Growing up, a lot of us heard our parents, teachers and other authority figures telling us that all that video gaming was going to hurt our eyesight, give us headaches and ruin our lives. Now that the world of video gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry with not just careers but degrees in their conception, design and implementation, there’s no better time to be a gamer.
Not surprisingly, many studies have been completed that take a scientific approach that dissects all the different aspects of gaming. Researchers have compiled data that encompasses years of following regular gaming enthusiasts and they have come up with some fascinating conclusions that gaming can be beneficial. The following list of 5 ways that video games can be good for you will surprise you and perhaps give you some leverage the next time someone tells you that you are wasting your time.
1. Gaming Across Multiple Genres is Tied to Increased Creativity
In a landmark study done by Michigan State University Researchers in 2011, the evidence based findings led to the conclusion that no matter whether the game played was based on a violent concept or devoid of violence, there was a marked increase of creative ability in both boys and girls. When they looked at the data involving computer savvy computer use, regular cell phone usage and other non-game related technology usage, there was no correlation to an uptick in creativity found. While it was noted that the boys in the study leaned towards more violent video games in comparison to girls, the effect on increased creative ability was still the same.
2. Video Game Players are Making Accurate Decisions at a Faster Pace than Non-Gamers
When scientists at the University of Rochester took a look at cognitive data related to a study on gaming, they discovered that, unlike their non-gaming counterparts, these individuals learned valuable life skills related to making sound decisions at a quicker pace with no loss in accuracy. This study split the participants into two groups, with one playing action-based games that were faced-paced and the other playing slower games that were more strategy based. They came to the conclusion that those individuals who played only the faster paced games showed a marked increase in their ability to make accurate decisions faster than those who only played the slower, strategy-based type.
3. Gamers Enjoy Better Brain Connectivity and More Gray Matter than Non-Gamers
In a published study in Scientific Reports 5, the principle researchers set out to discover the actual structural composition and connectivity of gamers versus non-gamers. They completed this study based on the results of other studies that had already come to the conclusion that gamers who played action-based titles showed a marked increase in cognitive abilities. Other data revealed that newer gamers with much less experience and time played did not possess these qualities. When they studied these action gamers with functional MRI technology, they showed a higher level of attention and noticeably improved hand and eye coordination.
4. Individuals who Game Regularly are Better Connected Socially
In a study put in motion by game streaming giant Twitch, researchers compiled data from more than one thousand individuals using specific criteria and demographics. An old social stereotype that gamers tended to be socially reclusive and even described as being rejects was completely obliterated when the results were analyzed. Not only did they find that gamers were well connected with quality friends and family in their lives, but they even revealed the balancing of gender stereotypes as well. Many more female gamers were identified during the course of this study. Another fact revealed was that gamers were more inclined to be employed full time.
5. Gaming Earlier in Life Can Give Children an Advantage
With the world of gaming exploding with a multitude of game types, there is no limit to how you can expand your child’s mind, even from an early age. When your child plays many of today’s strategy games, they open their minds to better solving of puzzles and other quick-thinking decision making. Games can also increase flexibility and multi-tasking abilities. For example, if a child is in the process of building and a sudden challenge emerges, it encourages them to recognize a new situation and adapt quickly, which can go a long way towards helping them cope with many daily tasks and educational challenges they will face in their lives.
In the end, it is up to parents, educators and individuals to help make the right decisions on time allotments, game types and the ability of each person when becoming involved in the world of gaming. However, as you can clearly see, there are strong reasons to take another look at the exciting world of gaming and know that it can help you in more ways than one.