Playing computer games might seem juvenile to some. It might seem like a waste of time, or even something that should only be done very occasionally. Some people believe that playing computer games is bad for you.
While too much of anything can definitely be a bad thing, computer games can actually be good for you if you find that sweet spot. You don’t want to be playing them too sporadically, or even every moment spare that you have. Playing for a little time each day, maybe for around 20 minutes, could actually help you to unlock certain benefits. If you’ll struggle to fit daily gaming into your schedule, 3 times a week for 20 minutes could suffice!
Whether you’re working on a complex math problem, trying to write that dissertation, or doing something else, taking a break to play a video game could help you. Here are 11 reasons you should take a break and play a computer game:
1. Computer Games Teach Resilience
Getting comfortable with failure is the key to success, and computer games can teach that resilience. You can be shot in a video game and get back up and continue where you left off. You can ‘die’ and fail over and over again, and yet you always find yourself getting back up and trying again. Even the Harry Potter books were rejected by 12 whole publishers before they were accepted. Now look at them! Computer games teach resilience, and that is a great skill and attitude to have.
2. Computer Games Help Increase Your Problem Solving Skills
Computer games can potentially help you to increase your problem solving skills. RPGs in particular can potentially be great for brain training, helping you to improve your cognitive abilities. Most games have some requirement for problem solving and/or critical thinking, and these very important skills that could help you to solve any problem. If you’re stuck on something, a break on a computer game could help you to increase your problem solving skills.
3. Keep Your Mind Active
Mental decline can be an issue as we get older, but you don’t simply have to accept this as a fact of life. Don’t let your brain turn to mush! Keeping the brain active is a must, and gaming is a way to do this.
[Read also: How Playing Games Makes You Smarter]
4. We Can Do Things We Can’t Do In Real Life
Gaming lets us do things we wouldn’t do in real life. Drifting games, for example, let us race cars and pull crazy stunts that we would unlikely attempt in real life. This can be a great way to have fun and relieve stress, as well as improve your imagination. There are so many gamescapes to explore!
5. Gamers Tend To Be Better At Visual Tasks
Video games sharpen the visual processing skills of frequent users, which means gamers tend to be better at visual tasks. Some studies suggest that gamers tend to perform better than non gamers on all kinds of visual tasks. Below is just an idea of what gaming could help you to get better at:
- Tracking objects
- Keeping track of several objects simultaneously
- Filtering out irrelevant information
- Switching from task to task
- Detecting changes in visual layouts
- 3D mental rotation
6. Gaming Can Increase Processing Speed
Gaming can help to increase process speed. Fast decisions can lead to mistakes, so many people feel apprehensive when faced with things where they have to make super quick decisions. Driving, for example, is a really good way to increase this skill. Gaming can help us to get more comfortable with making rapid and accurate decisions that can have dramatic implications. You will reduce your reaction time the more you play and make better decisions with more accuracy overall!
7. Improve Your Memory
A team of neurobiologists from the University of California have found that playing 3D computer games can boost memory power. Exploration of a 3D environment promotes the growth of neurons, and this can lead to increases in the size of the hippocampus. In short, your memory might just get better, however old you are, when you play computer games semi regularly.
8. Get Better At Multitasking
Multitasking isn’t always a good idea, especially if you have some important work on your plate. The best thing to do, although it may not feel like it, is to focus on one task at a time. That being said, you can get better at multitasking if you play computer games semi regularly. You have to do multiple things at once in a game, and there’s a lot to remember. This might help you in real life when you have to multi task smaller jobs that aren’t too important.
9. Video Games Can Potentially Slow Down Ageing
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa showed that playing games can slow down ageing. The study had 681 healthy people aged 50 and older play 10 hours of a certain video game for five to eight weeks, and this was shown to slow decline by several years!
10. Games Can Help Your Eyesight
Daphne Bavelier led a study that discovered that playing action games improves an ability called contrast sensitivity function. This ability helps us discern between changes in shades of gray against a colored backdrop, which is very beneficial when doing things like driving at night. Gaming can actually help your eyesight – not ‘give you square eyes’ like many parents would have you believe!
11. Video Games Can Make You More Comfortable in Social Settings
If you get social anxiety from time to time, gaming can potentially help you to feel more comfortable in social settings. Gamers formed stronger relationships than non-gamers due to their matching love of games in some studies. Many people have an idea of gamers being reclusive, but this isn’t always the case.
Gaming has all kinds of other benefits, such as enhancing your ability to learn new things easily. Will you play a computer game next time you need to take a break?