Studies show that video games can be more beneficial than previously thought
Video games have faced quite the uphill battle keeping their reputation positive over the years. They have constantly come under criticism for violence and been accused of instilling negative thoughts in impressionable kids. Other scrutiny comes from people thinking that playing games is a waste of time and there isn’t enough stimulation involved to keep a person sharp.
However, recently published studies have put a lot of the assumptions about video games to rest.
Education Weekly posted results from a recent study from the American Psychologist, part of the American Psychology Association. Among the benefits cited include: improved three-dimensional thinking; better problem solving abilities; a correlation between creativity and playing video games; and persistence (especially when dealing with complex issues),
They also disproved the idea that video games make people withdraw from society, and increase depressive moods. Instead, playing actually promoted relaxation and helped to ward off anxiety.
As far as the theory that video games spawn violent behavior, the study found that those playing video games cooperatively—with other players either online or in the same room—actually promoted collegial behavior. They also stated that, “adol[e]scents who play games with civic dimensions (like games with guilds and collaborative raids) are more likely to be engaged in civic activity in their every day lives.”
This new information further strengthens arguments made last year by BBC. In their article, “Why Video Games May Be Good For You,” they cited a study showing that “video games can help people see better, learn more quickly, develop greater mental focus, become more spatially aware, estimate more accurately, and multitask more effectively. Some video games can even make young people more empathetic, helpful and sharing.”
It stands to reason that the positive effects could be connected when discussing games where the player wins real money.
Gambleore says that the accomplished feeling and thrill of winning, are increased when there is a tangible prize, making it no surprise why student might be drawn to online casinos to make a few extra bucks on the side. Betfair’s Arcade site, for instance, even has games modeled after traditional board games like Monopoly. These games combine the nostalgia of old games, the fun of video/online games, and the excitement of winning money. Done in moderation, it can be a fun way to socialize and relax.
While each of the studies brings scientific backing to its claims, it’s important to remember that each individual is different. The saying “time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time” might be true, but it’s also important to make sure you’re not letting games consume you—or that you start to draw away from other things. Yes, there are benefits, and games are a great way to relax, but only as long as they’re not keeping you from other important activities or responsibilities. As long as you’re not letting them impact you negatively, I say, play on gamers!