For a long time, there has been this myth that playing video games is not good for your health. More specifically, if children spend their time doing this, it is a given that it will affect them in their adult life. Or that adults using their free time to mostly play video games can cost them their social life.
Video games are hardly considered a teaching opportunity. Because many people tend to see them as a way of wasting time or interfering with your personal growth, it is difficult to see the benefits of video games, let alone the fact that they can teach you valuable life skills. In fact, research has shown that playing video games can be as beneficial as other forms of play. If you think about it objectively, many video games require, or teach you, specific skills, such as multitasking, decision-making, perception, and the ability to pay attention to details and make strategic decisions.
So, it is about time we debunk this myth that video games are bad.
Apart from the purpose of having fun, video games can be specially created for learning. What’s more, the concept of gamification is a method of increasing engagement by applying video game principles and elements to a non-game context. For this reason, many businesses have started using digital apps as a way of driving customer engagement by earning points and badges that lead to rewards. So, this is essentially how video games work.
Learning through games is an easier way of retaining information, as you are actively learning something. When you have to apply theory to practice, all while having fun, you are taking part in a learning process without even realizing it. Therefore, besides gamification having real-life rewards to increase loyalty – brands like Starbucks and Nike use this strategy – this method offers real-time feedback and provides space for development. Not to mention, seeing how your actions can have positive results in the real world is a way to strengthen your skills.
Video games are created in a way that specific skills are essential to able to play them. Players have to develop or improve their ability to pay attention and use logic to make decisions. These skills mentioned above are known as cognitive skills, which are incredibly useful for captivating information and correctly applying it through various thinking processes such as reading, understanding, perception, attention, and logical reasoning.
Playing video games can nurture these skills. For instance, if you play strategy or action-adventure games, it is vital you pay attention to the smallest details that could help you later in the game. For this to happen, you will also need to develop your visual and auditory memory skills to remember these details when you need to make a strategic decision within the game. Besides, divided attention can also help you do the current task while also taking into consideration your surroundings or if the game gives you extra information. So, this will help increase your ability to multitask, a skill that is necessary at school but even more so at the workplace. Not to mention, these types of games, or puzzle games, will nurture your deductive reasoning that will positively affect your critical thinking and decision-making ability.
Passions can turn into careers
An educational benefit that video games can have, which you might not realize, is the fact that they can reveal an inclination towards a specific subject or field. There are many possibilities with so many types of games, from action-adventure, sports to strategy and simulation. Besides acquiring cognitive skills, with video games, you can discover your passion to the point where it will become a career.
For instance, there are science-based video games that, besides making learning fun, can show that science subjects are more than just a hobby. For example, if chemistry seems an exciting subject, such games are an incredible opportunity for you to apply what you learn without having any real-life consequences. And if this is an area that interests you a great deal, you can always sign up for an online chemistry course for further learning. This way, you might have just found your calling, and it all started with a video game.
Besides this, there is a more obvious benefit in turning the hobby of playing video games into a career. With technology being more and more present in everyone’s lives, many companies seek to hire individuals with computer literacy skills. So, it isn’t a long stretch from playing video games to studying computer science and other technologically related subjects, as these games can help nurture tech-savvy individuals.
Discipline and healthy competitiveness
Another beneficial aspect of video game playing is their ability to harness discipline. It is in your interest to fulfill tasks and advance within the game, so following instructions is a requirement. By doing this, you will learn the importance of following specific directions and learn how to correctly put theory to practice to complete goals within the game. On the other hand, for games that don’t give you too many instructions and you can choose the path in which to go, you will see that different decisions will lead you in different directions. This teaches you discipline, as some actions will have consequences that could slow down your progress. This way, you will be able to learn from your mistakes, and when it comes to making a better decision, you will be better prepared to think strategically and make a better decision.
For multiplayer games, you and various other people play against each other. In this case, you will develop your competitiveness so you can fairly beat your contestants. However, it is vital you maintain a healthy rivalry. This will teach you how to maintain a healthy competitive environment in your studies and at your workplace.
Becoming a team player
Multiplayers games where you need to play cooperatively teach you how to become a good team player in all aspects of your life. If you are competitive, it is crucial not to let your desire to win interfere with the fact that you are in a team, and this requires you to work together with your teammates. So, to win, you need to be mindful of the aspects of working with others. This includes playing on each other’s strengths. Therefore, if you have good reflexes and agility, you might want a team player that is incredibly analytical.