A student on his computer, video gaming as a common pastime

Video Gaming 101: The Benefits of Playing Games

“Ayan, kaka-computer mo yan!” Have you heard of this phrase before? Sounds familiar right? Then you must know what comes next; people blaming your prolonged exposure to screen as you engage in video gaming. Tired of the video game blame? Worry no more for we have good news for you!

Short History of Video Gaming

Do you still remember the first video game you’ve ever played? Is it Mario Bros? Street Fighter? Defense of the Ancients (DotA)? Mobile Legends? Or is it Call of Duty?

Here’s a fun fact you can share with your mates. Did you know that the world’s first video game for entertainment is called “Tennis for Two”? This game is created by William Higinbotham and Robert Dvorak, Sr. on October 18, 1958.

Let’s admit it; the society considers the kids of today as digital natives. If you’re a member of Gen Z, then you are born at the age of the Internet, social media, and game consoles.

Most times, the idea of playing involves the use of gadgets, may it be a PSP, Gameboy DS, phone, laptop, or desktop. However, those are not the only ones you can use for video gaming. Just ask your parents about the old Family Computer. Furthermore, there’s more to video games than just plain fun.

Video Gaming: Benefits of Playing Games

Others may think that video games online are created to provide entertainment to the users. However, aside from giving out fun and extra adrenaline rush, it also serves other benefits. That said, CIIT Philippines have compiled the reasons why playing video games is good for you! Curious to know what they are? Check out below.

We’ve sectioned these benefits into four: (1) physical, (2) mental, (3) emotional, and (4) social. Use these fun facts depending on the event you need them!

Physical Benefits of Video Gaming

After searching various articles about the joys and pains of video gaming, we gladly present you these benefits. If you were as surprised as we were, don’t hesitate to let us know. Better, share it with your friends, too!

Improves vision

Yes, you read it right! We thought video games are harmful to our health, but a video game research from the University of Rochester in 2012, found that playing action-oriented games like Unreal Tournament can improve one’s contrast sensitivity. After just 30 hours, the students who joined displayed enhanced vision. The players began to see figures on eye charts better, even with other symbols present. With proper regulation, then these types of games can help improve one’s eyesight.

Develops hand-eye coordination

Most video games require the hand and the eye to work together to control the game and reach the goal. That’s why, when the University of Texas Medical Branch made a research on playing video games, they found out that among high school students, college, and medical residents—the high school students performed a successful virtual surgery than the other two! The reason behind this feat? These teens played at least two hours a day, which honed their hand-eye coordination well.

Maintains general physical health

Another physical benefit of playing video games is it can help you stay fit. Want a break from sitting and looking down on your phone? Try Wii games! Now it’s not just your eyes and hands that work to win the game, you can use your feet, elbows, and whole body, too! Try bowling, boxing, and even Tekken on Wii to help you keep active.

If you need other examples of positive effects of video games statistics to convince you, check this out! The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center study on video games use found out that playing Wii boxing or Dance Dance Revolution Level 2 can generate the same energy when you walk at 3.5 mph. Bring out your Wii and start moving!

Slows down aging

No, it doesn’t have to do with age for both the young and the young at heart can play video games! In 2013, the University of Iowa studied the effects of video games to people in elderly care. In the research, the participants experienced a progress ranging from a year and a half to six years and a half’s worth of improved health due to video gaming.

Mental Benefits of Video Gaming

With today’s raised awareness on mental health, some parents are wary of the effects of video games on their child’s mind. While their concerns are valid, did you know that regulated video gaming produces many mental benefits? Some of them are the following:

Enhances learning ability

Indeed, you can enhance your learning ability in various ways. You can do it through reading, listening to music, or playing sports. But if you love games, then you too, can enhance your knowledge through video gaming!

Just check the research on video games made by the University College London and Queen Mary University of London. A group of 72 volunteers played two different games (StarCraft and The Sims) for 40 hours, over a course for 6-8 weeks. In the end, they learned that playing strategy games such as StarCraft could enhance your brain’s cognitive flexibility. Through this, you can practice creative problem solving, which triggers you to think outside the box! Want to enhance these skills? Engage yourself in video gaming.

Improves focus and attention

A study on playing video games found that people who engage in video gaming for a period have improved their focus and reasoning. The research also concluded that video games are not just toys, but also tools to know behavior patterns and other functions such as one’s ability to focus.

Increases cognitive skills

It’s a common belief that video gaming may damage your brain. Yet, this video game research tells otherwise. If you’re playing Halo 4 and Grand Theft Auto IV, then listen up! Want to know the cognitive benefits of playing video games? Scholars from Radboud University Nijmegen found that it can give you “faster and more accurate attention and allocation, higher spatial resolution in visual processing and enhanced mental rotation abilities.” Hence, when you develop these skills, you can excel in STEM jobs. Now you can debunk that video gaming myth!

Video gaming has cognitive benefits to its enthusiasts

Emotional Benefits of Video Gaming

Along with the concerns for mental health, come the emotional effects of video games. Some say that the disadvantages of video games are violence or addiction. However, studies have found that instead of turning for the worst, regulated playing of video games can help you manage your emotions better. Read below to find out how.

Drives positive moods

What do you feel when you win a game? How about when you manage to surpass a hard level in a game? At times, what we call fun is just a collective term to what we feel during play. Research tells that these feelings could either be a ‘good flow’ wherein you feel you’re in control, or simply, ‘fiero’, the intense pride after winning against a great hardship.

These positive moods help not only while playing, but can boost your self-esteem, lessen anxiety, and even build confidence. It can also help broaden your attitude towards success.

Regulates negative feelings and stress

Have you tried playing Portal 2, World of WarCraft, Pokémon, or Final Fantasy? These games need you to develop an array of avatars, so you can adjust to various levels of the games. Hence, along with your improving your problem-solving skills, you must also learn how to handle your stress levels. Instead of getting depressed due to defeats, video gaming lets you use your emotions in flexible ways, thus fuels you to succeed.

Social Benefits of Video Games

In the old days, when you say you’re into video games, people see you as a nerd. Well, not anymore! Almost anyone can tell you that he or she has played a video game or two (or more!) during their leisure time. Hence, gone are the days that playing video games is a lone man’s hobby. Thanks to technology, video gaming has become a social activity enjoyed by all, no matter what age, gender, or even race. But there’s more to it than meeting like-minded people. Check out these perks to know more.

Develops your communication skills

Have you ever played Farmville 2? During its peak in 2012, AppData reports say there are about 8 million users daily from all parts of the globe. Meanwhile, the highest number of players recorded for World of Warcraft was back in 2010, with 12 million active users.

With so many people you can play with, how do you interact with them? How can you foster good relations with your team when you don’t know how to approach and get along with them? Hence video gaming develops your communication skills, may it be via audio or chat.

Realizes the value of teamwork and leadership

You may not notice, but these games can help you hone your instincts on whom to trust, build links, and follow for you to succeed. Who knows, maybe you’re born to lead? With video gaming, you learn the value of teamwork and leadership, which are vital when you have your own career.

Infographic of the top benefits of video gaming

CIIT Students’ Edge: CIIT Game Development Specialist Program

For all the cons of video games, you cannot deny its emerging role in education. Some schools choose the gamification of lessons to help students grasp the idea easily. Hence, at CIIT Philippines, we don’t just use video gaming as a medium to teach; we train you how to make one. Just choose either CIIT Game Development Specialist Program or CIIT Mobile App Development Specialist Program. Who knows, you can be a video game athlete and win millions, or you can design the next video gaming hit! Ready to explore possibilities? Enroll at CIIT.

Sources: amle.org | thisdayintechhistory.com | qmul.ac.uk | pnas.org | geek.com | gamedsigning.org | ecirtam.net | educatorstechnology.com | blog.sharpschool.com | understood.org | engadget.com | idtech.com | medicalnewstoday.com | psychologytoday.com | momjunction.com| rochester.edu | mimicsimulation.com | sciencedaily.com | now.uiowa.edu | apa.org

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