Did you know that nearly 70% of Americans play video games? Rightfully so since not only are they fun but have many surprising benefits as well.
Is gaming good for you? Read on to find out the hidden benefits of video gaming, and relax knowing you’re not just having a good time but enjoying the benefits to gaming as well.
Video Games and Your Brain
Your right hippocampus decides how to process and consolidate information for the long term and short term memory. Video games can help grow this part of the brain.
The cerebellum is also activated while playing video games. It controls muscular activity and fine motor skills. This part of the brain helps you respond to what’s happening around you.
The prefrontal cortex controls social behavior, cognitive planning, decision making, and your personality. Of course, the more involved you get in your video game the more you’ll experience these benefits.
If you’re looking to experience these benefits, it’s not just Super Mario 64, but think of fast-paced action games. Great examples are first-person shooters and sports games.
Problem Solving in Games
Video gaming can teach strategy and problem-solving. Minecraft shows you how to use objects to solve problems and explore environments. SimCity you plan and layout a city. It also has you consider different factors such as how taxes could help or hurt your city.
It also teaches you planning and resource management, which you can then connect to your own life. Certain games out there are about historical events, so it could make you curious about learning historical facts.
1. Exercise Your Brain
A study done at the Max Planck Institute found that playing video games actually increases the grey matter in your brain. This helps refine hardwired and learned skills. It also positively impacts the part of your brain used for memory, fine motor skills, and spatial orientation.
The study chose 2 groups of adults. The first group played Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes a day for 2 months, and the 2nd group didn’t play anything. They used magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) to measure the sizes of the brains for the groups.
They measured their brains before the study and at the 2-month mark. It showed a link between brain increases and video gaming.
2. Slows Down Aging
Aging is inevitable, but what if there was a way to slow it down? A study that was done in Iowa showed gaming can actually slow down aging. There were 681 healthy people who were aged 50 and older playing video games for 10 hours for 6-8 weeks.
It was found that 10 hours of video gaming slowed down the aging process by many years. They saw a range, with a minimum of a year and a half to six and a half years of improvement or recovery.
3. Great Workout
Games like Dance Dance Revolution and Wii Fit have been popular throughout the years, and are great exercise games for weight loss. You don’t have to worry about going to the gym, you can just turn on your video game and get a good workout.
When you’re up and moving it helps your joint flexibility, balance, coordination, and circulation. Many of these games track your progress as well. You can also set goals. Ring Fit Adventure is a new workout for the Wii that can help with weight loss and setting goals as well.
4. Better Decision Making
C. Shawn Green at the University of Rochester ran a study to see how video games affect decision making. He tested to see if games that make us keep track of moving peripheral images will improve our receiving of sensory data and make better decisions.
Young adults that had no gaming experience played an action game for 50 hours. Another group played a slower-paced strategy game. It was shown action games can enhance our low-level perceptual functions.
5. Improved Focus
When you’re needing to be more attentive and have more focus on school or work, video games can help with that. Video gaming has been shown to improve attention, cognition, and perception.
6. Could Help Depression
In New Zealand, a study was done to see if video games could help with mental disorders such as depression. A game called SPARX was invented to provide therapy for teens that’s more enjoyable than traditional therapy.
Over 168 teens with an average age of 15 who previously showed signs of depression, were part of this study. Half of the group got to play SPARX, and the other half did traditional counseling.
The game allows you to create avatars to get rid of enemies in the virtual world. The enemies represented negative and gloomy thoughts. Each stage of the game had facts about depression including ways to deal with it effectively and relax.
It was found that this video game could be beneficial in treating depression as an alternate route for counseling.
7. Become Social
Most gamers play with others online, which makes you befriend others near and far. If you’re a gamer who partakes in live social environments, you’re more likely to be communicative and friendly. You can also form stronger bonds with fellow gamers than those who don’t play games.
Answering the Question Is Gaming Good for You
Is gaming good for you? Not only can it have positive mental effects, but physical as well. So, don’t feel bad playing your games for hours having a blast. If you’re looking to save money while playing games, join us today and decide how much you’d like to save.