Can Games Improve Your Cognitive Performance?

Can Games Improve Your Cognitive Performance?

One thing most parents agree on is that playing games is not good for you. However, just because they agree about something, it doesn’t mean that they are actually right. It is true that video games can be addictive, and you should always moderate the use.

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 However, most studies actually show that kids tend to develop their cognitive abilities while playing games. Tests show that moderate gaming improves literacy, problem-solving, leadership, and even social skills of a child. And, here’s the interesting bit – they are not only good for kids. Depending on the game at hand, many adults can benefit from spending some time just playing around.

As we said, recent studies are showing significant, long-term benefits for players of all ages. And, believe it or not, action games may even be better than usual brain training games. That is mostly due to the requirements of those games that demand making split-second decisions. These games all target the abilities of your brain that will help you develop your cognitive skills.

So, let’s just showcase a few of the benefits of playing video games that you might not expect:

Games Can Improve Spatial Attention

One of the most important tasks in any video game is keeping tab of everything that is on your screen. That means that your performance relies on you locating a stimulus while under stress. And, not only that, but you have to do so incredibly quickly, and, in some games, you have to remember the layout. The ability to keep up with everything that is going on and still have a feel of where your character is is an excellent predictor of your ability to be a competent driver.

Games Can Reduce Impulsiveness

A good game is difficult. It demands a lot of strategizing and holding back until the moment you should react. That means that the player has to be able to ignore the stimuli that are a “false positive.” Such games actually condition the player to avoid instantly reacting to negative stimuli.

For example, playing online casino games can be quite costly to impulsive people. However, visiting websites like casinoreviews.net.nz shows that those that are capable of controlling their impulses tend to do a lot better. So, if you are good at impulse management, play now, and try some gratis spins.

Games Can Help With Dyslexia

Most studies show that a lot of dyslexic people usually have difficulties with visual attention. One study actually shows that some gaming can help those people. In fact, after playing for only 12 hours, a lot of dyslexic kids had much better scores on reading tests. A really impressive statistic is that this type of training can beat most other training programs. The improvement was so significant that the kids would perform better than their counterparts that went through training programs.

Games Can Improve Multitasking

Multitasking is another ability you can develop incredibly quickly by playing games. Namely, only 50 hours of playing action games can bring forth significant improvements on multitasking tests. That means that gamers make for excellent pilots in the real world.

Games Can Increase Mental Flexibility

Many studies show that gamers have excellent mental flexibility. That means that they are able to avoid errors while instantly switching between different tasks. In fact, gamers have shown that they were able to switch between conflicting demands better than most other people.

Games Can Help Combat Aging

As you grow old, most of your cognitive abilities tend to decline. That includes working memory, attention, flexibility, and even reasoning. However, games can offer a lot of help in combating the aging process. Multiple experiments actually show that playing games can not only slow down the decline, but it can also even reverse it in certain cases.

Games Can Improve Your Work Performance

If your job requires you to have good hand-eye coordination, working memory, and decision making, playing games can actually help you a lot. And, pretty much every job involves at least a couple of these abilities. For example, a study has shown that gamers were excellent at flying real aerial drones. In fact, that study shows that their piloting skills were good enough to match actual pilots. And, believe it or not, gamers actually make for better surgeons in the long run. Namely, when they went through laparoscopic surgery tests, gamers actually made 32% fewer mistakes than their non-gaming partners.

The Conclusion

Not only can games greatly improve your cognitive abilities, but they can do so very quickly. Most of the skills you need to have in order to be a good gamer translate very well into the real world. In fact, various studies consistently show how those who play games can outperform their non-gaming counterparts. Just remember, the key is in moderation. Don’t waste your days in front of the screen. But, it is quite clear that anyone can use video games to better themselves.


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