With my last blog being focused on the negative effect of video games I wanted to look into the positive effects that they can have. In many video games, the skills required to win involve abstract and high level thinking, skills which are never taught. Some of the mental skills trained by video games include:
-Problem solving and logic
-Hand-eye coordination, fine motor and spatial skills
In shooting games, your character may be running and shooting at the same time. This requires the player to keep track of the position of the character, where he/she is heading, their speed, where the gun is aiming, if the gunfire is hitting the enemy, and so on. This requires a great deal of eye-hand coordination and visual-spatial ability to be successful. Research also suggests that people can learn iconic, spatial, and visual attention skills from video games, there have been even studies showing that surgeons perform better after playing video games.
-Resource management and logistics.
The player learns to manage resources that are limited, and decide the best use of resources, the same way as in real life. This skill is honed in strategy games such as SimCity, Age of Empires, and Railroad Tycoon.
-Multitasking, simultaneous tracking of many shifting variables and managing multiple objectives.
In strategy games, for instance, while developing a city, an unexpected surprise like an enemy might emerge. This forces the player to be flexible and quickly change tactics.
-Quick thinking, making fast analysis and decisions.
-Strategy and anticipation.
-Developing reading and math skills
Young gamers force themselves to read to get instructions, follow storylines of games, and get information from the game texts.
In higher levels of a game, players usually fail the first time around, but they keep on trying until they succeed and move on to the next level.
Games have internal logic in them, and players figure it out by recognising patterns.
-Inductive reasoning and hypothesis testing
Playing video games can be similar to working through a science problem. Like students in a laboratory, gamers must come up with a hypothesis. For example, players in some games constantly try out combinations of weapons and powers to use to defeat an enemy. If one does not work, they change hypothesis and try the next one.
-Teamwork and cooperation when played with others
Many games are played online and involve cooperation with other online players in order to win.
-Simulation, real world skills.
The most well known simulations are flight simulators, which attempt to mimic the reality of flying a plane. All of the controls, including airspeed, wing angles, altimeter, and so on, are displayed for the player, as well as a visual representation of the world, and are updated in real time.
Aswell as being fun, enjoyable and often relaxing video games and playing them can have many other positive affects on people that benefit you in life. It would be great if this could be more recognised and applauded rather than focus being on potential negative effects.