As a kid, I remember spending countless hours on video games in my room as I wanted an outlet from school. Pokemon, Minecraft and League of Legends are some of the games that I have fond memories of playing with my friends. Although video games are known to isolate individuals from reality, I often felt a sense of belonging with those I played with. As we shared a common interest in a particular genre of game. Video games are often team-based and sharpen one’s cooperation and leadership skills. However, parents only view video games as addictive and meaningless, believing the time wasted on these games could be used for school work or another hobby. Personally, I view video games only as a pass time now, however these virtual games have helped me improve in certain cognitive areas and deal with pressure.
Many multiplayer online battle arena games help improve with skills of reasoning and strategy, which can be further applied to math and sciences. Video games often improve one’s cognitive skills as the brain is stimulated when engaged in video games. Video games are often associated with being mindless, however a lot of thought and reasoning in a short given time is required to make an accurate decision. A player has to process a bunch of information in a short time, but also utilize the useful information from the useless, to create a strategic plan to reach his or her goal. Often microphones are used by players on the same team to exchange information and create a plan with the gathered information.
Video games often require more thinking and reasoning than school in my opinion. Mathematics and sciences are often straight forward and often have only one solution that is not only the fastest but the most concise. However, video games are different as there are many different ways to approach a situation and there are many possible outcomes. It is the objective of a team to analyze the situation and think about the possible approaches to certain situations. There is never a best way to reach the goal in video games. This article from Business Insider further elaborates and expands about the improvements video games can make in one’s cognitive skills.
2. Helps to Manage Stress
Currently I am in grade 11 and I am often find myself feeling pressure from my myself and my parents. School is usually the reason why I am stressed as grades are an important part of a academics and sometimes, you will not get or achieve the mark you wanted. Video games have been an outlet from school as when I play shooter games, I am able to release my frustration and anger that has built up throughout the day. I find video games relaxing and not as stressful in comparison to the academic workload that I have. While others may find reading a book relaxing, I feel gaming has the same effect and I am able to enjoy it along with my friends who often deal with the same stress. Video games has not only been an outlet for my stress, but has helped me improve in coping with stress. For example, I always found myself under performing during an exam even though I spent hours studying the material.
I often did not trust in my own answers and would choose a different answer than the one I believed was correct. I realized it was the combination of anxiety, nonacceptance of failure, lack of confidence that resulted in myself not doing great on exams. However video games created a high pressure and stress environment where if I were not confident in myself and my ability to perform well, not only would I, but my team would lose the game. It is only having been placed in these stressful situations that I have been able to learn how to be confident in my own abilities which I have applied to school, especially during exams. Over a period of time, I was able to witness the gradual improvements in my test scores as I slowly became more confident in my test taking abilities.
Although I do not advocate spending the majority of one’s time on video games, the occasional 30 minute session is perfectly fine. Similarly to other things, video games can become addictive and breaks are definitely required in between. If anyone tells you that you are wasting your time on video games list some of the positive effects of video games from this article and maybe someday you might even become a professional player. Similarly to everything else video games can be helpful but only in moderation.
Image Source: 1