Media has oft warned of the dangers of video games, with warnings of addiction and violence ever-present in news articles and videos. To the contrary, scientists, researchers and psychologists continues to discover the hidden benefits that playing video games can have on the brain. These benefits are not reserved for any one age group, but rather, can aid in development of skills in all ages. Studies have produced fantastic results when studying the use of gaming as an intervention therapy in the recovery for stroke victims. Let’s explore some of the lesser-known benefits!
Planning, Logistics and Resource Management
In most games, players are challenged to learn how to best manage resources like extra lives, health aids, and ammunition, which is usually a limited commodity. This lets players flex skills like strategy planning.
Action games aid in training the brain to make split-second decisions with accuracy by reinforcing learning models and consequences for hesitation with decisions.
All games have internal logic. Players naturally and easily begin to recognize these patterns, regardless of their favored game genre. As gamers begin to understand the mechanics of a particular game boss or level, they expand the ability to recognize other patterns throughout the game, building on lessons already learned.
Visual Data Processing
One study from Beth Israel Medical Center NY showed that surgeons who spent a minimum of 3 hours gaming per week made 37% fewer mistakes and were 27% faster than their non-gamer counterparts. Another study revealed that gamers are more resistant to perceptual interference, allowing them to develop resistance to external distractions as well as in-game play.
One study from Michigan State University ‘s Children and Technology Project found a marked correlation between gaming and creative capacity compared to other online activities, regardless of gender, race or game genre played. Gaming literally expands creative ability!