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6 Benefits of Playing Video Games

6 Benefits of Playing Video Games

Video games are often criticized for the negatives associated with playing them. This includes whether time spent on video games takes away from doing more physical activities, as well as if they desensitize players to acts of violence. But playing video games can actually provide some benefits. By choosing proper games, you can enjoy the perks while limiting the negatives.

But playing video games can actually provide some benefits. By choosing proper games, you can enjoy the perks while limiting the negatives.

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1. Video games can help children learn better

Certain video games actually have an educational component. They may help children learn about letters and numbers, or help with their vocabulary and decision-making skills. Choosing games with an intellectual benefit can help younger children prepare to enter school by giving them an entertaining way to build fundamentals.

2. Video games can improve critical thinking skills

Video games that focus on puzzles can improve critical thinking skills, and may increase creativity. By having to work through a problem, they can learn to make logical connections between certain actions, as well as understand how their choices affect the overall experience.

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3. Video games improve the ability to make split-second decisions

While video games are generally criticized when it comes to physical development, there are certain benefits too. Hand-eye coordination can be developed through any game that requires you to act quickly. By requiring a response to visual stimuli on the screen, and having to act accordingly, reflexes can be improved. They may even improve the ability to make split-second decisions, even when under pressure.

4. Video games can get you physically active

A number of video game consoles have also added the ability to be more physical as part of the play. The Nintendo Wii requires players to get up and actually perform certain actions in order to proceed. The Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move joined in too. Games have been produced that focus on being highly physically active. In fact, some workout “games” have even been released where getting fit is the primary goal.

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5. Video games are fun and entertainment

At their core, video games are entertainment. Whether you prefer games like Stick RPG 2 or Call of Duty, it is easy to become incredibly involved in the experience of playing. And there is nothing wrong with occasionally enjoying a game for the sake of it.

Video games have been made covering a wide variety of subjects and styles. This allows players, or the player’s parents, to choose games that are appropriate for their age and personal preferences. Game rating systems help people make informed choices about what video games may be ideal for their desired experience.

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6. Choose the proper games to enjoy the perks and limit the negatives

Not every video game contains violence, vulgar language, or adult themes. In fact, many are appropriate for all ages, and can be enjoyable for almost anyone. The Lego video game series is wildly popular with children and adults as they feature very little objectionable material. By reviewing the nature of the content in the game, it is possible to find choices that are suitable for almost anyone.

The key to integrating video games into your life is moderation

As with many of life’s activities, the key to integrating video games into your life includes moderation. Almost any activity, when done to excess, can have negative effects. Video games are no different. If you find yourself turning down other opportunities, or missing certain obligations, due to your desire to play video games instead, it may be time to take a break. Consider setting a time limit to prevent excessive play, or only allowing video games on certain days of the week.

For those who are neglecting critical components of their life may need professional help. The video games may be a symptom of a larger problem, such as depression or anxiety if they are used to avoid real life necessities, and this applies regardless of any other benefits received. By playing video games responsibly, you can safely have them in your life for whatever purpose you desire. It is just important to make sure that video games do not become your entire life unless it is actually your profession.

Featured photo credit: cdn.theatlantic.com via cdn.theatlantic.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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