As someone who grew up in the 90s, I can relate to kids’ current video gaming addiction. I remember how my mom used to fret over my vision being compromised and my time going down the drain.
With time, I figured out a way to snap out of that addiction but found some incredible things along the way.
Video games aren’t all bad if you learn to balance your schedule. The fun and benefits of playing can be elevated via supplemental activities. For instance, the player might be having the time of his/her life during the game. What if you could notch it up by teaching how to code or make a 3D mold while they play?
Uncertainties surrounding video games
Joe Rogan, the host of the third most popular podcast globally, called video games “a waste of time.” Instead of gaming, he advises people to learn a sport like a jiu-jitsu. He believes that by doing this, they can win competitions and become a coach by teaching others.
This is a dangerous message to spread. The popularity of video games and possible avenues of success when one takes it as an occupation is impossible to ignore. Although there is a debate on whether browser games are better than mobile games, the ground phenomenon stays the same. Video games can also enhance many areas of human development.
Scientists have recently gathered and summarized the results of 116 scientific studies to determine how video games can influence our behaviour and brain. The review findings were published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The first author of the study, Marc Palaus, made the following statement:
“Games have sometimes been praised or demonized, often without real data backing up those claims. Moreover, gaming is a popular activity, so everyone seems to have strong opinions on the topic.”
A total of 22 reviewed studies explored the structural and activity changes in the brain. Meanwhile, 100 studies evaluated the changes in brain functionality and human behavior.
The outcomes indicated that video games change our brain’s performance and affect the way it operates.
Benefits of playing video games for kids
It is an undeniable fact that the human brain reacts to video game exposure. It is plausible for the parents to be in fuzz on how games could leave an optimistic impact on their child. Most of the research on the effect of games is in its infancy.
Nonetheless, there are some perks of playing video games that scientists are optimistic about. The following blog lists eight of those:
1. Improves problem-solving skills
Video games can make your child learn how to win the hardest of battles. Although some games like Space Invaders can be mindless, others, including puzzle and mystery games like Sudoku Village at Unlimited Gamez MO, give the much-needed kick to the players’ brains.
For once, let your kid play the Legend of Zelda. It compels the kid to search, plan, and negotiate. They get to try different approaches to advance in the game. A famous game developer and researcher, Jane McGonigal, provided an insight into her recent TEDTalk. She states how constant failure in one task can enable an individual to ace some challenges in real life. She additionally said that gamers are out-of-the-box problem solvers.
The games where the player has to manage a virtual city or empire offer kids a chance to take a problem and strive to find its solution. Some researchers say that kids who play such games are better at planning, organization, and flexible thinking than other kids of their age.
It is worth noting that video games do not need the label of education like Colour Mixing by Unlimited Gamez MO to help kids decide. If a game nudges the child to determine, use strategies, anticipate outcomes, and express the core of their personality – this could be a game that you should opt for.
2. Improves working memory
Several studies have shown how video games bring structural changes to the brain. This includes the increase in the size of some regions of the brain as well as functional modifications. Another research from Spain’s Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) has gone the extra mile to show that cognitive changes can occur years after people have stopped playing.
This article was taken from Paulus’ doctoral thesis. Diego Redolar and Elena Muñoz, the UOC Faculty of Health Sciences’ Cognitive NeuroLab were the supervisors.
The outcomes of this study revealed that people without video gaming experience in childhood do not show any improvement in the processing and inhibiting of irrelevant stimuli. In fact, they were slower than those who played games in their youth.
Neuroscience Imaging Center. Dr. Gazzaley declared after a study that a bit of brain training can reverse some of the brain declines that happens with age. The strategic video games played in childhood prevent you from getting dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the future.
3. It helps to make new social connections
Games are often considered as the mode of isolation. Formerly, parents often assumed that a kid who stayed in his/her room, glued to the PlayStation, was a loner. Thankfully, the perceptions are now going through a transition.
Gamers, who were stigmatized as introverts, are now taken as the opposite. The rise of online multiplayer games has provided a new method of socializing where players join their heads to find a solution.
While growing up, we have noticed how some people have trouble fitting in and making friends. Video games are a refuge for such people, providing them with avenues to spot and befriend like-minded people or have virtual playdates with real-life friends.
Video games give children something to discuss with their friends. It could be the topic they ramble and opine over. It could help kids find someone with the same skillset, become friends, and improve their gaming abilities. All those who had trouble talking in school can now kick-start their conversations with the latest game they played.
4. It gives a chance to lead and compete
When children play games in groups, they often lead and compete with their peers. It depends on the specific skills a player has. But generally, all children jump into playing the game where they accept challenges as teams.
A study by Nick Yee of the Palo Alto Research Center discovered that teams who played group games online felt they gained leadership skills like persuading and motivating others. They also learned how to mediate online disputes.
Some genres of games encourage and polish the leadership skills of individuals. It has been repeatedly noticed that players display a correlating motivation in real-world career goals. Improvising in a game translates into being faster on your feet when an office crisis pops up.
Moreover, it is normal and healthy for kids to compete with their peers. As they jockey for recognition and status, the kid gets a chance to compete with a strong focus. No matter how much we try to tone, young kids have this trace of competing in every domain. Video games are a safe avenue to express these competitive urges and enable them to excel in the field they love.
5. It sparks creativity through imaginative play
Simple games that are easily accessible and provide quick gameplay, like “Angry Birds,” can lift the players’ moods, ward off anxiety, and promote relaxation. It is an imaginative game with uplifting graphics. When combined with incredible sound effects, this game enhances the mood, making players happier.
Likewise, some games are catchy and enhance a child’s imagination, for instance, Cupcake Kerfuffle. This game can be easily played on your mobile or tablet at Unlimited Gamez MO. An experimental study published in the Creative Journal Research spotted a link between some video games and creativity. There were 353 participants in the game. Some played Minecraft (with or without instructions), some watched TV, and the rest played a car-racing game.
The researchers discovered that those who played Minecraft without instructions completed the subsequent tasks with the most creativity. They feel it was because they had the freedom to think on their own. Video games like Defend the Castle by Unlimited Gamez Mo is one stellar example of how games could improve creative thinking.
Educators and parents these days are strong advocates of open-ended gameplay. They believe buying LEGOs, and wooden educational stuff will juggle the brain cells of a kid. But for teens and tweens, this kind of playing is often frowned upon. Video games are the domain to improve creative thinking in this age bracket. The kids can continue their imaginative gameplay and boost their innovative skills.
6. It reduces stress
A few minutes of gaming after a long, tiring day can help blow off the steam. This goes for kids and adults alike. If you enjoy a game, it could be a fantastic stress reliever for you. Games with vital social components, where cooperation is encouraged, can be used as stress-relieving tools.
A computer science professor Regan Mandryk from the University of Saskatchewan, firmly believes that video games are not merely mindless tools. His research shows that video games help to curb feelings of stress and isolation.
Stating the example of Fortnite, Mandryk said that these games allow you to escape psychologically. It enables the player to relax and feel like they are mastering the challenges around them. The gamer has increased control over the environment. All of these components join to provide a stress-relieving sensation and increases the feeling of self-confidence.
In the virtual world, a player has more control. They can govern and play according to their will. This is the key to remove dependence on the people. Gradually, you learn how to row your boat without relying on others. Another solid point raised by the advocates of gaming is that they know how to fight bullies. They understand the motivations causing a bully to act, and they know how to cope with these pressures.
7. It inspires interest in culture and history
Many games use historical events to begin the stories. Characters and places are roaming and running across historical sites.
This is a chance for the kids to learn about those locations. It piques their interest more than the boring history books. The games spark the child’s interest, encouraging them to learn more about the culture they are immersed within. Parents who have purchased the maps, books, and other resources related to the games report that the child is gradually more interested in history. This leads to a lifetime appreciation of history.
Video games like age of Civilization, Age of Mythology, and Age of Empire spark a child’s interest in world history. Their eagerness to explore more about ancient cultures, international relations, and geography go up.
These games also allow the kids to exchange and design maps. They can also learn and create custom content related to games. It also helps to build the creative and technical skills of children.
8. It improves the decision-making skills
There is always a friend who gets his/her search results faster than the rest. That is because their operating system or the network connection works at a higher speed than others. The same goes for our brains. Some people can think and respond within an instant as compared to others. For those stuck and hazed more than others, video games can help in improving their skills.
Games have new info popping every split-second where players are compelled to adapt and respond quickly. It polishes their skills to react faster than others. When a kid is playing a game, he/she is not staring at the computer inactively. Instead, the activities are asking for vigorous mental stimulation. As all video games come with rules, the player has to think of solving problems.
A 2013 meta-analysis found that shooter video games improve a player’s capacity to think about objects in three dimensions. This was equal to the academic courses designed to enhance the same skills among students. In this time of gameplay, players are immersed in a fast-paced game. They have to react to an image as fast as they could so they don’t lose points. Unlimited Gamez MO has various games that can enhance the decision-making skills of kids, like Hidden Objects Pirate Adventures.
The video gaming field is growing by leaps and bounds. We are slowly entering into an age where people take it as a career and progress rapidly. If you are a teacher or a parent living with the traditional mindset, it is about time you change your perception.
The learning patterns of kids across the world are changing. For our kids to grow and stay relevant to the digital world order, we must follow suit. Do you agree with us? Let us know what you think!
Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on Twitter: @michellejoe524