Most people believe that they know exactly how video games influence a person’s behavior. Not only that, they also know what kind of an effect they have on your brain – an extremely negative one. It is common knowledge that people, mostly teenagers, who spend a lot of time playing video games turn into mindless zombies incapable of getting or keeping a decent job.
Fortunately, many of us are aware of how reliable and accurate common knowledge really is. For this reason, and many others, one of them being my undeniable love for video games, I’ve decided to do a little research to finally give a proper answer to the question of the effect of video games on your brain.
The impact of video games on brain functions has been the focus of many studies ever since playing became a very popular and widespread activity. We will take a closer look at the results of research, hoping that it will give us some kind of an answer.
For all those who are not familiar with the term gamification, this will prove to be an interesting read. Gamification is a fairly new concept that has everything to do with playing video games, which is what makes it so great! The term actually refers to the use of game mechanics and game thinking in contexts that are not closely related to games, and with the purpose of making people more involved in solving certain problems.
This being the general definition of the word, I will now move on to explaining why and how it can be good for you. Of course it was the business world that first realized the potential of the concept. This is why gamification is already being used as a strategy in businesses and organizations.
Before we move on to the benefits of gamification, we will have to get one thing straight. Playing games is not a lame thing that only nerds and old people do. It is actually a phenomenon that has been categorized as one of the basic social tools that have been embedded into our societies. Got it? Okay, now we can move on to discussing the benefits of gamification.
Video game industry has evolved into an industry of big proportion. Microsoft had recently purchased a game development studio for a whopping $2.5 billion. And when you look at the revenue earned by the top video game development companies, you’re certain to be astounded beyond belief at how the industry has taken over the entertainment world.
Both kids and adults have started enjoying the video games now. According to a study, nearly 59% Americans play video games of which 48% are women and the average player is not a kid but an adult of around 31 years.
The gaming industry worldwide was worth over $67 billion in 2013 and this is expected to increase to $82 billion by the year 2017. The games have captured attention to the extent that Robert Morris University had announced that they would provide scholarships to players of the game League of Legends. The game has top competitors playing to make tons of money.
In spite of what the statistics reveal, video games still get a bad reputation. They are mostly portrayed as violent, antisocial, and addictive pastime, which encourages obesity in the players. But this is not true. Most of the video games have psychological, physical, and educational benefits.
My dad bought me a longboard a few years back from http://longboardingnation.com/ While I do like playing video games, the longboard had me hooked once I got the knack of riding it well. Since my neighborhood friends were all expert longboarders, it helped me learn it faster so I could race them and show my expertise.
Actually, the reason I learnt riding the longboard faster was due to the benefits I’d got playing the video games. Well you may not believe this, but the video games train the brain with the same impact as riding a bike or reading a book has. Your brain forms thousands of fresh connections, when you are in learning mode. The attraction of rewards further motivates you into playing skillfully and thereby training your brain well.
Games where you use repetitive actions such as in the Xbox Kinect, where you focus on a moving object or swing a bat, your brain and muscles of your body are trained, so they perform better in the real life activities you engage in. The fact that I had the meanest ever longboard also helped my gaining expertise in the sport.
Other than learning new skills, video games, especially the action based games helped in making the right decisions faster. Isn’t that cool!
Fast-paced action games need quick reflexes and fast thinking or you can lose your life fast. In real life setting, the active gamers are more aware of the things that are happening around them. They are able to arrive at decisions faster and see good results as such.
Playing games such as Call of Duty 2 helped improve making decisions faster according to a study. This helps a lot, if you are a surgeon or a soldier amidst a raging battle. Making quick decisions are crucial in such situations and the training gained by playing the games help aplenty.
As I’ve been writing earlier, there is more to playing video games, than the mere fun you get with the games. A study done by University of Toronto has revealed that playing action video games such as Assassin’s Creed or GTA helps players to learn better coordination of hand and eye and other new sensorimotor skills easily. While still a majority of people is against video games as an entertainment form, the studies that are being done on the subject are proof enough showing that these games are not so bad after all.
One significant benefit video games have is their ability to alleviate stress completely. They also help in developing special and needed skills such as sensorimotor skills particularly coordination of hand and eye movements. The benefits are enhanced in chronic players.
Sensorimotor skills are those that are needed to perform tasks such as typing or riding a bicycle. You need to rely on the coordination between your eye and the body muscles, so your movements are efficient.
While all those who start on such tasks are novices at the beginning, with practice they improve their skills. With adequate practice, the skills start to become second nature to you and the task is done without any concentration.
My friend who is a member of a video game online community is doing a course on fashion technology. She loves stitching and had bought a Serger recently at SergerPro.Com to help in her course. She says that her drawing and stitching skills have improved a lot, which according to her is due to her playing video games, and of course, because of the advanced machine she’d bought. Learning new things is faster when your brain is trained by playing the video games.
The studies done by University of Toronto on the subject involved comparing two groups. One group played action games for two hours a day at least thrice in a week. The other group consisted of non-players. Both players were told to play a new game on a computer using a mouse to track the movement of a small object that moved in a complex pattern all over the screen.
While at the outset, both players showed no change in their playing, with time, the gamers learnt the game and started playing faster than the other group. This shows that learning pattern related to sensorimotor skills is easier with the video action game players. The friend I mentioned earlier had actually won a fashion designing competition where she had to create a design and the complete dress in the time given. She credits her success to her Brother-1034d sewing machine and of course her passion for gaming.
The research done on video gamers concluded that the players had an edge over those not exposed to video games as they could learn faster and better. Acquiring proper sensorimotor skills is vital in technology field, especially for surgeons who use the latest advanced robotic surgery methods. You need to control the tools accurately to perform the surgery successfully. Maybe the doctors need to spend some time playing Assassins Creed to boost their skills!
To say the truth, hunting is a sport that is best enjoyed outdoors. Hunting enthusiasts would vouch for it readily. It is all about getting outdoors and enjoying nature just as our ancestors had done before us. The forest smell, weight of the rifle and even the boots you have on all bring about a thrilling and highly satisfying experience. Nevertheless, for those who don’t have the opportunity to go hunting here are some video games that bring you the thrill of the hunt. Although not on par with the real thing, these games do have some zing in them. Check out these games, you’ll be surprised!
This highly rated game has highly refined tech behind it. The makers, Emote Games, have come up with a spectacular and realistic simulation of the sport. You get the base game for free. But you need to subscribe for enjoying the various options available. The hunt involves chasing whitetail, mule deer, turkey, elk, roe deer, black bear, and various other species.
While most of the hunting games focus on the kill, this game requires the player to keep track of the landscape, the direction of the wind and other important details needed for having a good hunt. There is a multiplayer option too, so you can get together with friends and enjoy the game. I’ve been on a few hunting trips and I’ve to confess that these games are really wonderful. There’s so much to take care of in the real hunting trip, although nowadays there are advanced tech tools such as the keen rangefinders to help you out.
Big Game Hunter
This game from Cauldron Ltd can be played in Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and Windows. The single player game takes place in North America. Great hunting legends such as Jim Shockey, Wade Middleton, Vicki Cianciarulo and Ralph have graced the game with their expertise and voices making it more exciting.
Bass Pro Shops: The Hunt
This hunting game comes with a controller that looks like a gun. If you get adept at wielding the controller, you can hunt quite a big variety of species making it the best entertaining hunting game. The game was so exciting that I actually wanted to go on a real hunting trip after playing it. As you might have guessed my uncle is diverse person – hunting is one of his hobbies, so I made a call to him.
Several days later we were enjoying ourselves in the grasp of nature, hunting for deer. He taught me a lot regarding modern ways of hunting, and especially about one of his hunting rangefinder, that he finds to make his life easier.
This game is for smartphones. There have been over 10 million downloads in 2014 alone. The free and easy game play has made it a great hit. The game has endless range of barrels, gear choices, scopes, add-ons, etc. with more than 100 game species.
Big Buck Hunter HD
This is a staple addition in diners, bars and at any place where you find arcade machines. The game is a favorite among non-hunters mostly and needs quick reflexes to succeed in the hunting. It is great fun to play this game.
Recently I met up with a piano instructor at an event. Hearing about my interest in video games, he asked me about the latest games that were topping the popularity list. He mentioned that he had got an Xbox 360 for his son a few months back and wanted to buy the new games available. I was surprised!
Usually I meet parents who grumble on and on about how their kid has become addicted to video games and on how useless the games are. Seeing the enthusiasm of the instructor, I was surprised. He said that he is well aware of the various benefits that video games can do. He went on to say that as a piano instructor he knew the advantages a player received by learning the instrument in the same way as a video game player gets his benefits from playing the games.
Learning piano at an early age is very beneficially as a person can reap its benefits all through his lifetime. Several research studies have been done on the subject. The studies reveal that learning piano comes with a long list of benefits. And these benefits can be received, even if you begin learning it when you are an adult. Here are a few.
Several scientific studies done on music and its effect on humans reveal that music stimulated brain in many ways, which is not possible with any other activity. The neurological pathways that are connected while you play a piano cannot be stimulated when you are engaged in other activities such as engineering, science, and mathematics. The instructor went on to say that now there are advanced digital pianos that make it easier to learn the instrument.
Eye hand coordination
Just like playing video games, playing the piano too enhances eye hand coordination. When you read a sheet of piano notes, your eyes are trained to read, as your hands move on the keys. Sight reading practice given in piano also enhances the coordination more.
Fine motor skills
To play adeptly, your hands need to move efficiently over the keys. While hands of any size can learn, it is the training which impacts on the agility you develop for playing the most demanding of the compositions. The instructor said that he recommended the digital pianos at http://www.pianoreport.com/best-digital-piano-reviews/ to his students as good quality pianos are needed to improve their skills.
To become an accomplished pianist you need to have a strong passion for music and be dedicated. Regular practice is must to master the instrument. This dedication when applied to other areas of life helps in succeeding in whatever endeavors you do.
Music, as everyone knows, is the best way to relax after a long and busy day. When you sit down to play the piano even if it is for a few minutes it helps you refocus your mind, lowers your blood pressure, and relieves stress effectively.
Finally, learning piano also helps in boosting mental health. It is said to have positive effect on depression and its symptoms, Loneliness for instance can be alleviated better by playing the piano.
Video games had always been my favorite pastime, which my parents were not happy about. It is natural, as the benefits of video games were not known then and further I was so obsessed that I’d sit all day playing the video games without any other physical activity.
The growing obesity epidemic and the fact that of the obese people, children form a substantial percentage is certainly something to be worried about. Involving kids in activities that exercise the body and mind is what most parents wish for. The latest studies done on video games, and their impact on children certainly makes me and other fellow gamers breathe easy as it indicates that playing video games is good.
According to a recent study, when children are allowed to play active video games without hampering the appropriate weight management program planned for them, the activity levels of the children are boosted considerably. Kids who played the video games were actually able to lose more weight, when compared to children who adhered to only a weight management regimen. While earlier I was not much into exercising, now I work out with my personal power rack, which I found at GarageGymPro.
While traditional studies were done to assess the damage done by the video games, the new studies recommend active video games, so children can benefit from the games they love to play. By turning an activity that was believed, to be having negative effects into a positive and beneficial activity, new landmarks in kids’ health can be achieved.
A good combination of weight loss schedule along with active video game playing has been found effective in obese and overweight children. My uncle a strong proponent of regular exercising helped me take up a proper exercise regimen. In the end I decided to get an awesome Powerline ppr200x rack, on his recommendation and I’m glad I did. My weight is under control and people ask me how I manage to become so slim and fit.
The Xbox Kinect is an excellent device, which can help kids follow a proper weight management regimen. The device captures body movements of a child to make the game active. Produced by the great gaming group of Kinect Sports and Kinect Adventures, the device was found to effectively help incorporating adequate levels of activity in the children. The kids who used the Kinect received vigorous or moderate activity and this when done regularly will add on three minutes vigorous activity to the daily routines of the kids. The studies done to assess the activity levels included use of accelerometer a device that records movement done in a day.
On the other hand, the kids who had not played the active video game and had partaken in the weight loss program alone did not have any increased or changed activity levels. The amount of loss in weight over a year is calculated to be at 4 lbs., which is certainly an appreciable amount.
And the kids who had participated in the video games lost weight and were no long in overweight category. Observing the positive outcome of using these devices, it is clear that the games can be used to educate children effectively.