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Why You Should Add Video Games to Your Daily Routine

Why You Should Add Video Games to Your Daily Routine
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Think video games are just for fun? Think video games are just for kids? Think again. Recent studies have uncovered some surprising benefits to playing these games, for children and adults alike. For instance, did you know that kids who play video games for a few hours each day might be giving their brains a boost? Research says that kids who game more tend to be sharper with tasks that need memory and impulse control. It's not just kids either; adults can also benefit. Games that require quick decisions and on-the-fly thinking, such as the infamous Soulsborne games, can help improve your focus and coordination - skills that come in handy in real life, not just on screen.

With this article, we did a lot of research (and played a lot of games) to find out how video games can actually benefit you in your life and why you should seriously consider picking it up as a hobby today!

But video games aren't just about improving your brain power. They're also a great way to build social skills, especially in multiplayer games. When you're playing with others, you're learning to communicate, strategize, and work as a team. These skills can make a big difference in the real world, whether you're working on a group project or just trying to navigate everyday life.

Of course, like anything else, moderation is key. Playing video games all day isn't the way to go. But if you balance it with other activities, you might find that gaming can be a fun and beneficial part of your daily routine.

The Top Positive Effects of Video Games

Improved Cognitive Abilities

Video games are more than just a source of entertainment; they are a gateway to enhanced cognitive skills. Among these, visuospatial abilities stand out, crucial for everyday tasks like driving or interpreting maps. This skill set is particularly vital in fields like engineering, architecture, and meteorology. In essence, gaming isn't just fun; it's a mental workout that benefits students, professionals, and everyday life.

Fast-paced action games such as Doom Eternal, Cuphead, and Beat Saber are great examples of games that will test your cognitive abilities, allowing you to develop a greater sense of spatial awareness, reaction time, and adaptability. These games challenge players to make quick decisions and respond to rapidly changing scenarios, which can enhance cognitive flexibility and improve overall mental agility.

Enhanced Problem Solving and Logic

Research points to gaming as a booster of problem-solving skills and logic. A study involving professional gamers showed an increase in grey matter and enhanced connectivity in brain regions linked to these skills. Games demanding strategy and logical thinking contribute to this development, translating these skills to real-world scenarios.

Games such as Portal 2, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and surprisingly, Tetris, are prime examples of games that engage and refine your problem-solving skills, requiring decisions to be made swiftly yet strategically. These games demand not only immediate responses to challenges but also foresight, compelling players to think several steps ahead. This dual focus on quick thinking and long-term planning fosters a unique blend of tactical and strategic reasoning, enhancing your problem-solving skills and logic in a fun and immersive way.

Increased Hand-to-Eye Coordination

A study from the University of Toronto highlights another benefit: improved sensorimotor skills. Gamers outperform non-gamers in tasks requiring hand-to-eye coordination, a skill essential for activities like typing or bike riding. This is especially noticeable in repetitive tasks, where gamers show more speed and accuracy.

Games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Apex Legends, which are medium to fast-paced First-Person Shooters, offer an intense test of your hand-eye coordination, where every split-second decision and precise movement can be the difference between in-game survival and defeat. These games immerse players in high-stakes environments that demand quick reflexes and sharp aiming skills, making them an excellent way to refine both reaction times and spatial awareness in a thrilling, virtual battleground.

Greater Multi-Tasking Ability

Video games, particularly action games, are excellent at improving multitasking abilities. They require players to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, which enhances the ability to handle daily tasks more efficiently and effectively.

Games such as Overcooked 2, Starcraft II & Sims 4 immerse you in scenarios where juggling multiple tasks simultaneously isn't just encouraged – it's essential for success. From strategically managing resources in a dynamic battlefield to balancing the complex needs of virtual characters, these games constantly challenge you to allocate your attention and resources efficiently, honing your ability to think, plan, and act on several fronts at once.

Faster and More Accurate Decision-Making

Researchers from the University of Rochester found that gaming can lead to faster and more accurate decision-making. Action game players, in particular, tend to make quicker and more precise decisions, a skill that is invaluable in high-pressure professions.

A few games are going to make a comeback from this list here, because games such as StarCraft II, Call of Duty and many other First Person Shooters not only immerse players in fast-paced, dynamic environments but also demand quick, precise choices under pressure. This process of rapidly analyzing situations, assessing risks, and making split-second decisions contributes significantly to developing sharper, more efficient decision-making abilities.

Enhanced Prosocial Behaviors

Contrary to the belief that gaming fosters antisocial behaviour, many games actually promote social skills. Cooperative play and team-based games can improve the ability to work with others and foster better social interactions.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Minecraft and Among Us, among many other sociable games are perfect examples of video games that promote social skills. In these games, interaction with other players is a key component, and they often require communication, collaboration, and teamwork, which are essential social skills.

Better Eyesight

A study found that gamers, especially those playing first-person shooter games, have enhanced visual capabilities. This translates to better performance in tasks like driving, where peripheral vision and detail recognition are crucial.

Try your hand at Call of Duty or Doom Eternal to test the power of your eyesight and peripheral vision.

Some Video Games Promote Teamwork

Team-based video games enhance cooperation skills. A Brigham Young University study found that teams playing video games together showed improved performance compared to those engaging in other team-building exercises.

Games such as Destiny 2, Overwatch & It Takes Two are great examples of games that thrive on teamwork, heck, It Takes Two REQUIRES a minimum of two players to play otherwise it's a game that will just sit on your shelf. Try your hand at these games and understand what video game camaraderie truly means.

More Physical Activity

VR games, which require players to be more physically active, are becoming increasingly popular. They offer a more immersive experience and are seen as a healthier alternative to sedentary gaming.

VR gets you going. No doubt. Games such as Beat Saber, Sprint Vector & Dance Central, to name a few, are games that are sure to make you sweat, but you'll be having so much fun, that you'll barely realize that you're not only burning calories but also smiling throughout.

Emotional Regulation

Video games not only serve as avenues for emotional regulation and stress relief but also offer immersive experiences that can deeply resonate with players. Many games skillfully weave narratives that tug at the heartstrings, transporting players into richly crafted worlds. These virtual realms allow for an escape from the mundane, engrossing players in stories and experiences that can elevate their sense of being and provide a meaningful emotional journey. This immersive aspect of gaming is a powerful tool, offering solace and a sense of connection, which can be particularly therapeutic in managing real-world stress and emotions.

Try games such as Journey, Celeste, and Life is Strange to get immersed into new worlds where emotional storytelling and captivating environments offer a transformative escape, allowing you to explore and experience a spectrum of emotions in beautifully crafted virtual settings.

Mental Health Sustenance

Playing video games can boost mood and improve heart rhythms, indicating stress relief capabilities. This has led to their use in therapy for over a decade.

Games such as Firewatch, Flower & Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice offer therapeutic experiences, stress relief, and a way to process emotions. Be warned, Hellblade isn't a fun walk in the park as it's a game that is recognized for its accurate and empathetic portrayal of psychosis, creating an emotional and immersive gaming experience.

Learning Through Gaming

Video games can be educational, covering a wide range of subjects from history to science. They provide an engaging way to learn and stimulate curiosity.

Games such as Kerbal Space Program, Civilization Series, and Oregon Trail, to name a few, are not only entertaining but also serve as dynamic educational tools, enriching your knowledge in fields like aerospace engineering, world history, and American pioneer life. These games cleverly blend learning with interactive gameplay, offering an enjoyable and immersive way to explore complex subjects and develop a deeper understanding of various educational themes.

Persistence and Resilience

Gaming teaches persistence and resilience. Players learn to view each challenge as a learning opportunity, fostering a mindset that is beneficial in real-life situations.

Games such as the Soulsborne series, Cuphead, and Super Meat Boy, to name a few, are challenging, yet they embody the very essence of gaming perseverance. These games offer an arduous journey where success hinges on persistence, resilience, and an unwavering desire for completion. They are designed to test the limits of players, pushing them to develop a blend of patience, strategic thinking, and adaptability. Overcoming the hurdles these games present isn't just about skill; it's about embracing the learning curve, where each attempt, regardless of its outcome, is a step closer to mastery. This relentless pursuit of triumph, in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, not only leads to a profound sense of achievement but also reflects a valuable life lesson in determination and grit.

In summary, the world of video games offers far more than just escapism or entertainment. They are a unique blend of art, storytelling, and interactive engagement that can positively influence various aspects of our lives. From enhancing cognitive skills like problem-solving and strategic thinking to fostering emotional intelligence and social interaction, video games have a profound impact. Video games are a testament to the diverse and meaningful ways in which this medium enriches our lives.

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