The benefits of gaming

Online gaming, in all of its different forms, has never been bigger than it is right now. The gaming industry is expected to reach a total value of USD 256.97 billion in just five years. The trend has spread across the world and today, people of all different ages and backgrounds spend a part of their free time playing some sort of online game wether it be creative or puzzle games like Minecraft or Tetris or maybe action games like Call of Duty, gaming is important.

To many, gaming offers a well-deserved break and a moment to relax and let their mind rest for a bit. We play games with our friends and family or maybe just by ourselves. One of the big challenges that the gaming industry still has to battle and the reason why it sometimes is looked down on is because of the many stereotypes that still exist. Stereotypes that people who like gaming are lazy, antisocial, lonely and more prone to get anger issues from playing violent action games.

Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of research done on the matter and the results have actually managed to prove many of the stereotypes wrong. Video games can help people improve their vision, learn faster, develop a greater mental focus and how to multitask efficiently. There are even results that show that some video games can make teens and young adults more helpful, sharing and empathetic. All of these skills are highly useful applied to everyday life or in your profession. Whether you spend your days at school or at your workplace doesn’t matter, the skills that playing games teach are important in any situation.

"We know there are good sugars and bad sugars, and we don't discuss whether food in general is good or bad for us, we need to be far more nuanced when we talk about the effects of video games."

This is a quote from a neuroscientist named Daphne Bevelier from the University of Rochester in New York.

The studies regarding gaming used to be two opposites claiming they were bad or good but now, most researchers have realised that there is so much more to it. For example, the effects playing video games has had on behaviour as well as physiology has proven that games can be useful teachers.

A study showed that by playing action games such as Counter-strike, you exceed in multi-tasking, react faster, can process information in the peripheral vision as well as processing and making predictions in the game. These results were important for the studies but one question remained; did the games improve people’s focus or did people with good focus simply choose to play video games?

They set up a study where non-gamers were asked to play video games 1 hour a day for 10 days. They either played the classic puzzle game Teris or shooter game Medal of honor. By these further studies, they came to the conclusion that the ability to focus one environmental cue improved much more for those playing the action game. They learned how to ignore distractions in the game, which led to them using the same technique when focusing on something in real life.

So, do you want to learn how to improve your focus, learn faster and process and analyze information faster? Well, you might just need to spend a few more hours gaming.

On the 14th of November it is time for the Crowd1 launch of online gaming platform Miggster, try it out and you will soon see results.