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People Who Are Addicted To Video Games Are More Observant, Study Surprisingly Finds

People Who Are Addicted To Video Games Are More Observant, Study Surprisingly Finds

Video games have inspired numerous debates among game manufacturers, gamers, parents, educators, and psychology experts. Many of those debates stem from the potentially damaging impact of video games on the adolescent psyche.

A new study flies in the face of those assertions, identifying connections between video game addiction and observational skills, cognitive efficiency, and task execution. People who play video games compulsively could derive benefits from the skills and behaviors they learn while playing.

Medical Research: Identifying the Impact of Video Game Addiction

According to IFL Science, the aforementioned study involved MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans of 78 adolescent boys with IGD (Internet gaming disorder) and 73 boys in the same age group who demonstrated no symptoms of IGD. Based on those scans, researchers determined that boys with IGD exhibit “increased connectivity between seven pairs of regions” in the brain. Researchers based at the University of Utah and at Chung-Ang University propose that these connections could account for the cognitive symptoms of IGD.

For instance, people with IGD might have difficulty concentrating and might even experience withdrawal symptoms when pulled away from a game. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), IGD symptoms mimic those of an alcoholic or drug addict.

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Hyperconnectivity: Wiring Differences Between Gamers and Non-Gamers

However, it’s not all bad news. The research also found that boys with IGD exhibited behaviors that could prove beneficial in the non-gaming world. Increased observational skills allow gamers to identify important elements of a game, but they could also help students and professionals succeed in their careers and their personal lives.

Gamers can process many different cues in a stressful environment because of their experiences playing games. They are able to react quickly in situations that might seem overwhelming to others. From subtle visuals in the background to audio clues from video game voice over work, gamers are bombarded with copious amounts of information throughout the entire game.

Additionally, the University of Utah reports that this research could suggest a connection between Internet gaming disorder and an individual’s ability to process new information. Increased coordination, improved response speed to stimuli, and other beneficial consequences might also result from IGD.

This research suggests that the areas of the brain most impacted by IGD include the hearing and vision sectors.

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Research Results: Hope for People Who Love Gaming

The results of this landmark study provide hope for teenagers and adults who have IGD. Many experts and laypeople alike have expressed their concern over the long-term impact of video games, especially since people with severe IGD can suffer serious withdrawal symptoms and give up other aspects of their lives in favor of their games.

However, despite the fear surrounding video games, this research demonstrates a clear link between video gaming and positive life skills. Adolescent boys who spend a considerable time playing games can actually develop skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Other Benefits: Exploring the Positive Impact of Video Games

While this research constitutes one of the first studies of its kind, psychologists and other experts have previously theorized about the potential benefits of video games. In 2014, for instance, Lisa Bowen of the American Psychological Association wrote about video games’ impacts on kids’ spatial, analytical, and problem-solving skills.

Additionally, Bowen points out that video games can serve as mood boosters for kids – particularly short, simple games, such as those found on smartphones and tablets. They put kids in good moods so they can tackle other tasks in the right frame of mind.

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Violence in Gaming: Possible Benefits from First-Person Shooters and Other Action Games

In addition to Bowen, other experts have theorized that violent, action-packed video games can have demonstrable benefits for kids and adults. Writing for Psychology Today, Boston College research professor Peter Gray specifically mentions action-oriented games, stating, “Many of the abilities tapped by such games are precisely those that psychologists consider to be the basic building blocks of intelligence.”

Many adolescents prefer the most violent and action-packed games. However, this surprising research (and other studies before it) suggest that kids might derive more benefits than drawbacks from their favorite games.

Life Balance: Drawing Benefits From Video Games Without Consequence

Although video games offer numerous benefits to adolescents and adults, they can also create negative consequences when they’re abused. When an individual spends all of his or her time in front of the computer or console, other aspects of his or her life suffer.

For instance, it isn’t healthy for anyone, regardless of his or her age, to neglect work, school, family, and friends for the sake of a game. It’s essential to balance gaming time with other activities, such as physical exercise, reading, non-video games, and extracurricular activities.

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Playing video games for a modest period of time each day can produce the benefits described above without allowing the games to take over the individual’s life. Video games will likely continue to cause discourse and debate among gamers and non-gamers. However, understanding the research helps every individual make healthy, informed decisions.

Featured photo credit: Benefits of Video Game Addiction via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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