Gaming is one of the best ways to relax and lose yourself for a while as you take your mind off the grind of the day. While it’s an escape for some, for others it’s a passion where a competitive nature streams through your veins as you strive to get the top high score on the leaderboard. Gaming can also even be a career, with the likes of PewdiePie and Johan “n0tail” Sundstein making millions from streaming their gaming activity for others to watch.
Over the years, gaming has developed a bad reputation for encouraging violent and addictive behaviors in rare circumstances. However, there are also many benefits to online gaming that is often left out of media reports that aim to grab headlines. Below, we’ll look at some of the cognitive benefits online gaming can have on people.
Improved short term memory
Ever found yourself walking upstairs to fetch something, only to forget what you came up for when you reach the top? Studies show that online gaming can have positive effects on gamers short term memory capacity. The mental stimulation provided by online gaming helps to keep certain illnesses like dementia at bay by keeping the mind active.
Puzzle and strategy games like blackjack or sudoku are best for enhancing short term memory as they require strategy and arrhythmic skills that stimulate new connections in the brain.
Gaming new knowledge
It’s not new information that learning a new skill or picking up a new hobby is great for mental and physical health, but it’s not commonly associated with learning new skills from gaming. Adventure games that require reasoning, processing speed, memory skills are great for keeping a sharp and healthy mind, as well as having significant positive benefits on mental health too.
Being impulsive can cause many issues in day-to-day life, from managing your finances to making sensible decisions at work or even being responsible with your own and others safety. Online gaming can help to reduce impulsiveness by teaching that actions have consequences. Action and consequence games teach players to use more careful judgment and develop patience while playing, which ultimately transfers into their everyday life.
Improved strategic thinking
Ever tackle a problem with a wing kind of attitude? We’ve all been there and while sometimes it works out well, other times it can leave you feeling like you wished you had prepared a little more. Well, video gaming can actually help with this.
Games like online slots can help players to develop problem solving tendencies and think in a more strategic way. While games like online slots are mainly down to chance, there are certain strategic actions you can take to improve the probability of winning. For example, if you choose to play slots online at a slower pace than you are less likely to lose all of your cash and have a better chance at winning the jackpot.
Being able to think strategically has many benefits in other areas of life, from in your career to solving relationship and financial problems too.
Improved temporal visual selective attention
Attention deficit disorder can be a real issue in both adults and children’s lives and can affect their quality of life through financial, career and educational circumstances, as well as impacting the quality and depth of relationships one can have.
One study has shown that gamers who played League of Legends were less prone to blinking, enabling them to focus and detect targets faster. Their stronger temporal visual selective attention enabled them to react quicker and attain more attentional cognitive resources, which gave them more success in the game compared to others who were more prone to blinking.
The study concluded that such action games were a powerful tool for cognitive training which could benefit an individual in all other aspects of their life.
Improved multi-tasking abilities
Struggling to multi-task in your everyday life? Studies have shown that video gaming is a great way to improve your multi-tasking abilities. Games like blackjack, poker and craps can help to improve hand-eye coordination while engaging multiple senses at once. Games that require active participation and visual-spatial skills help with the brain’s ability to split attention between mental tasks.
Improved job efficiency
Getting run down in your job? While some activities can be mind numbingly boring, a quick game at an online casino during your lunch break can do wonders for your work performance. Not only can it re-engage your brain and help you to feel more alert again, it can help you to think outside of the box and get your creative juices flowing.
Try a quick game of online slots before your next meeting and see if your performance and mood are any different. Just don’t play online slots while in the meeting…
Overall, video gaming has developed a negative reputation over the years, with many people believing that video games can lead to increased violent and antisocial behavior or gaming addiction. Yet, if we look beyond the news headlines, there’s so much more to online gaming than meets the eye.