“Stop wasting your time,” “get up and do something productive,” “I am going to throw your console away!” This highlights a parent’s typical response towards his child who is a video game fanatic. ‘How can it be beneficial to stare at a screen for a long period of time?’ A parent might wonder, ‘how can virtual reality improve anything at all?’ While most of the people perceive video games negatively, research has shown that they do have a positive influence on the players. However, moderation is the key factor.
According to Psychology Today, playing action video games improves attention, perception and memory. It increases mental flexibility where it becomes easier for individuals to switch between tasks, and it allows for efficient decision-making and problem-solving skills to develop. Furthermore, in some cases, it even helps overcome dyslexia, and it treats amblyopia.
Video games also enhance hand-eye coordination skills and improve learning abilities. A study conducted by the University of Toronto found that action-gamers tend to adapt easier to learning new sensorimotor skills such as bike riding and typing, the Telegraph mentions. Moreover, according to the American Psychological Association, video games help children build emotional resilience especially when dealing with constant failure attempts. Furthermore, team work and cooperation are also promoted in multiplayer games –and are reflected in real life – where both players have to collaborate, lead, and apply strategies to reach their ultimate goal.
Although not officially recognized, spending a lot of time on video games can lead to addiction. That is due to the activation of the pleasure circuit of the brain and the influence that these games have on the reward-system. This may lead to isolation and neglect of priorities.
Additionally, studies have shown that violent video games lead to aggressive behaviour. Over the short run, players may overreact to certain provocations due to the increased level of stress hormones while playing such games – this matter being controversial. Plus, when it comes to children, they might imitate what they see on the screen especially since they physically contribute to the game itself, unlike being mere receivers while watching cartoons. Due to that, it is essential to abide by the age restrictions provide with each game.
Despite being an entertaining and a beneficial get-a-way from work or stress, it is advised that you don’t spend more than one hour a day on video games. Otherwise, you might end up facing the consequences of this never-ending paradox.