Can Video Games Make Students Smarter?

Can Video Games Make Students Smarter

Young people need to spend their pastime somehow. They can’t always study or stay productive during their awake hours. Students require rest, leisure activities, and some fun time. Now, they can choose many options to have fun at home. The most popular options would be watching TV, spending time on social media, watching videos online, or playing games. So, is gaming the worst option of all? Well, studies show that such leisure activity is actually the most efficient way to spend time. 

Gaming is much more active and engaging than watching shows or videos or scrolling through feeds. While playing, gamers need to maintain high concentration, pay attention to changing environments, and pass quests. Thus, this digital habit has the power to increase players’ attention, enhance their problem-solving skills and critical thinking, and improve their memory and learning abilities. Here is how. 

Gaming requires powerful attention skills

Most video games need their player to pay undivided attention to what is happening on the screen. Every little detail matters. Regardless of a game’s genre, it will have many hints and hidden gems for players to find across the game. Well aware of such a practice, gamers try to explore every corner and take notice of any unusual screen activity, dialogue lines, or shiny objects on the way. 

Sure enough, such attention to detail increases students’ ability to concentrate. Young people learn to focus on relevant data or objects in the game, thus practicing selective attention. It’s valid to note that games can only enhance visual attention. So, young people have an easier time ‘learning by eye’ but not necessarily by ear.

Games enhance social skills

Many people fail to recognize the games’ effect on social skills. The majority of online video games can be played in teams. Hence, students have to cooperate with other people to win. Young people can play with friends or strangers they’ve never met on the Internet. They must discuss strategy and roles to win and share information and game skills. Overall, it’s a powerful team-building practice that can later enhance students’ communication skills in academia. 

Games test students’ problem-solving skills

A gamer needs to overcome numerous challenges before reaching the desired goal. Thus, each game is packed with quizzes, problems to solve, and challenges to overcome. It’s especially true for strategy games, though, and can be applied to most video game genres on the market. Players can overcome dozens of obstacles requiring new ideas and approaches during an hour-long gaming set. 

Moreover, gaming teaches young people to apply various tactics to a single problem. Sometimes, it takes more than one or two tries to solve an issue at hand. A player may have to redo a gaming element several times, developing new strategies with each try. Such a practice is particularly beneficial to young minds. Thus, they learn to apply the trial and error methods, being determined to find the right solution despite losing. This habit teaches them persistence, determination, logic, and critical thinking.

Games can boost players’ memory

Most games require fast responses and immediate reactions from players. To achieve instant reactions to sudden game changes, players use their memory before everything else. Indeed, most games first train players to respond well to scripted situations. In other words, they give players all the tools and information on how to respond. Players also pick up some tips by observing and analyzing game patterns. Such brain activity is similar to exercising. As a result, players’ minds become more flexible in monitoring situations and finding the best solution to each problem. A lot of this brain activity affects memory. Thus, players need to memorize and retain a lot of new information to move further in the game.

Do video games impose any risks?

It’s fair to note that this article examines only the intellectual effects of gaming on young people. It doesn’t cover wellness, behavior, or mental health. Still, on average, no digital habits should not pose any threat to mental or physical health when practiced in moderation. However, overuse of computer games can cause addiction and lead to severe consequences. However, such an outcome is not as frequent as people believe. 

Typically, a gaming addiction comes from already existing mental health issues like anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, or even loneliness. Such an addiction can worsen existing pathologies and impact the quality of life. Some signs that a student may cross the line with their gaming habits are when:

  • they refuse to leave their room or attend classes, choosing to game;
  • they have trouble concentrating on a large project;
  • they maintain an unhealthy diet, choosing to eat while playing;
  • they neglect personal relationships over gaming.

These are only the most noticeable and several signs that you or your friends may experience gaming addiction. You can also find more on gaming addiction and mental help complications by ordering a paper online from one of these nursing writing services. A proper research paper will provide you with all the necessary data on the matter. 

Of course, when gaming becomes the priority and overrides academic needs and opportunities, it becomes an issue. An obsession over a game may even decrease the intelligence gained during gaming. However, such cases do remain an exception to the facts above. 

Overall learning benefits from gaming

In general, the gaming experience can help students to be more efficient in their studies. First, gaming can boost brain activity and lead to higher brain efficiency. Games teach players to pay attention to their surroundings, solve problems on the go, and apply numerous strategies to a single issue to achieve the best result. All of these lessons can also be applied in academia. As a result, students are fast to make decisions and try several approaches during problem-solving exercises. 

In addition, learners get more creative in their approaches and start thinking outside the box. After all, a game where all the answers are straightforward and predictable would bore players rather quickly. So, most games strive to stay original and require a good deal of creativity. Lastly, experienced gamers become excellent multitaskers. Each quest requires many skills and memory engagement, while players should switch between tools, camera angles, and quest pursuits. 

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