Whether it’s hand-held, PC, console, or even with the VR goggles, you can’t deny the imminent presence of gaming in our lives. The classic era of Mario, Pokemon, and Final Fantasy gave rise to the evolution of gaming; a gateway to new and more engaging ways to conquer objectives.
Despite its attribution to violent tendencies and some course language, gaming can actually benefit us in more areas than we think. Research across the years on the effects of video gaming have shown insight that reflect gaming as a beneficial contributor in cognitive, social and emotional aspects.
Here are a few good reasons why gaming is not that bad an idea:
1. Improves eye-hand coordination
Through the action of combat and fighting bosses with button combos, players unconsciously build the coordination of eye-hand movements to move at the right timing. This also improves aiming skills to be precise in the right moment, which comes in handy in a surgical field or areas that requires fast and precise movements under a limited time. Scientists from University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston conducted a research on capability on virtual surgery tools between game-playing students and a group of residents from UTMB. It turns out that hours clocked in gaming did helped students perform better with instruments given and with overall eye-hand coordination. (Source)
2. Better decision-making
Researchers from City University London found that interactive games does improve general decision-making abilities in short and long term. From the experiment, Dr Scopelliti and her team found that playing interactive games reduced susceptibility to biases by at least 30% in tests. The games provided participants with personalised feedback on how biased they were during game play, and to learn strategies to reduce cognitive biases. The results suggested that a session can make a difference in decision-making where participants make more unbiased choices in general. (Source)
3. Higher attention to details
First-person shooters may relate to this when we say every detail matters. Be it the slightest movement of a hidden sniper or a split-sec move to change a spot, sharp shooters can agree that a good eyesight can be “trained” to spot minor and fast-moving differences. Research from McMaster University in Canada experimented on patients with lifelong cataract disorders by getting them to play Medal of Honor for 40 hours for a month. The game requires the players to quickly respond to the fast-paced action and track moving objects in different directions. It turns out that these patients showed signs of eyesight improvement and were able to recognise faces better, as well as pointing out small moving objects. (Source)
While gaming does have its benefits, it is also important that one should balance the time spent and not neglect other areas of a healthy lifestyle. Whether you’re in an open world of hunting monsters or in an apocalyptic era killing zombies, don’t lose sight of where the real life is.