although challenging video games are a good way to relax and low down the stress levels.
Sensation of control
In video games the player finds himself in a specific environment where the things that happen are controlled, there’s the possibility to start again if something goes wrong, improve and overcome. In some other games the character has the capacity and skills to handle the situations present in the game, the player has the tools to move forward the adventure. These elements and many more work as a distraction to the problems we often handle in real life in which we may not feel in complete control, helping regulate the stress that this might cause us.
Sound is an important part of video games, in this aspect many games count with relaxing soundtracks. Relaxing music is proven to help stress levels go down with great effectiveness. Plus, when a videogame you like has this kind of soundtracks it helps you to be immersed in the experience for the time you play, just enjoying the music and the adventure you’re in.
Video games are very helpful for the elder
Gaming enhancement for cognitive processes of the brain have been found to be also beneficial for older people as they keep their brains active, helping to keep functions that often are affected by age. Memory again is specially affected in a good way for older people.
Regular and professional gamers have enhanced motor skills, as well as reaction time. This is caused by the constant eye-hand coordination demand present in video games. Dogging projectiles, solving quick time events, pressing mid to long and complex bottom sequences in the correct order are some of the things we can find in video games.
The attention span of players is also seemed to be improved and this we can associate it to the fact that precision games such as rhythmic and musical games require the person in front of the screen to pay attention to what’s happening, markers that have to be pressed in the correct moment to continue and also being aware of the actions of the other elements in for example strategy games.
Problem-solving skills improved by video games
As we’ve mentioned before, video games help the brain to solve problems in a more efficient way. But how exactly? Well, Playing video games in general requires a certain level of thinking, set up strategies to figure your way out of a problem. You might get stuck at some point and need to think hard on what you’re missing to move on.
In 2013, a study by the American Psychological Association concluded that children who played strategy video games tend to have high grades. They developed their problem-solving abilities and transferred those to their academic environment.
The study established a relation with the frequency of gaming sessions and the scale of improvement. People who played strategy games had their problem-solving skills enhanced, which led to higher grades in school.
All the stimuli brought to the players in video games have another effect on the brain: the hypothalamus secretes a chemical, Dopamine, this chemical is secreted by our brain as treat after solving a challenge as a reward, this happens after achieving goals inside the game and make the body feel good helping with emotional wellbeing.
Video Games aren’t only a great hobby with hours of fun for everyone. They are powerful tools for training our brain. Playing regularly still with moderation is an awesome way to keep your cognitive skills sharp, as well as for preserving them over time.