Games are fun, sure. You can indulge in them when you want to pass the time. Many of us also use them as a crutch when we procrastinate.
- But are games only bad news or just addictive sources of entertainment?
- Do they have no educational value that they can offer to the players?
What about how video games affect our cognitive health? Can they be harming it, or will we gain some benefits from playing online games?
It may surprise you, but the traditional belief about gaming being just bad for your mental health is wrong! Research proves that games have a lot to do when it comes to the development of cognitive skills. And this isn’t just true for children; adults, too, can derive various cognitive benefits from gaming.
We’ve mentioned some of them below:
Cognitive benefits of playing online games by kids
- Improvement in coordination
As we put on a game on our screens, we don’t just sit there and stare at it. There is no inactive state involved as there’d be, say with watching a movie.
They duck to avoid flying objects and swerve to get out of the oncoming traffic. All these activities are a result of mental stimulation.
Your kid’s eyes are clueing in your brain, which then starts rapidly firing neurons. The outcome is a coordinated response through physical movement. Action games expand their cognitive skills.
- Enhancement of memory
Many games require your kid to pay attention if only long enough to know how to win. You might not be able to make them do that – but gaming can!
When they absorb what they hear, they can usually recall the information later as needed. Thus, playing allows them to access and exercise their visual and audial memory. Likewise, when they must remember the layout of a battlefield or which keys to press, your kid is improving their memory – both short- and long-term.
- Improving their academic performance
Gaming is good for children of all ages, and here’s why. It can potentially assist them in improving their grades.
There’s solid reasoning behind many modern education institutions incorporating video games into their teaching methodology. That becomes especially true for types of games specifically aimed at enhancing cognitive skills and creativity in children.
Cognitive benefits of playing online games by adults
- Improvement in decision-making speed and quality
When your alarm sounds each morning, you’re faced with a choice. Go to work or stay in bed?
Of course, most days, we go with the former decision. However, that isn’t the only time we have to decide between two – or more – things. Decision-making ability is crucial in professional settings.
During gaming, you must avoid fatal consequences through multi-task and deciding quickly. You do so under pressure and while paying attention to various factors. Thus, online gaming trains your mind to analyze multiple factors and arrive at a decision more quickly.
- Buffing interpersonal skills
You may not be a team player, no matter what your resume claims. However, the truth is, you’ll need to put on this hat and play well with others at your job often.
In multiple player gaming, teammates must work together and communicate to win. Most of the time, such interpersonal interactions are even incentivized.
Who would have thought that online gaming could have real-world applications that would extend to our workspaces? As you continue gaming, you are likely to meet individuals who are like-minded – and others. You can control your responses via this medium. Thus, you find yourself getting more comfortable with interpersonal interactions.
- Curbing of bad habits
It’s smoking for some and drinking for others. Most of us carry the burden of some bad habit or the other. After a stressful day, for instance, a smoker might find it difficult not to light up. Going out with friends and being the only one who doesn’t order a drink can be stressful in its way.
While we might not find it easy to divert ourselves from such habits all the time, we can put off making them. How do you ask? By engaging ourselves otherwise, say when playing a game online! Your brain cannot spare cells for craving when it needs all its faculties to win. Can it?
Cognitive benefits of playing online games by aging people
- Slowing down the mental decline
Normally, we lose our brain cells as we grow old. The problem is compounded by the fact that our brain stops making any new ones too. Thus, we lose our mental luster due to aging.
Once we cross the threshold of fifty, we can expect our creative faculty, memory, abstract reasoning, and recalling power to dim down each day.
Even so, while we may not be able to stop the age-related decline, we do have an effective hedge in the form of online games. They slow down the loss of mental functioning and can keep your mind younger. This study shows that computerized games have a lasting effect on our minds.
Cognitive benefits of playing online games by everybody
- Relieving the stress
Teenagers might stress out about an exam. Adults could be unable to relax because of an impending meeting. Older adults may be stressing out about other stuff too.
Playing online card games like freespidersolitaire.io has substantial psychological benefits. It may help them relax as this study showed. Cortisol – the most important of the stress-related hormones goes down by 17% during such an activity. Furthermore, card games like the ones on Unlimited Gamez Mo don’t only guarantee fun and excitement. They will also help you relax and be happier.
Altogether, there is enough evidence to show us that playing online games does much more than keep us entertained.
We develop varied life skills because of this pastime, such as:
- Problem-solving skills
- Learning to relax
- Dealing with unexpected consequences in a better way
- Interacting with others.
Our kids learn to tap into their creative sides and recall information much later after it was provided to them. Therefore, when you are looking for a way to relax after a hectic day, pick up your phone.
Download a game or two and spend some time playing them. If anybody asks, tell them you’re just looking after your mental health – and by the way, they are welcome to join too!