One often hears that engaging in gameplay hurt an individual's mental state, social capabilities and skill in solving real life problems. But if you participate in advanced video games that depict realistic environments, complex situations and logical consequences from your choises, and you only play game during a reasonable time each week, the gameplay can actually benefit your mental state and problem solving abilities in several ways.
1 - Playing games can improve you vision and possibly also your hearing. There are muscles inside your eyes that regulate the amount of light let in and that regulate the refraction in the internal lens in your eyes, and there are muscles around your eyes to move them in all directions. These structures and the nerves that control them benefit from training like any other muscular structures in your body. Of cource advanced games with a lot of details, motions and lightness changes are the best to give this kind of training.
2 - Gaming can improve your ability to hold information of a total situation with all its details in your mind and interprete the meaning of all details. During a game you are all the time confronted by a total scenery with rapidly changing pictorial and audible details, and the outcome of the game depends heavily upon a correct sensing and interpretation of everything in the scenery.
3 - Playing games can make you better to foresee how a situation will develop and take good decisions. During gaming you are constantly challenged not only by the actual situation, but also by several posibilities for the further development of the situation. You must accordingly make decisions that set you in a good immediate position and also secure you a good position further off. You must decide wether to take profit from the actual situation, or to make a strategic move instead of taking an immediate profit.
4 - Gameplay can make you more skillful in performing handcrafts of several kind. More generally the games will train your finer muscular coordination and the coordination between your senses and your muscles. In an advanced game you need to aim at targets, drive fast cars, drive helicopters, dive, jump by parachute and a lot of other demanding practical tasks. The skills you gain thereby, are also useful in the real life outside the gaming. Tests has showen for example that people used to play games will better perform surgical handcraft than medical students not used to play games.
5 - Gaming can improve certain aspects of social skills, especially if you compete and cooperate with other persons in realtime through the game. Gaming demands you to steadily read the intentions of other persons and the consequences of their moves. Gaming forces you to steadily communicate with your partners and take decisions together with these. All this gives you enhanced abilities to read other persons and cooperate with other persons.
6 - Using video games can make your brain generally faster, able to store more information in the memory and better to perform strategic interpretation and planning. One scientific study perfomed on persons playing Super Mario, looking into their brain with a MR machine found a growth in the hippocampus region for those playing compared to those not playing. The hippocampus region helps to coordinate many brain functions, including memory, fine motion controle, and strategic planning.
7 - Gamers also tend to get a more flexible thinking pattern and greater brain flexibility also will lead to increased creativity. To win profit or matches in advanced games, especially if you play against a fellow gamer, requires creativity and the ability to steadily find new ways of doing things. Hence regular gaming can effectively increase your creativity.
8 - People engaged in regular gameplay will age slower than the average. The challenges that the games give the brain will stimulate the brain to create more new connections between brain cells. These new connections can take over the functions from the connections of brain cells that have died out. Possibly the challenges can even stimulate the brain to produce new cells. For a long time one thought that this is not possible, but scientific finding have revealed that even that happens upon proper stimulation.
9 - Gaming can serve as a therapeutic tool for persons suffering from mental handicaps or brain injuries. Since a normal brain has more resources than needed for most daily activities, those resources are a reserve that can be utilized to remend handicaps, age changes and injuries, and the brain can grow new connections and even new cells that replace those damaged or those lacking. But the brain will not do so without being challenged. Gaming can provide those challenges and be used as a therapeutic tools for people with mental handicaps of various causes. Scientific research also suggest that gaming can serve as a therapeutic tool against depressive states.
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