Healthy Facts: The Benefits of Playing game
Gaming both video and computer has become more than a fad, it is a part of life. Parents and teachers worry about games having negative effects on children and a great deal has been written about games leading to violent behavior and addiction. However, all is not negative about gaming, there have also been several studies touting the health benefits of gaming that factoflife show below:
1. Improvements in basic visual processes
Game benefits: Improvements in basic visual processes
Mom may have warned you that sitting in front of the TV wasn't good for your eyes. But 50 hours of action computer/video game play (spread over 10 to 12 weeks) was associated with a greater ability to discern between different shades of grey.
2. Improvements in attention and vigilance
- Improved spatial attention: action computer/video gaming improved performance on the ability to locate, quickly, a target stimulus in a field of distractors--a test that has been found to be a good predictor of driving ability.
Game benefits: Improvements in attention and vigilance
- Improved ability to track moving objects in a field of distractors. Action games improved the ability of children and adults to keep track of a set of moving objects that were visually identical to other moving objects in the visual field
- Reduced impulsiveness. Action games improved performance in a test of the ability to refrain from responding to non-target stimuli, in a situation in which most stimuli called for a response but an occasional stimulus called for no response
3. Improvements in executive functioning
Executive functioning refers to a person’s ability to allot his or her mental resources (such as perception, attention, memory) in ways that allow for rapid, efficient problem solving or decision-making. Many experiments have shown positive effects of video-game training on measures of executive functioning. Because new information is constantly being displayed during play, players are forced to adapt quickly. In one study, players who were immersed in fast-paced games were 25 percent faster in reacting to questions about an image they had just seen compared to non-players.
4. Improvements in job-related skills
Game benefits: Improvements in job-related skills
Most video games require fast reactions and split-second decisions that can mean the difference between virtual life and virtual death. Many studies found these games give players' brains plenty of practice for making decisions in the real world and indicate that video games improve job performance, especially for jobs that require good eye-hand coordination, attention, excellent working memory, and quick decision-making. Improvising in a game can also translate into being faster on your feet when an office crisis crops up.
5. Video games reduce stress and depression
Game benefits:reduce stress and depression
A study that found that gamers who suffered from mental health issues such as stress and depression were able to vent their frustration and aggression by playing video games — and showed a noted improvement. They found that senior citizens who said they played video games — even occasionally — reported "higher levels of happiness, or well-being," says Rick Nauert at PsychCentral. "Those who did not play video games reported more negative emotions" and were more likely to be depressed.
6. Video games provide pain relief
Video games don't just provide relief from emotional pain. They can also help those who are suffering from physical pain. Psychologists at the University of Washington developed a game that helps hospital patients suffering from immense physical pain by using an age-old mental trick: distraction.
7. Games make kids physical.
While some games promote a whole-body level of interaction, even those requiring a simple handheld controller can lead to physical activity. Sports games that involve basketball, tennis, or even skateboarding can lead to children practicing those same skills outdoors. Games are known to enhance creativity and inculcate a taste for graphics, design and technology.
Gaming video or computers has positive as well as negative effects. If you are a parent who has been limiting your child’s computer play because of the claims you have read of harmful effects, the research summarized here and in my previous posts on video gaming might give you pause. As children know in their bones, the kinds of mental skills that video games help to develop are among the skills that are increasingly important in today's world.
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