Nowadays we spend more and more time in the digital world. In fact, our actual world is slowly turning into digital which brings a lot of positive changes to our daily life. However, there is still a stigma connected with video games. It is driven by the fear of a negative impact on the lives of both children and adults, and it does not matter if we are talking about violent scenarios or not.
Think about it: any anti-social actions of people who often play video games or even simply like them will most likely be justified by the industry.
From the other side, if we look back, our fear seems to be natural and does not look like something we have not seen before. Similar concerns were actual when rock music appeared or when the world was introduced to comic books. People are generally careful and in most cases defensive when they see some new tendency, especially among younger people.
Of course, some games, some music, and some books are not meant for all age groups, which leads us to an eternal question: Isn’t it important to have a balanced approach in every sphere?
To begin with, there are numerous proven benefits to playing video games regardless of their content. It looks like once a person focuses on a game, their stress level is dropping significantly, their mood improves and the level of confidence is growing.
The latter is connected with the fact that the joy of winning in any sphere inevitably leads to an increase in the feeling of self-worth. Young people and teenagers also enjoy the benefits of playing in a social and communicational sense. This includes both the feeling of relatedness and the need to interact with other people in some of the types.
Moreover, research shows that in a randomized sample of adults diagnosed with clinical depression those who started playing video games reported positive changes and the reduction of stress level, anger, and tension. What is more important is that those results were reflected in their heart rate variability and brain activity.
Similar research conducted with children had the same results: those kids who played on a moderate level showed better results in positive emotions, self-esteem, connections with family, and safe friendships than kids who were playing a lot or did not play at all. It looks like the wisdom of not overdoing works in every sphere regardless of age.
Also, now that we have more studies on the human brain, the scientific community started paying attention to what video games can actually do to assist people with adjusting to the fast-paced world we live in.
First of all, there is good news for action game lovers: they improve your swift reaction to unpredictable circumstances, strategic thinking, and multitasking. Besides, those who play in general are more likely to identify distractions, which helps them to return to their main tasks quicker and procrastinate less.
This leads us to the conclusion that people who do video games have better focus. Such a crazy hypothesis has been proven by the French cognitive neuroscientist Daphne Bavelier who has accidentally started researching this topic and the impact of gaming on our brain activity. In her study she had both gamers and nongamers watch sequences of letters that would rapidly appear on the screen at the same time.
The participants had to concentrate on one of the three pressing a button when numbers would come up and ignoring all the distractions. Their results and brain activity was recorded as they also had EEG headsets on. All the participants held their attention and focused on their sequences.
However, those who played video games had far better reactions and scores. Wouldn’t it be nice to do better at work and be able to focus on the meaningful thanks to the actual fun time spent with friends?
To sum up, there’s more to video games than meets the eye. Playing several sets of your favorite one alone or with your friends spending a wise amount of your time can bring a lot of positive influence. Your stress will be gone, and the muscle of focus trained. Video games ‘good for well-being’ says University of Oxford study.
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