Video games have certainly come a long way since the arcade titles of the 1970s. However, gaming enthusiasts are always caught in the crossfire of opposition and support. Although there are many arguments against gaming, there are a wide range of arguments for the social, cognitive, and emotional benefits it provides. Evidence shows that the benefits of video games go well beyond pure entertainment value and improved hand-eye coordination. In this article, XOTIC PC explores the scientific benefits of playing video games with research-backed results that may surprise you!
The common adage that video games are merely an addictive source of amusement and diversion is far from the actual truth. We took a look at research and recent studies that demonstrate how gaming can be a valuable source of benefits for health, socialization, work, and other facets of everyday life. We rounded up some of the most compelling revelations we could find, so you can prove the cynics wrong with factual and fascinating evidence.
Brain Matter: According to a 2014 study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, researchers found a significant increase in gray matter in the right hippocampus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum in members of a training group that played Super Mario 64 for at least 30 minutes a day for two months. These parts of the brain are directly responsible for our fine motor skills, memory formation, spatial orientation, and strategic planning, proving that brain training and development are possible by means of gaming.
Executive Functioning: When our brains allot mental resources in ways that allow us to pay attention, perceive, and problem-solve in an efficient manner, those processes are collectively known as executive function. Various studies have shown that gaming can actually increase mental flexibility, improve multi-tasking skills, and reverse mental decline in elderly participants. These benefits are particularly promising for children with ADHD or dyslexia, stressed college students, and professionals from all backgrounds.
Job Performance: Speaking of work, gaming may lead to improvements in job-related skills, especially for roles that require attention, hand-eye coordination, and quick problem-solving skills. In a study conducted at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, participants that played video games more than three hours every week demonstrated a significant reduction in errors and a substantial improvement in speed when performing laparoscopic surgery. Moreover, many video game genres reward and motivate leadership traits, social skills, and fast decision-making skills.
Pain Management: When you experience acute or chronic pain from an illness, an injury, or a medical procedure, gaming may trigger an analgesic response within the brain’s higher cortical system. According to researchers, the more immersive the video game, the better it is. Virtual reality, in particular, helps how the brain response to pain stimuli.
Despite the negative attention and claims you may hear about playing video games, we are here to assure you that the bulk of research performed and published about gaming proves that many of these potential dangers are largely myths and the potential benefits are measurable. We hope that by highlighting the scientific benefits of playing video games, we have inspired you to try a new game, dabble in eSports, or encourage a little more screen time between you and the whole family. If you have any questions about this article, please feel free to contact us for more information.