While video games were long regarded as meaningless fun and even potentially harmful activity, multiple studies by prestigious universities have talked about the benefits you get if you play games, as long as it’s played in moderation. One of the most recent research arguing in favour of video games was carried out by the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. The study involved some 5,000 children between the ages of 15 and 15, through which it was observed that those who played less than one hour per day showed a higher level of sociability and a lower degree of hyperactivity or emotional problem.
On the other hand, those who played between 1 to 3 hours a day did not show any negative or positive effects; while the harmful effects on children were seen among those who played more than 3 hours a day.
6 benefits of playing video games
1) Increase grey matter
An experiment in Germany on adults asked to play Super Mario for 30 minutes a day for a couple of months showed – through an MRI – that players increased their grey matter in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex and cerebellum; areas of the brain responsible for space navigation, memory formation, strategy, planning and fine motor skills of the hands.
2) Increase motor skills
Researchers at Deakin University in Melbourne found from a study of 53 children under the age of 5 that playing video games increases motor skills in preschoolers because they had finer motor skills than children who did not play.
3) You get smarter
Starcraft is a strategy video game that, when played, makes you a smarter person, according to a study by Queen Mary University in London and the University College in London, since it can increase the flexibility of the brain. The research was conducted on 72 adults who played the game and the Sims game. It was observed that those who played Starcraft improved their performance in psychological tests and speed and precision in terms of cognitive tasks.
4) Can slow aging
More than one study demonstrated how video games are good exercises to boost mental abilities, helping to reduce cognitive deterioration due to aging.
5) Help you make decisions
Scientists at the University of Rochester in New York conducted research on the subject in 2010, proving that those who play action video games are able to make decisions faster than those who do not. This, in addition in the long term, develops the perception of what happens in the environment; since it “teaches” the brain to calculate the possibilities of a certain option.
6) They are a learning tool
One of the current trends in education is “Gamification”. This is a tool that consists of teaching through video games, and is a resource increasingly used by teachers around the world. There are multiple games that, under this format, are helping to teach or reinforce concepts already learned.
There are many benefits as you can see, however we know that they can also be somewhat negative due to the content that can be consumed, for example violent or sexual scenes. Therefore, we are going to give you a couple of tips that you can put into practice to control the negative aspects of video games in your children:
- Place limits on time spent playing video games on gaming consoles, tablets, or smartphones.
- Check the ratings of all games your child plays.
- Keep the video game console in a common area of the house, where you can catch any inappropriate content.
- Enable parental controls for game consoles.
- Stay up-to-date with the newest video game info.
Whenever you have doubts about any content then there you should trust your instinct, you know better than anyone what you consider best for your child and what fits better with the rules you have at home. But always keep in mind that the villain is not the video game console or the video games themselves, the enemy is the villain in the video games!