For a very long time, computer and video games were considered a bad influence and a distraction by parents for their children. However, a number of studies discovered that playing such games can actually be good for both the young and old. Here are the reasons:
1. It helps slow down aging process
It was found that people aged 50 and older who still played video games, had a stabilized or improved mental state, according to the study, “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive Training Using a Visual Speed of Processing Intervention in Middle Aged and Older Adults”, which was done by Fredric D. Wolinsky and his team, “World of Warcraft” is a complex video game that will require you to use a lot of your mental energy. Through this, you’ll be exercising your brain, which is beneficial for you, particularly when you get older.
2. It can be your stress and pain reliever
According to the American Pain Society, both adults and children who are still in the process of recovery, following major and painful major procedures, experienced less pain when they were playing video games as their brains were more focused on other things, instead of the pain they were feeling. Playing video games is also believed to relieve anxiety, improve mood, and promote relaxation.
3. It boosts physical activity
When you are playing Xbox 360 Kinect or Nintendo Wii, you will be encouraged to get off the couch to play properly. Studies conducted at the University of Rochester have discovered that teens who play sports-related video games will be inspired to play the sport in real life.
4. It enhances your social skills
According to the research done by Linda A. Jackson and her fellow experts at the Michigan State University’s, “Information Technology Use and Creativity: Findings From the Children and Technology Project”, children who engage in games that are pro-social and friendly tend to have a more positive outlook.
5. It enhances your memory
Several researchers from the University of Iowa reported in the journal PLOS One a study that involved several adults who were asked to play a certain video game involving memory. After playing for a total of 10 hours, the participants were able to gain three years of “cognitive reserve,” showing that playing such games can increase mental and memory ability.
6. It improves physical therapy engagement
One of the challenges of physical therapy is getting the patient to fully participate. Belinda Lange, an ICT research scientist, was able to come up with a video game called “Jewel Mine” that enabled patients to participate more in their physical therapies.
7. It makes you a better employee
The University of Colorado Denver Business School discovered that utilizing video games for on the job training has created employees that performed their jobs better and were able to store info longer, compared to those employees who used more passive teaching strategies.
8. It keeps families closer
One of the best benefits of playing video games is quality time with the family. According to Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life, little girls who played video games with their parents were closer to their families and had better mental health, compared to those who play on their own or even with friends.
As you can see, video games can give you so many benefits. It should not be considered as a bad influence, just as long as you have the right control. It doesn’t mean you should use up all your time playing. It’s all about balance.
Featured photo credit: Video Games/Steven Andrew via flickr.com