There are approximately 3.09 billion active video gamers worldwide—now try and tell them that their beloved hobby is harmful! There has been a 32% increase in active gaming over the past seven years, and that figure is a clear indicator that video games are very beneficial—even if you only take the fun factor into account! What’s more, a new study has shown that playing video games can actually make you more intelligent and can even improve your physical health! Let’s take a good look at why gaming (in moderation) can play a dynamic role in a healthy lifestyle.
Gaming and Kids
The study, undertaken by researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, looked into how children’s screen habits are related to the growth in their cognitive abilities over time. The researchers found that young people who spend more time than average playing video games increase their IQ more than average. However, watching TV and using social media do not have the same effect. The study was undertaken on over 9,000 boys and girls in the US, who were aged nine to ten at the start of the study. Two years later, the children were followed up and asked to repeat a set of psychological tests they had undertaken. The researchers found that kids who spent more than the average time (more than one hour, that is) playing video games scored around 2.5 IQ points more than the average. They concluded that playing video games does not harm cognitive abilities and can actually help boost intelligence.
What About Adult Gaming?
Studies on adults have also shown that gaming can bring a myriad of benefits—and some games (including, surprisingly, shooter games) are more effective than others. For instance, trials on newbie gamers have shown that those who play shooter video games for the first time show are able to shift their attention faster. They also improve spatial resolution (the smallest distance a distracting object can be from a target without compromising the identification of the target). Finally, they see gains in mental rotation (the ability to form an image and rotate it into a different orientation in space). Studies have also shown that the effects of playing some games have the same benefits as learning dedicated spatial skills at high school and university level. What’s more, these skills are related to other skills outside the video gaming context.
What Games Fulfil Adults the Most?
Some of the most popular games in the world are played by both adults and kids. These include Minecraft, PUBG, Minecraft, and Fortnite Battle Royale. Of course, many adults are also into gaming for profit, with games like Dream11, Paytm, and Qureka allowing players to play everything from esports to live quizzes for fun. When it comes to gambling sites Canada and the US are leaders, with many enjoying everything from slot games to football pools and other games involving risk. In most games, adults enjoy the thrill of strategizing, analyzing their competitors’ chances, and coming up with creative solutions to gaming conundrums.
How Much Is Too Much?
Of course, any hobby that is taken beyond moderate use can harm your health and wellbeing. Some studies have linked higher levels of screen time to depression. What’s more, too many hours spent gaming can lead kids to neglect their responsibilities or fail to make vital connections during their youth. Therefore, it is up to parents to encourage healthy, moderate use, and to see to it that children get enough outdoor exercise and enjoy plenty of social interaction with their peers and family members.
Video gaming is no longer the monster that the mainstream media has painted. Studies have shown that this hobby is linked to various cognitive benefits. Adults and kids wishing to make the most of the positive side to gaming can ensure they don’t go overboard by setting a limit for their gaming time and filling their calendar with active and social pursuits.