Video games have taken over the world by storm. There are so many different kinds of games, ranging from funny Android games for your phone to serious, heavy games that are playable on consoles. On the mainstream media, though, video games usually assume a notorious position. People accuse video games for making children easily distracted, addicted or even violent. In reality, video games have some major neurological advantages that cannot be ignored. Playing video games may be said to have the same effect on your brain that a gym has on your body. Some of these effects include:
Till date, the most important positive finding of video games is that they improve memory. Studies have shown that the most active part of the brain while playing video games is the hippocampus, which is associated with learning and memory. This helps people in practical life and school life.
Many games these days are concerned with pattern identification. People who regularly play such games are found to be great at perceptual tasks and quick thinking situations. These children are sometimes also found to give better academic performances. Another advantage gamers have over non-gamers is that they are usually harbours of better navigation skills.
Improved decision-making skills
Most developed video games require making quick decisions as video games require you to think fast. Gamers, therefore usually have enhanced decision-making skills. This skill helps them to make decisions by weighing out the consequences in the real world as well as the virtual world.
Parts of the brain that are concerned with goals and ambitions are also found to show much activity while one is playing video games. Gamers are also more prepared to take risks as compared to non-gamers since they are used to taking up challenges during their gaming sessions. Some gamers, therefore try to assume the same mindset in school and otherwise, making them more goal –oriented than their less experienced peers.
Better Motor Control
Video games hone people’s reflexes and give their greater motor control overall. This is due to some games that require the player to perform fine tasks. Some of these include simulations for surgery. Racecar driving games cause players to develop better driving skills when they obtain a car of their own.
A great advantage of video games is that they provide therapy. Most players are in a state of constant optimism during the course of their gameplay. Sometimes they get rewarded by power-ups or increasing a level, this causes endorphins to release in your brain, giving you a sense of happiness. This effect can be used to relieve depression and anxiety. Another effect that studies have found is that of physiotherapy. Children undergoing chemotherapy who were given video games to play were found to demand less number of painkillers as compared to children who did not play video games.
Benefits for the geriatric population
Research has shown that video games have great benefits on the neuropsychological conditions of old people. In a study old people were given Neuroracer, a video game aimed at the mature population, it was found that their memory and attention span had greatly improved. This caused the researchers to give them other games that were developed for younger people and found their performance to be above-par in them as well. They also found that these skills were also transferrable to their performance in the real world. On an average, the attention span and memory of these older subjects had increased about 30%. These older people were also able to beat inexperienced younger people after just 12-15 hours of constant playing.