The next time you pull out your phone for playing Clash of Clans while commuting to school, thank yourself. You're doing your brain a big favor, no matter what your parents or teachers say.
Did we hear you asking us why?
Here’s good news for you:
A new study has proven that playing video games daily is actually making you smarter than those kids in class who are always busy pouring over books.
The Study Explained
This research analyzed data collected from over 12000 students concerning their online habits. The program they made use of to analyze the data was known as Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). All the students observed were in high school, roughly 15 to 17 years of age. The study was carried out by Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and conducted by Professor Alberto Posso from the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing wing of RMIT.
Now that the facts are known, let's move on to the results.
The results of this study were truly surprising. It found that those students who played video games online daily were able to score 17 marks more in science and 15 marks more in mathematics than those who did not indulge in the act of regular gaming.
The most logical explanation for this phenomenon, according to the researchers, is that when students play a game, they’re basically solving various puzzles to progress to the next stage. To crack these puzzles, they have to apply the rules of science and math, which they’ve learned in class, consequently improving their performance in school. This can be one of the plausible explanations for the success of students who play games.
The other explanations include that probably smarter kids are likelier to play games or the children who are good in these subjects can finish their homework and hence, have time to play games. But whatever the reason may be, this is good news for game-lovers.
Conversely, on the other side of the fence, this study also revealed that students who spend time on social media scored 4 percent lower on the tests of the same subject. So now you know which online activity is good for you and which isn’t.
This study was published in the International Journal of Communication.
The Benefits of playing Video Games
The advantage of playing online games doesn’t just stop at increasing your math and science test scores. They are loaded with several other benefits too for all age groups. Here’s how playing games is doing good to you:
1. Improves your Memory and Cognition
Online games can give your memory and other mental faculties a boost. This is because games force you to solve challenging problems, thereby exercising your brain. Playing memory games among adults is particularly beneficial as they help enhance your memory. Games such as Sudoku and Mahjong are recommended.
2. Reduces Stress
Gaming can be a great stress-busting activity. Studies have shown that those who play frequently experience lower levels of the adrenaline and cortisol (stress-inducing hormone) hormones in their bodies. Gamers were studied for over six months, and it was discovered that there adrenaline response was reduced by 50 percent, leading to lower stress levels.
3. Helps build Social Connections
Quite a few games require players to interact with other online players. This activity can help bring people closer and can even lead to the formation of casual as well as strong relationships. Meeting new people through multiplayer games can boost people’s confidence levels and help promote a sense of harmony among gaming partners.
4. Enhances your Hand and Eye Coordination
Since you’re completely glued to the screen when playing games, you don’t even realize when your fingers are moving to maneuver your on-screen character to save it from impending doom. It is this activity that can increase your hand-eye coordination which can consequently help you to type faster.
5. Improves your Eyesight
Contrary to what you’ve been told that staring at a screen closely can hamper your vision, the contrary seems to be true. Scientists have discovered that playing in moderation can enhance your eyesight as it can help you differ between the various hues of gray. It also helps improve the eye function of those affected by ‘lazy eye.'
6. Slows Down Aging
Forgetting where you kept your car keys in your mid-20s? Play games to remember that. Memory, puzzle, and problem-solving games can slow down the aging process of the brains of older players. According to a study, 10 hours of game-play can improve cognitive functioning in those aged 50 and above. This positive effect lasted several years, thereby slowing cognitive aging.
7. Can help in Career Advancement
There are multiple games out there that are based on leadership skills. These games even have a system of rewarding gamers who complete the set of tasks and achieve the target specified. These help players to correlate the skills they’ve learned to real-life situations, particularly in their work environment. It can even prompt employees to act fast in case there's a crisis at work.
Gaming has more benefits than what’ve listed here. It can help overcome Dyslexia, can reduce physical pain and can even make you a better surgeon! However, just remember that playing games is only good in moderation; an excess of it can actually be counter-productive. Here’s to keeping calm and playing games.
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