Are Video Games Good for You?

edited August 2023 in Gaming

Can you defeat a boss in Elden Ring or win a race in Gran Turismo 7 from the get-go? People often have a negative view of gamers who spend too much time behind the screen. Such a view disregards the benefits you get from gaming. 

Let's get back to our Elden Ring dilemma. Suppose you manage to find a way to kill a boss in Elden Ring without dying. To achieve this requires high IQ, dexterity, and incredible problem-solving skills. These action, strategy, and FPS computer games skillsets are helpful in real life. 

If you don't spend 10 hours gaming daily, video games' benefits are substantial. This article will go through 10 positive effects of video gaming. 

1) Improved manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination 

You'll understand the skill required if you've ever tried to defeat a monster in Horizon Forbidden West. You'll know the dexterity and skill required to perform at a high level are incredible. Your brain and hands must work in complete synchrony, and hitting the keys at the right moment is crucial for success. 

Playing video games increases dexterity. In a study of surgeons, those who played video games were 27% faster and made 37% fewer errors in advanced surgical procedures than those who did not play. 

Gamers have increased hand-eye coordination. Playing games help you learn patterns and movements faster and with higher efficiency. You can use those skills in typing, riding a bike, and other tasks in the real world. 

2) Problem-solving 

Complex open-world RPG games with challenging puzzles and demanding quests or strategy games with conflict problems can be challenging to solve. Games like The Talos Principle consist of puzzles that focus only on problem-solving. 

Games challenge players to solve complex problems, from opening a door by deconstructing puzzles to finding the right path to resolve a quest. Point and click adventure puzzles can be extremely hard to solve. All these experiences are translatable to the real world. So, gamers to progress through the game must have: 

  • good memory 
  • reasoning and analysis 
  • problem-solving ability 

One of the most significant benefits is enhanced problem-solving and logic. You can use that in work, school, or college, studying challenging assignments. 

3) Improved decision making 

Problem-solving is connected but not the same as decision making. Your cognitive skills such as perception, attentional control, and decision-making improve when playing video games. Each millisecond is essential in fast-paced FPS games, and your decisions must be lightning fast. The same applies to driving simulators or when playing FIFA 22. But, in strategy games like Civilization or Total War, you make timely decisions that have a significant impact as the game progresses. 

The type of game you play matters. In a study, real-time strategy (RTS) players outperformed first-person shooter (FPS) players on cognitive flexibility. In contrast, FPS players tended to have lower task-switching costs at work. 

A managerial or fast-paced game can significantly improve your decision-making skills. You will have the training to predict possible outcomes and decide what to do. Sometimes you must make some decisions and live with the results. It's much better to have the courage to make decisions than overthink things; playing video games improves those skills. 

4) Better memory 

Video gaming can maintain or improve your memory. Games are challenging with immersive 3D graphics, a vast open world, and complex quests. 

Managing 20+ cities in Civilization, creating a unique world in Minecraft, or solving hundreds of quests in Skyrim require exquisite memory capabilities. Suppose you can navigate the vast worlds of Zelda, GTA V, or Cyberpunk 2077 without a map. These games help hone your visual-spatial processing skills. 

The University of California conducted a 2015 study where gamers performed better on memory tests. They concluded that playing 3D video games – besides being lots of fun – can boost the formation of memories. 

Video games can enhance cognitive health in older adults. In one study, memory performance was the same across groups before playing video games. After two weeks of playing Angry Birds or Super Mario, candidates in the intervention group showed signs of memory improvement. So playing demanding games might be a great way to slow down the natural decline in memory as we grow older. 

5) Social skills 

If you think of gamers as nerdy guys who play alone without contact with the outside world, it's a flashback to gaming of the 90s. Now, most games have substantial online communities and require excellent social interaction skills. 

In competitive FPS and Battle Royale titles like Fortnite, COD: Wargame, or CS: GO, you must develop quite a social skills repertoire to fit in the community. 

World of Warcraft is perhaps the game that has the most developed social skills importance, and it's still a popular title after all these years. The game is in a fantasy world. Players hunt, gather and battle their characters to move up levels. Players who work together succeed faster.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin looked at 2,000 posts from a World of Warcraft chat room to see what topics people discussed. They found that the game promotes scientific thinking. People use systems and models to understand situations and use math and testing to investigate problems.

Communication, collaboration, and playing with others are essential to successful online multiplayer titles. You can significantly improve your social skills with gaming.

6) Multitasking 

In a competitive workplace, multitasking is something many employers will look for. Possessing excellent multitasking skills can help you in your professional career.

When playing complex strategy games, you must perform multiple high-level tasks. In Civilization, you must build, develop, and deploy an army, never losing sight of crucial things for success.

You must use multiple weapons, magic, maneuvers, and skills to take down a boss in an RPG title. Without managing numerous tasks, you will not progress in the game.

Cognitive scientists from the University of Rochester discovered that playing action games trains you to make the right decisions faster. They found that gamers develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them. This improves everyday activities like: 

  • multitasking 
  • driving 
  • reading small print 
  • keeping track of friends in a crowd 
  • navigating around town

7) Improved Vision 

If you stare at the screen for too many hours, you can create vision problems. But, gaming can improve your: 

  • attention to detail 
  • peripheral view 
  • eye quickness 
  • object tracking 

To play FPS games well, you need to hone your visual attention skills. The National Institute of Health (NIH) states that video games can improve spatial resolution, allowing gamers to see objects more clearly. 

Playing action games improves your visual ability for crucial tasks like reading and driving at night. 

Remember to also take breaks from gaming. Follow the 20-20-20 rule to help your eyes adjust. Stop playing every 20 minutes by looking at something more than 20 feet away for 20 seconds.  

8) Mental health and mood 

Gaming is entertainment, and modern multiplayer games add a social component to the already fun content. Interacting with friends while playing games can relieve stress and create a positive mood. For example, playing a classic game of Heroes of Might and Magic 3 after a hard day at work can unwind some of the tension while you are roaming in virtual lands. 

Playing video games can be therapeutic for many people. You can take off the edge by achieving a quest in a 3D world full of dragons. 

9) Better physical fitness 

While you play most games with a mouse and keyboard or gamepad, VR systems or cameras and motion controllers are now available. You can play sports games with Nintendo Wii, PlayStation VR, or Dance Revolution on various platforms and engage in physically demanding exercises. The game can trick you into good training to improve your physical fitness. 

10) Secretly learning 

One of the best ways to learn is when you're having fun. Playing video games can be quite a learning experience. 

Language-based video games can teach languages much faster than courses. In addition, you can learn about history through strategy and historically based games and numerous other topics while playing fun games. 

Bottom line 

Gaming can improve your visualization skills, perception, and teamwork. With so many quality games out there, the only thing you should worry about is screen time. If you manage to keep playing time under control, the benefits of gaming are incredible. 

Gaming is a complex activity that elevates numerous areas of your brain, from cognitive abilities through various skills to problem-solving and decision making. Unwinding after a tough day at work can be rewarding, and aside from improving your skills, gaming can help you forget about real-life problems for a while. 



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