10 Reasons Why Playing Video Games is Good for Your Brain

10 Reasons Why Playing Video Games is Good for Your Brain

We like playing all different types of games, from fast-paced shooters to cerebral strategy games. As time goes on and game creators continue to produce new titles, it may feel as if there is always a new game to test. As if we needed another motivation to play video games, we’re lucky that there are numerous advantages to gaming that will make us want to keep doing so.

Video games have many beneficial impacts, including enhancements to cognitive abilities like memory and problem-solving as well as behavioural changes like elevated mood and enhanced social skills. Contrary to the claims of people who don’t play them, video games have numerous positive effects on players’ bodies, minds, and social lives, despite the widespread belief that they have the opposite effect. If someone criticises you for spending too much time playing video games, you may point them to this list of benefits instead.

1. Recall

Many games in the gaming genre need for substantial planning and focus. If you’ve ever played games like Minecraft or Fortnite, you know how crucial it is to keep track of your past explorations and current whereabouts. Video game worlds are sensory overload thanks to cutting-edge 3D visuals and sound design. The process of moving about in a video game is now extremely close to the process of moving around in the real world. Exercising your mind and memory by delving into video game worlds is a proven practise.

Your hippocampus gets a workout when you have to multitask in a virtual environment. This region of the brain regulates spatial memory and helps turn new information into long-term memory. Maintenance of a healthy hippocampus is associated with enhanced long-term memory and enhanced spatial navigation skills. A better sense of direction may help you avoid getting lost on the way to the shop, and video games may be the key.

In 2015, researchers at the University of California, Irvine assessed gamers and non-gamers on memory tests, providing evidence supporting the cognitive advantages of playing video games. Others who played complicated 3D video games on a regular basis outperformed people who did not play video games or who played just basic 2D games on memory tests connected to the hippocampus. Non-gamers saw memory improvements after playing a difficult 3D game for 30 minutes every day, according to the research.

Remembering details becomes more difficult as we become older. Playing video games on a regular basis may be an excellent method to keep your memory fresh as you age, ensuring that you can always recall important details such as where you parked your vehicle or the address of your friend’s home.

2. Visualization in Space

If you want to improve your spatial memory and your ability to perceive space, then start playing video games. A research published in 2013 by the American Psychological Association found that players who regularly engage in first-person shooter video games have enhanced spatial reasoning. Game players had stronger depth perception and the ability to mentally rotate things to see how they might be placed in a given environment.

Knowing if you can parallel park in a small space or arranging your closet so that everything fits is just two examples of the many useful applications of this improved spatial vision. Having strong spatial vision skills is also crucial in many STEM fields.

3. Seeing and Hearing

Your brain develops a perceptual template to sort out the relevant details from the background noise when you’re in a situation with plenty of distractions. With the aid of this mental model, you may evaluate the circumstance and choose an appropriate course of action. Playing action video games has been shown to enhance one’s capacity to form mental “templates,” or mental models, for upcoming tasks, according to research published in 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. This kind of perceptual enhancement is very useful since it is generalizable and not task-specific.

Playing action-packed games has been shown to boost visual pattern recognition and acuity. Previous scientific consensus held that one’s contrast sensitivity could not be enhanced, however a study from the University of Rochester found that gamers who played action games for 5.5 hours per week for nine weeks had a 43% boost in their contrast sensitivity.

The brains of the gamers were better able to comprehend visual information, and this enhanced perception persisted for a number of months after the trial had concluded. Real-world applications of this enhanced perception include being able to more easily locate fallen objects or locate friends among a large crowd.

4. Determination

To succeed in fast-paced video games like Need for Speed or Call of Duty, you need to be alert and quick on the draw. Engaging in these high-octane action games may also help you make better choices outside of gaming. A study conducted in 2010 by researchers at the University of Rochester discovered that action game fans have the ability to make correct decisions at a faster rate than non-gamers or fans of slower-paced video games. Participants in their research were put through a battery of tests that included both visual and auditory decision-making activities. Even though everyone did a good job, the action gamers were able to finish up to 25% quicker.

Making even little choices fast might help you get more done during the day. You can get more done if you stop arguing about which shirt to wear. The consequences of a hasty choice might be more severe. A risky circumstance, such as a vehicle that may strike you on the highway, requires rapid judgements, much like an ambush in a shooting game.

Long-term planning is another area where gaming may help with decision-making. Planning ahead and making choices that will pay off later is essential in strategy games like Civilization and SimCity. These games help you improve your decision-making skills by exposing you to a wide variety of options and their consequences. A person’s ability to use these abilities in the actual world will improve after having used them in a virtual environment.

5: Finding Solutions

Players of strategic and role-playing games are also put to the test with intricate puzzles. Solving problems in a virtual environment is excellent preparation for overcoming obstacles in the real world. Adolescents who played strategic video games had higher problem-solving skills and academic performance, according to research published in 2013 by the American Psychological Association. The research found that the more often the individuals played games, the greater the positive effects on their problem-solving abilities and academic performance.

Almost every subgenre of video games ask players to solve some kind of challenge, whether it is a puzzle or just finding the quickest way out of a sticky situation. Solving such tasks may need not just analytical and memorising skills, but also some initiative and imagination. Video game challenges often aren’t well-described, leaving players to learn via trial and error. If you’ve ever tried and failed to solve a problem in a video game, you know that the experience may teach you valuable lessons on how to deal with adversity in real life.

6. Mood

Playing a video game is a terrific way to decompress and take some time for yourself. The American Psychological Association found in 2013 that playing brief, basic games like Angry Birds may make people happy. Complex, engrossing video games may be a kind of therapy as well. When a player is completely immersed in a virtual environment, they might forget about the stresses of real life, such as paying bills or going to work. Playing a video game is a great method to relax your mind and take your mind off of the worries and stresses of real life.

7. Social Abilities

There’s been a lot of back and forth over whether or not video games help individuals socialise, with some people arguing that they really do the opposite. While prolonged exposure to video games has been linked to a decline in social skills and an increase in anxiety, research suggests that playing video games in moderation has the opposite effect. By allowing players to assume fictitious identities in a digital setting, games may serve as a valuable teaching tool by allowing them to practise appropriate social interactions in a safe environment. People who have trouble interacting with others can find it easier to practise these skills in a virtual environment like a video game. As a result, they’ll have greater self-assurance in their everyday interactions with others.

The social lives of gamers are also flourishing thanks to the medium of video games. Almost three-quarters of gamers always have a companion around while they play. Video gamers also make up a sizable subculture, with millions of individuals all over the globe being accessible through online platforms. Engaging in multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) may have positive effects on a player’s social skills in everyday life.

8. Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight

Despite the fact that this beneficial impact of video games has nothing directly to do with your brain, it is nevertheless worthwhile to highlight. Fitness video games have made it simple to get in shape while having fun with a digital entertainment device. The user must stand up and move about to progress in games like WiiFit and Dance Dance Revolution. The physical activity required to play these games may be an excellent substitute for a trip to the gym.

Potentially more significant than any other benefit is the potential for these games to alter players’ attitudes about physical activity. These fitness games are a great way to get in shape while still having a good time.

9. freshness of life

Memory, concentration, and multitasking abilities all deteriorate with increasing brain age. Older adults may have trouble concentrating on a single activity, whereas younger ones may be able to handle many mental demands at once. But there are numerous things you can do, including puzzles, proper nutrition, exercise, and even video games, to keep your brain youthful and healthy.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco developed a basic driving game in which players had to learn to read traffic signs while they navigated various hazards. Players of all ages scored poorly when expected to multitask compared to when they could focus on just one thing at a time. While performance dropped by 64% among those aged 60–80, it dropped by just 26% among those aged 20–30.

However, the elder players’ multitasking, short-term memory, and long-term attention all increased the more they practised with the game. The advantages of playing the video game were so great that trained players in their 60s outperformed those in their 20s who hadn’t played the game before. You may potentially maintain your brain in tip-top shape by playing video games.

10. Interest in Studying New Things

Video gameplay is, at its most fundamental, cognitively active and productive. New neural pathways are formed in your brain as you learn the game’s mechanics and solve its challenges to progress through its levels. To the extent that you are invested in winning the game, you are also invested in using your intellect and expanding your knowledge. Maintaining cognitive function as you age requires a commitment to lifelong learning and mental challenge.

Video games like Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto often take place in other realities or historical periods. You may learn a lot about the past while having a great time playing these games. If the player finds themselves invested in the game’s plot or setting, they may seek out further information on their own.