Video games have long been recognized as a hobby that has a positive impact on productivity and brain function. It is not for nothing that Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk play them, and American schools use them to develop critical thinking in students and teach science. Does this mean that when you play computer games, you will no longer need to buy essay for college and cope with them yourself? Let’s figure it out today.
Why are Video Games Popular?
Games satisfy many psychological needs. Not in vain gamification — application of game elements (achievements, points) in the non-game environment — has become a separate scientific discipline. Herewithin, it is in many respects based on psychology.
Why are Games so Addicting?
- They set a specific goal. In real life, we set our own goals and decide what we want to achieve. But it’s different with games — everything is decided for us;
- They meet the need to feel effective. It’s nice to feel the progress while performing the tasks, even if they are virtual;
- Stimulate the release of the hormone of joy, dopamine, when we open the achievements, get points, or game bonuses;
- They set simple tasks in the beginning and gradually complicate them. This makes it easier to enter a streaming state where we fully concentrate on the task and forget about the rest;
- Some games have a social aspect, which allows us to spend time with virtual friends.
Finally, playing is fun. Without fun, other reasons would not matter. Playing means overcoming difficulties, having pleasure, and fun at the same time. Games are able to drag in and bring joy, and thus immerse yourself in the optimal state for learning. They can teach problem-solving, mathematics, physics, history, languages, and other humanities. The list can be continued.
Gaming in Education
Let’s consider a popular game Minecraft from Mojang. In it, you can extract resources and then build constructions of varying complexity. The game world consists of cubic blocks, so construction requires certain planning skills and basic knowledge of mathematics. With Minecraft, schools have been teaching programming, math, and teamwork for several years now.
In 2016, the company Mojang together with Microsoft had released Minecraft Education Edition. This version was created specifically for schools. It includes a number of improvements that simplify the teaching of programming and optimize teamwork. The annual license for Minecraft Education Edition for one student is only $5.
But Minecraft is not the only game in schools. There is also SimCityEdu, which develops the skills necessary for life in the XXI century. A recent update in SimCityEdu is called the Pollution Challenge. In it, students must build a city in the face of climate change. Thus, the game teaches you to solve a real problem.
How do Games Improve Studying Skills?
Сomputer games have stopped being children’s pastime a long time ago. Of course, it cannot be denied that about 90% of children play computer games every day, but this does not negate the fact that the average age of the player in video games is 33 years. This is out-of-age entertainment, which, in addition, can delay the aging of the brain.
The results of the research show that computer games and partaking in games such as online word search puzzles, sudoku, and crosswords not only do not cause destruction in the brain but even help develop such properties as multitasking, concentration, and others. In addition, the results clearly prove that games can not only do not degrade vision but even have a positive effect on its sharpness. Despite common myths, video games not only do not cause the degradation of thinking processes but also improve such indicators as flexibility, concentration, attentiveness, memory, reaction rate, and non-trivial thinking.
In addition, there is an improvement in the ability to follow the environment. Active computer games perfectly develop peripheral vision. This can be observed on tests by tracking multiple objects on the screen. Ordinary people are able to keep track of 3-4 items. A person who is passionate about video games is able to pass this test with 6-7 simultaneously moving objects.
In fact, players in computer games have many different advantages in terms of attentiveness. Attention and concentration become their strong points, even if they could not boast of it before. And these skills come in handy everywhere, whether you drive, cross the road, watch people or animals. It is believed that in the distribution of attention between the two tasks, a person loses the ability to respond quickly to unusual situations (for example, the car appeared suddenly in front of you). Tests show that video game enthusiasts cope with such situations faster.
Of course, no one, or even researchers, will claim that spending too much time playing video games is useful. Everything needs a measure, and excessive use of something always leads to unpleasant consequences.
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