Video games are a joyful escape from real life difficulties, despite being often portrayed as violent, lazy, and a waste of time. The debate has going on for years, though there is still no concrete decision about it. However, the outcomes of the latest researches prove the idea that playing video games actually have tremendous social benefits and provide rationale for the idea that they can actually be applied as a useful tool for developing and educating.
To start with, it is necessary to note that too much of anything can be bad and if people do nothing but play video games, the risks probably outweigh any benefits. Only at reasonable doses action-packed games have quite powerful positive effects on various aspects of behavior. A number of studies have actually proved increased cognitive abilities after playing video games, despite popular believe that video games lead to lack of concentration. The study, which asked participants to play Super Mario 64 every day with short slots for two months, showed that the brains of these participants saw an increase of grey matter in areas responsible for memory, ability to plan strategically and fine motor skills. These results are of great importance for scientists working on therapies that can help combat the outcomes of mental disorders, which cause corresponding brain regions to shrink.
Action games can also increase attention to details in individuals and be rather educational. Many games can be used as effective teaching tools for people of all ages. They are even capable of helping children suffering from dyslexia to learn to read better. A recent study in the field proved, that the ability of video games to teach to concentrate and be more attentive allows dyslexic children to read quicker and more accurately after playing regular video games.
For most of the people playing video games means inevitable deterioration of vision. However, the latest researches demonstrated improvements in eyesight. Not only can players see smaller details more clearly, like tiny writing, but they have an easier time differentiating levels of colors. People that do not spend a lot of time in front of screens have normal vision. Surprisingly, those playing lots of video games have really good vision and even better than those who do not play. Besides, it is better in two different ways. They are actually able to resolve small detail in the context of clutter and that means being able to read fine prints in real life rather than using magnifier glasses. The other way that they are better is actually being able to resolve different levels of grey. For example, for those driving a car it means being able to see the car in front of them more clearly and thus avoid an accident. Scientists leverage these findings to produce games for patients with lowered eyesight to influence the brain and retrain it to see better. Very practiced action gamers were 58% better at perceiving fine differences in contrast. Which is important as this is one of the first things to diminish with age. Even in the elderly, improved memory and focus is seen. More importantly, particularly designed brain testing video games have shown to slow the brain aging process by up to seven years. It can be explained by the fact that most of the games are sophisticated and demand lots of mental energy.
There is popular belief that games lead to attention problems and greater distractibility. How good the attention is determining how fast people resolve the conflict and video gamers have many advantages in terms of attention. For an average person it is easy to follow no more than 4 objects on a screen, while an experienced gamer can follow about 7 objects. There is a notion of multitasking with attention shifting to different things leading to actually losing the capacity to react swiftly making people much more likely to get engaged into problems because of this. To measure that kind of skills there are designed tasks on the computer that measure to the millisecond accuracy of how good people are at switching from one task to another. Experienced action video gamers turned out to be really good at it. They switch really fast, which shows the impact of video games on cognition, perception and attention. Various video games have various impacts on brains. When consumed in reasonable doses and at the right age it can be quite beneficial. Though even more important, is that the effects are long lasting.
Despite being perceived as of limited appliance, video game experience is also of great use in medicine. With cutting-edge transformations, surgeries can now be completed with the insertion of cameras and remote-controlled devices. These technologies represent clear parallels to video games played on a screen with a controlling tool. Obviously, for those young doctors who are experienced in video games such technologies are much easier to adapt to and it allows them to make less mistakes and faster completion of the process.
Playing video games improves organization. In almost every game online or offline the gamers have an inventory full of stuff they picked up throughout the game which they need to organize depending on their usefulness. If the game is played online, it requires good time-management skills, as often there is a set time for a game. It improves hand-eye coordination and field of vision. The gamer need to be concentrated throughout the game not to lose points and has to control everything that is happening simultaneously at the screen. It speeds up the decision-making ability, improves creativity and problem-solving skills. Contrary to popular belief there is no such thing as stereotypical gamer anymore as all people are different and games unite them teaching to cooperate and socialize effectively so that to achieve a common goal. In that way, it improves teamwork, friendship and social skills. Gamers throughout the world are completely different and for all those people to share gaming experience it is necessary to learn to communicate which a video game makes them to do. It teaches goal setting, as in many games, there are stages to be cleared and it requires the gamer to be able to move forward towards the next small goal. It teaches to take a break from work and relax. Most people view games as a waste of time but it is just the same break from routine and form of entertainment as reading a good book or watching a movie. Most stories behind the game are epic tales of bravery, adventure and love completed with breathtaking graphics. It presents people with role models of courageous, decisive characters and actually become a part of a gamer personality.
Games have ideal collaborative problem-solving environment. Several things make epic achievements so possible in online worlds. The first thing is that whenever a person shows up in a game there are characters that offer a world-saving mission right away. However, not just any mission. Every mission is perfectly matched with the person’s current level in the game. There is never a challenge that a person can not achieve but it is on the verge of what the gamer is capable of, so it is necessary to try hard. It allows gamers to become a better self, working on any problem as long as it takes and learning to rise after a failure. Games can offer real-life problems for people to solve, making it a transforming experience and teaching people to cope with real problems. Even if people are aware of a problem they need to solve, they are not likely to get engaged but if it is an epic story, it is more attractive for gamers challenging them to see how they would survive. Gamers keep the experience that they learn in the game and apply it in real life. Keeping that in mind, creators can aim higher building a platform for better future.
In conclusion, video games have many ingredients making them a powerful tool for brain development, learning purposes, improvements in attention and eyesight. It is necessary to do more research of those active ingredients to be able to apply them to produce better games either for educational or rehabilitation needs. The only problem with introduction of educational video games or games for improving eyesight is that they are not so appealing to most of the gamers and as a result not so profitable for producing companies. To make gamers really want to play the product needs to be irresistible and at the same time having all of the good ingredients that are not that obvious but are still working on the brain.