Research that proves you can learn from playing video games

Research that proves you can learn from playing video games

Video gaming refers to the experience of playing electronic games, which vary from action to passive games, presenting a player with physical and mental challenges. The motivation to play video games might derive from the experience of autonomy or competing with others, which can explain why video gaming is pleasurable and addictive.

Video games can act as “teachers” depending on the game purpose.

Video gaming has varying effects depending on the game genre. For instance, an active video game can improve physical fitness, whereas social video games can improve social behavior. The most interesting results show that playing video games can change cognition and the brain. Earlier studies have demonstrated that playing video games can benefit cognition. Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have demonstrated that the experience of video gaming is associated with better cognitive function, specifically in terms of visual attention and short-term memory, reaction time, and working memory. Additionally, some randomized controlled studies show positive effects of video gaming interventions on cognition. Recent meta-analytical studies have also supported the positive effects of video gaming on cognition. These studies demonstrate that playing video games does provide cognitive benefits.

Playing video games can result in numerous cognitive benefits for the online gamer. These benefits include positive effects on one’s basic mental processes like attention, perception, decision-making and memory. Video games can also improve performances in jobs that require good hand-eye coordination and quick decision making. Video games have been found to improve performance in training for both pilots and surgeons. There are many physics-based games , and I would suggest that students begin with the Portal franchise , one of the most popular games of all time. Pay close attention to Portal 2 and how the physics-based elements have been enhanced. The portal games are rated e for everyone.

A recent study shows that gaming has a positive impact on kids as they are more likely to have enhanced brain and cognitive functions as adults. Interestingly, passion for games does not fade away with age, as 65 percent of American adults say they play on a regular basis. According to research by the entertainment software association, more than half of adults in the U.S. play video games , which shouldn’t be surprising considering the wide array of gaming devices available on the market.

Even everyday smartphones can be platforms of choice, with plenty of gamers who play on their phone and nowhere else. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of adults believe that games can serve educational and recreational purposes, which indicates that modern society clearly understands the benefits of gaming despite persistent beliefs that it can cause violent behavior in kids. 

Video games can improve manual dexterity.

Research that proves you can learn from playing video games says that playing video games at a young age can help children develop brain functions and have a more advanced cognitive response when they are adults, according to the open science platform frontiers. Speaking of specific improvements, the process of gaming boosts kids’ memory and increases their special awareness in 3d space. Moreover, youngsters learn to react faster to any possible changes, which also travels further into adulthood. This thorough brain function development keeps its positive impact even if former gamers stop playing games. What’s even more impressive is that those who have never played video games before can actually improve their cognitive functions by simply opening themselves to the world of video games. While at first, significant changes might not be observed, the process of regular playing helps improve brain function in adults and bring it on par with those who played as kids.

Video games can be a contentious topic, particularly among parents or caregivers who may be concerned about the effects of spending hours in front of the console. Yet, it seems that some video gaming could actually be beneficial. Recent studies have shown that playing video games could improve learning and may even protect against dementia in older adults. The authors of a recent review of the evidence on video games concluded that gaming could have benefits for both cognitive and emotional skills.

In a new study, which features in the journal frontiers in human neuroscience , researchers from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona trained volunteers to play “Super Mario 64” — a game that researchers have previously shown to induce structural changes in parts of the brain associated with executive function and spatial memory. The new study found that people who played video games as children showed greater improvements in their working memory than those who did not, suggesting that video games can have long lasting benefits for cognition. This study combined video game playing with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) , a non-invasive form of brain stimulation that scientists have studied as a treatment for mood disorders. In 2008, the food and drug administration (FDA) approved its use for the treatment of major depression when other approaches have failed.

Whether playing video games has negative effects is something that has been debated for 30 years, in much the same way that rock and roll, television, and even the novel faced much the same criticisms in their time. Purported negative effects such as addiction, increased aggression, and various health consequences such as obesity and repetitive strain injuries tend to get far more media coverage than the positives. I know from my research examining both sides that my papers on video game addiction receive far more publicity than my research into the social benefits of, for example, playing online role-playing games. However, there is now a wealth of research that shows that video games can be put to educational and therapeutic uses, as well as many studies that reveal how playing video games can improve reaction times and hand-eye co-ordination.

For example, research has shown that spatial visualisation ability, such as mentally rotating and manipulating two- and three-dimensional objects, improves with video game playing. To add to this long line of studies demonstrating the more positive effects of video games is a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Vikranth Bejjanki and colleagues. Their newly published paper demonstrates that the playing of action video games – the sort of fast-paced, 3D shoot-em-up beloved of doomsayers in the media – confirms what other studies have revealed, that players show improved performance in perception, attention, and cognition. In a series of experiments on small numbers of gamers (10 to 14 people in each study), the researchers reported that gamers with previous experience of playing such action video games were better at perceptual tasks such as pattern discrimination than gamers with less experience.

In another experiment, they trained gamers that had little previous experience of playing action games, giving them 50 hours of practice. It was showed that these gamers performed much better on perceptual tasks than they had prior to their training. The paper concludes: The enhanced learning of the regularity and structure of environments may act as a core mechanism by which action video game play influences performance in perception, attention, and cognition. In my papers, I have pointed out many features and qualities that make video games potentially useful.

For instance, in an educational context, video games can be fun and stimulating, which means it’s easier to maintain a pupil’s undivided attention for longer. Because of the excitement, video games may also be a more appealing way of learning than traditional methods for some. Video games have an appeal that crosses many demographic boundaries, such as age, gender, ethnicity, or educational attainment. They can be used to help set goals and rehearse working towards them, provide feedback, reinforcement, self-esteem, and maintain a record of behavioural change. Their interactivity can stimulate learning, allowing individuals to experience novelty, curiosity, and challenge that stimulates learning. There is the opportunity to develop transferable skills, or practice challenging or extraordinary activities, such as flight simulators, or simulated operations.

Because video games can be so engaging, they can also be used therapeutically. For instance, they can be used as a form of physiotherapy as well as in more innovative contexts. Several studies have shown that when children play video games following chemotherapy they need fewer painkillers than others. Video games have great educational potential in addition to their entertainment value. Games specifically designed to address a specific problem or teach a specific skill have been very successful, precisely because they are motivating, engaging, interactive, and provide rewards and reinforcement to improve.

But the transferability of skills outside the game-playing context is an important factor. What’s also clear from the scientific literature is that the negative consequences of playing almost always involve people that are excessive video game players. There is little evidence of serious acute adverse effects on health from moderate play. Dr. Mark Griffiths has received research funding from a wide range of organizations including the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Academy, and the Responsibility in Gambling Trust. He has also carried out consultancy for numerous gaming companies in the area of social responsibility and responsible gaming.

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