As a parent, a teacher, or an individual, you may often find yourself stuck on one question – can games improve memory? And if they do so, then how?
Video games have been around for four years now. The industry is fast, dynamic, and makes all of us a part of it at some point. This makes it vital to figure out its impact on human health, especially mental well-being.
Note that you are practically inside the virtual world for the time that you are playing. So it’s quite obvious that the strobe lighting and varying sound pitches will have an impact on your brain function. Also, there is a massive body of research that tells us about the negative impact of games on mental health.
However, at the same time, we have growing endorsements from scientists that brain training games can bring in substantial cognitive benefits. Our brains are an organic storage device. It can retain about 2.5 petabytes of information. This equals to watching three million hours of television. Quite surprisingly, retrieving all of this information is not as simple.
Fortunately, we have games to do this for us. The recent article in the American Journal of Play by Daphne Bavelier, Adam Eichenbaum, and C. Shawn Green supports this fact. After intensive research, they discovered that games enhance basic mental procedures like attention, perception, and decision-making skills of the player.
Here is a list of some findings that we came across upon further study of this subject:
3D games expand memory capacity
In 2015, researchers from the University of California conducted a study upon 69 participants. Divided into three groups, each had to play Super Mario for two weeks, and the other had to play Angry Birds for two weeks. Meanwhile, the third was a control group, and they had to pay nothing.
During their final analysis, they discovered that the people who played Mario (3D version) performed better on memory tasks than the other two groups.
They concluded with a statement that enriching virtual environments provide our brains with meaningful simulation. Therefore, 3D games are the latest development in the gaming industry. They can bring about a major upgrade in memory retention capacity of the players.
Games improve learning ability
Of course, a person with a sharp memory will be able to grasp new concepts easily. Using video games as a tool to boost meaningful learning is not new. Ever since the 90s, educational institutions have been using games to train their students. For instance, pilot training programs were making use of flight simulators to teach pilots.
Moreover, some other games are also a part of the school curriculum, such as Minecraft. Students have to work in groups and find strategic solutions to the challenges. It improves team-building and gives them a chance to learn new tech.
Games help you think faster
A proof of highly functional memory is its ability to make split-second decisions. Games, particularly the action ones, make a person habitual of dodging threats on the screen. A research group at the University of Rochester discovered that action gamers had a heightened sensitivity to things going around them.
It is worth mentioning that these findings were mainly about video games that we play on our phones. This is because there is no room for handheld gaming in the modern gaming industry, as quoted in the article “Handheld gaming is dead.”
Games improve focus
A player can only advance to the next level if they succeed in attempting the prior level. This requires remembering all the instructions during the gaming session. Failure to do that will eventually result in a repetition of the same level.
It is mainly during the old age that focus of a person begins to falter. To help them cope with this problem, researchers came up with a uniquely designed car game – NeuroRacer.
In one study, people ranging from 60 to 85 years had to play this game for 12 hours over a month. During the post-analysis of these participants, researchers provided that they could retain more information and pay attention for a longer period.
Hence the article, Video Games: Play That Can Do Serious Good aptly puts it that video games are the weapons in the fight against declining mental capacities in old age.
Games improve IQ
Playing a certain kind of games can bring about changes in the brain matter. These are mostly those games that involve puzzles, mysteries, and problem-solving. We can find a wide variety of these games in digital marketplaces like AirG. But before you go for the downloads, it’s essential to check out how AirG reviews the app and what users think about it.
As for the fact that these games can improve brain function, we have multiple studies to prove that. Consider the 2014 study published in Molecular Psychiatry, for instance. They found that playing Super Mario 64 can increase the size of some brain regions.
Some of these brain bits were responsible for memory formation, strategic planning, motor skills, and spatial orientation.
Thereby, parents and institute can rely on video games to fix deficits in a child’s brain.
To sum it up, playing video games isn’t as threatening as people normally assume. Multiple benefits tag along. The only hack is to acknowledge the basics. Such as playing age-appropriate games, choosing the right genre, and fixing a time limit for each gaming session.
Not to forget, the satisfying gaming experience is only possible through best graphics, creative challenges, and sophisticated coding. If the game you are playing has all of it, then get ready for an enriching virtual experience.
We hope this blog has helped to change your perspective on gaming. Like, share, and comment to let us know!
About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs.