6 Surprising Benefits of Playing Video Games

For years, video games have been an avenue for many to entertain themselves, explore magical worlds, and get hard-to-reach trophies. On the contrary, video games have also been deemed a waste of time and a hobby for lazy people, so much so that many parents attribute their kids’ misconduct and laziness to them playing video games.

An article by the Association for Psychological Science says that while psychological studies have suggested that aggressive behavior is linked to playing violent video games, several critics oppose this idea, saying that these studies only base on experiments comparing the actions of those who play video games versus those who don’t. These studies don’t account for other factors, such as how often they play and the mechanics of violent and non-violent games.

Several studies have also proven that playing video games offer benefits that are good for one’s health and wellbeing. Here are six benefits that you can get from your button-smashing and exploring.

You Improve Your Manual Dexterity

With your fingers swiftly switching from one button to another, you gradually become more agile in performing tasks that involve your hands. You also exercise your fingers and wrists while having fun playing.

There are also video games and controllers designed for stroke patients to improve their mobility and regain control of their hands, wrists, and fingers.

You Improve Problem-Solving Skills

Different video game genres have one thing in common: challenges that need to be solved. These challenges can vary from puzzles, riddles, and clearing out areas of a complicated location. Finishing the game depends on how you come up with solutions to these challenges and how you navigate throughout the places.

A meta-analysis conducted in 2013 found that playing shooter video games helped improve a player’s three-dimensional thinking capacities. The study also mentioned that this enhanced thinking was not seen in puzzle or role-playing games.

In other words, the games you play help in boosting your problem-solving skills. These skills can help you in your work and in finding solutions to various tasks.

Your Vision is Enhanced

Contrary to popular belief, playing video games improves your vision. Navigating through 3D worlds and environments in your games helps enhance your visual-spatial skills.

In a study by Daphne Bevelier of the University of Rochester, ten non-gamer male students were trained for thirty hours in first-person shooting games and tested against another set of 10 non-gamers. Results show that the students were able to see objects clearly, even in cluttered spaces. Playing video games has trained their brains to see smaller details that are crucial for the gameplay.

You might be able to use your improved spatial resolution to deal with the visual clutter you face at work and in your everyday life. Being able to see minor details and things may help you function better, especially if you live in a busy environment akin to ETON Centris in Quezon City.

You Become Physically Active

Another myth-busting benefit of video games is that you get physically active. Aside from exercising your hands, wrists, fingers, brain, and hand-eye coordination, a handful of video games make working out more fun. Games that allow you to move your body, just like the Just Dance games, provide a fun way to exercise, especially if you have no time to go to the gym.

There are also virtual reality, or VR, games that make you interact with your virtual environment and other characters. These games also induce the responses you might get in real life, making your gameplay feel more natural and interactive.

Your Interest for History and Literature is Aroused

There are video games heavily based on historical accounts and literature. Playing these games may pique your interest in history and famous works of literature. If you aren’t a fan of reading, you will get a glimpse of past events and allusions to literature that you might not be familiar with. You might even start reading and explore other books because of your favorite action video game.

You Learn to be More Persistent

With you always trying to defeat enemies and bosses and advancing challenging levels, you learn to be more persistent in achieving your goals and finishing the game. You also learn from the mistakes as you progress through the location. A study by neurologist Judy Willis, MD, mentioned that playing video games teaches people to be more confident and work towards their goals. They also learn to treat each setback as just another learning curve.

Overall, playing video games benefits your mental wellness, critical thinking skills, and interest in new things. But while there are benefits to playing your favorite games, play in moderation because an excess of anything isn’t good for your health.