Video games, perhaps praised generously in their ability to entertain, are not generally considered a device for self-improvement. One does not assume that to improve decision-making skills playing League of Legends could be a solution! As popularity increases, more and more evidence is releasing showing that this is, in fact, the case. A recent study suggests that playing video games can improve mental abilities and skills. In a world where video games have had years of bad reputation related to addiction, laziness and escapism, such research shows a wonderful side of gaming. Here are some skills that may be gained by playing video games:
High intensity games, with a competitive edge the internet brings to the table, requires the full attention of the gamer. Brain scans show that kids who regularly play are better able to filter out distractions than non-gamers are. This is a truly valuable skill, not just for gaming but for life. By improving this skill, relationships, work, school and general daily life could be positively affected. Games require persistence and commitment, qualities that also contribute to improving overall focus.
Problem-solving skills are highly valuable in the workspace, and in life. Teaching this value to our youth is critical in building a successful future. Games such as World of Warcraft or league of legends build these skills wonderfully, with researchers claiming kids who play these types of games show improvement in three key areas: planning, organization and flexible thinking. Entertainment which can give across values is a powerful tool.
Boosting creativity. Games like Minecraft are ideal for boosting creativity in kids and even adults. Whereas once, children would have to express themselves with physical toys, such as Lego, gaming gives them more room to be creative and express themselves than ever before. Just as creativity can be boosted in children through video games, the same goes for other ages. Expression and creativity are vital to most people in order to live happy and positive lives, and if video games are the outlet for this, then playing is a logical and rational choice.
As kids, we are always taught “patience is a virtue”. Patience incorporates the basis for delayed gratification and self-discipline. Identifying expenses and events that one has to “save up” resources to acquire is a common gaming theme. Waiting to buy something in a game encourages managing time effectively, controlling emotions and thoughtful allocations of assets. Some modern games require a cost-benefit analysis and opportunity costing that can mirror outcomes in life, especially in the business realm.
Understanding some of the benefits to gaming is a critical stage in the development of this industry, and as our knowledge of this increases, so does the potential of eSports. In an advancing and changing world, the growth of eSports brings gaming as a whole into a new space in society. Gaining real-world skills is a powerful and highly beneficial advantage to such a wonderful industry.