For decades, video games have been a popular means of entertainment. The different types of games on the market make age, gender and taste irrelevant; as there are games being made to tap into every market. These days, games are more than just a leisure activity. Did you know they can actually be beneficial?
With newer technology, video games can actually be used along with proper diet as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Games like Dance Dance Revolution, Kinect Adventures and Wii Sports make sitting down during gameplay almost impossible. Instead, players are engaged and forced to stand in order to play; having movements tracked by a camera, dance pad or handheld remote. Long gone are the days of games being blamed for childhood obesity!
Gaming is also an excellent way to build coordination. For example, Dance Dance Revolution requires players to follow arrows on the screen while tapping arrows with their feet. Standard controller-based games are also effective methods for improving hand-eye coordination; as you are following the images on your screen while manipulating your controller. It may not seem like much, but it is quite an impressive feat. A recent study showed that surgeons who played video games made fewer errors on the job. It was believed that the video games not only sharpened his coordination but made him more alert and focused than someone who was not a regular game player. Video games are also responsible for enhancing players’ spatial reasoning skills.
Spatial reasoning skills are a very critical part of a child’s development and education and can be taught surprisingly enough by playing video games. Because games require players to anticipate movements, and in some cases manipulate objects; spatial reasoning is able to be mastered through regular gameplay.
The ages old idea that the gamer is a socially inept nerd, sitting in his basement eating hot pockets is a thing of the past. Contrary to this belief, gaming actually helps improve upon collaboration and social skills. A lot of games now offer a multi-player option which allows multiple players to game at once; often encouraging these players to work together to complete tasks. These group-based tasks teach players valuable problem-solving skills that previous single-player games may not have.
Another valuable skill to be learned from video games is critical thinking. Oftentimes a game will require a split-second decision for completion of a task. This decision may need to be followed by several more tries in order to result in successful completion. Applied in real life, this teaches players to think on their feet and keep coming up with different solutions until one finally works. Finally, video games are an excellent means of physical rehabilitation. For instance, a 13 year-old-boy with Erb’s Palsy showed remarkable improvement in the control of his arms after playing video games.