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10 Things You Didn’t Know about Playing Video Games

10 Things You Didn’t Know about Playing Video Games

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “video games?” Unhealthy, overweight man-boys addicted to living in an imaginary world, in which they shoot off the faces of their opponents?  Okay, this is the case some of the time, but really, video games are so much more. I have found out that there are many surprising benefits to playing video games, so I am slightly less embarrassed to admit that I play them myself.

1. Video games can teach and/or enforce teamwork.

A variety of video games have been created that involve a team of people (whether in your living room or in a different state) working together toward a common goal.

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2. Video games may be able to improve vision.

Did your mother ever tell you to not to stare at your computer screen for too long? Okay, she was correct in that your eyes need a break every now and again, but a study was conducted by a psychologist that may have proof that detailed video games involving aiming and shooting at objects improve declining vision.

3. Your surgeon may perform better if he/she plays video games regularly.

Have you ever watched the sitcom Scrubs? The main character and his friend, a surgeon, often partake in seemingly adolescent activities, one of them being video games. It turns out that this fictitious surgeon was likely more skilled at laparoscopic surgery due to the increased hand-eye coordination from these electronic games.

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4. Video games teach you multi-tasking.

In The Sims game, you might be controlling many different characters at once. You need to figure out how to coordinate their actions to achieve the best results in the game. This ability can transfer to tasks like driving a car and dealing with distractions inside of the car as well as keeping track of the cars around you.

5. Video games can benefit those dealing with stress or depression.

Video games give you the ability to get lost in a world you can control without true problems or consequences. An article in the New York Times highlighted a woman dealing with depression with the game Bejeweled. This does not go for all video games, but certain games can even give you a Zen-like feel where you can play without real effort or boredom.

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6. Video games can help those dealing with severe pain.

Studies have showed that patients who were allowed to play video games requested less pain killer. The thought is that the patients were so engrossed in the game that their pain seemed miles away. As a result, there is a lower chance of addiction to powerful pain medications.

7. Video games are not all violent (and/or drive you to violent tendencies).

Are you completely shocked? Before writing this post, I was a tad ashamed to admit I have spent hours upon hours playing The Sims games and more recently Sims 2 (no, I have not splurged for Sims 3 for fear of never leaving my laptop again). This game is anything but violent. The entire premise is living life. You can get a job, build a house, have numerous babies and raise a whole family of dogs if you wish. You can go to college, meet your true love and graduate with honors. Okay, yes, that sounds a little sad to be doing all of this in a video game, but stay with me and check out some of the benefits of playing video games.

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8. Not all video games require you to sit still and stare at a screen for hours on end.

Many video games have physical aspects (and rightfully so). You can pretend you are playing anything from bowling to boxing to participating in a dance competition. There are even games specifically engineered to improve physical fitness.

9. Many video games have been created for children.

I was completely taken aback when I witnessed a three year old playing a game on her mom’s ipad. Younger children are learning to play with electronic devices, so a variety of educational video games have been created to enrich the young mind. It is even thought that video games are an interactive venue that will soon replace textbooks…however crazy that sounds.

10. The last one: I heard on the radio there are video games designed for cats.

I, however, choose to be in denial that cats can use electronics.

Video games not only provide endless entertainment, but there are surprising benefits. If you have not already, consider picking up a game to boost your mental (and possibly physical) capabilities.

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Amanda DeWitt

Writer. Photographer. Instagrammer. Future Educator.

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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