For decades now, ever since the birth of the first gaming industry, there has been a debate about video games. Even today the argument rages on, as gaming has become an integral part of society. Yet it is shocking to see how negative the general opinion about video games is. Do video games really pose such a threat to the wellbeing of our children? Have they produced a generation of overweight social misfits? A lot of people seem to believe it to be so.
But this opinion is based mainly on inconclusive research, myths and false stereotypes. In reality, the negative sides of video gaming are widely exaggerated, and recent research has instead shown a myriad of benefits for video game players. For instance, video games help develop;
It has been scientifically proven that most videogames have a positive effect on the development of our cognitive abilities such as attention, memory and problem solving. This is especially important for children whose brains are still developing, but even adults have been shown to benefit from gaming in this area. With the constant stimulation provided by the many genres of games, the various cognitive abilities are constantly engaged and developed.
Another proven benefit of video games is the improvement of hand-eye coordination. Having to constantly react to new information in the games, the player is forced to adapt and improve his coordination in order to succeed. This holds especially true with shooting games, where players have to continuously maintain a steady aim in order to succeed.
Team work and social skills
With today's multiplayer options in almost all games, team work has become an essential part of gaming. A person who doesn't work well with others will have a lot of trouble getting anywhere in games nowadays, and therefore has no choice but to develop his social skills. As more and more games focus on team play for survival, players are forced to learn how to work as a group, and also to develop leadership abilities in order to survive. Recent studies have even shown that gamers are statistically more likely to be good leaders than non-gamers.
Much like the real world, video games offer a lot of problems to solve and projects to be carried out. The player is constantly tasked with organizing strategies and finding solutions to difficult problems - skills which are most valuable in today's workplace.
All the major games of today contain a high level language, which has been shown to rub off on players. Having to constantly read English (or other languages) with proper grammar and spelling in the games, gamers have been shown to develop better lingual skills than non-gamers. This is especially beneficial for people whose primary language isn't English. In fact, some countries greatly encourage gaming as a means to learn English as a second language.
The games of today encourage the players to push themselves to the limit in order to reach the goals. Starting out on an easy level and advancing upwards, the player increases his skill and is forced to improve in order to succeed. This has been shown to rub off on other parts of life as well, such as in sports and at the workplace.
Video games contain some of the most stress filled environments there is. With health bars, weapons, armor, mana, enemies and other players to keep track of, gamers have to keep an eye on so many things simultaneously. This in turn leads to players greatly developing their abilities for handling stress and multitasking.
Say what you want about gaming, but it can't be denied that it comes with some pretty amazing benefits. And in today's society, where gaming is becoming more acceptable, more and more people are affected by these benefits.