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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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