The video gaming industry is alive and booming, even though the perception many people have is that video games are a waste of time. Others feel that playing video games has many advantages and numerous studies have tackled the question, do video games make you smarter? Believe it or not, the answer to this question is yes. In spite of what your parents may have told you growing up, this hobby doesn’t turn you into some kind of zombie. Yes, there is a considerable possibility that overdoing it with video games could affect things such as the development of your social skills. As with most things, anything you do too often may lead to negative consequences and playing video games is no exception. But to be fair, the benefits of playing video games completely depend upon the type of games you are playing.
How do video games make you smarter?
Obviously, they are not all meant to teach you math, geography, and spelling. Nevertheless, video games can generally make learning very enjoyable. The best video games normally have a substantial element of challenge about them. The challenge normally comes by presenting you with a complicated scenario, and forcing you to work your way through it. By doing this, you’ll be honing your skills of problem solving and critical thinking.
Video games normally don’t give you sufficient time to think over a problem. At times, you have to try out different ideas up until something works out, which is a great way to learn trial and error. This is something that can be especially helpful in the real world! Although playing Call of Duty: Ghosts
may not help you pass that math final exam, it might be exercising the part of your brain responsible for learning what you need to know. Even the role playing games require you to recall details over long time periods.
The Big Picture
Games can also teach you how to look at the big picture. Some games make you bear in mind the long-term goals as you are constantly challenged by problems. This will allow you to think through how your immediate decisions will affect you in the long-run (again, critical thinking!). Being able to see and identify the big picture is a challenge and a skill that can be very beneficial in our lives.
Reading certainly triggers your imagination, there is no argument there. But video games can, in fact, force your brain to analyze situations, and require you to make a decision (sometimes in a split second!). This stimulates not just the imagination, but also the skills that are needed in everyday life.
Video games also give you a sense of accomplishment. Whenever you correctly complete a level, you feel like a goal has been reached, an accomplishment of sorts. This gives you instantaneous feedback on your progress. The bottom line is that there isn’t anything that can completely replace good traditional textbook and classroom learning. When you play a video game, you are learning and stimulating your brain without even knowing it, making learning that much more fun and enjoyable (just remember not to overdo it).