Is gaming beneficial for adults?
The debate over whether or not video games are suitable for adults has been ongoing for some time, and new studies continue to come out that add fuel to the fire. Some scientists agree that playing video games can be beneficial and lead to better brain function, while others believe they’re nothing but a waste of time with no benefits at all. The latter group will say that many adult gamers claim they experience cognitive development from video games. Still, in reality, their brains may just be struggling to find something else more interesting than the natural world around them. Both sides of the argument appear valid, but one thing is for sure: you can absorb new information and improve your problem-solving skills by playing video games.
The number of adults that play video games has been steadily increasing over the years, and a study done in 2010 found that a whopping 78% of American gamers are 18 or older. This suggests that even as we grow older, our desire to play video games doesn’t seem to wane much at all. Many people continue to play throughout their lives as a way to escape from stress and work. Entertainment games that are widely spread are can be casino games – Book of the Dead, Reactoonz 2, Holy Cow, or even role-playing games such as Grand Theft Auto or Witcher. Of course, if they become too addictive or interfere with responsibilities, they can become dangerous, but there is something inherently good about gaming for adults on some level.
Many scientific studies have shown how playing video games may help improve brain function by teaching us new strategies for solving problems. For example, a University of Toronto study found that playing action games can boost your decision-making ability under time pressure by 35%. This is partly because video games force you to make split-second decisions while playing, which should have some carryover into other parts of your life. The good news is that this benefit should remain even if you’re taking breaks from the game for extended periods, so it’s not something that’ll disappear after just a few minutes of playtime.
However, other scientists say no studies are proving any real cognitive development benefits from gaming at all. The debate has been going on for years now with no clear winner… until now? A recent study suggests gamers who play first-person shooter games experience a boost in cognitive ability after playing. Still, those who play slower-paced puzzle games don’t see as much improvement. So, if you’re looking to up your mental game, then it would seem that first-person shooters are the best option. This makes sense because action video games have been shown before to provide cognitive benefits more readily than other types of video games.
Whether or not there is any real benefit from playing video games may depend on how much time and effort you put into them. According to Dr. James Gee of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, people can learn a lot about themselves and improve their overall focus by playing video games, but that won’t happen if you don’t take it seriously. So, if you’re trying to get any benefit from playing an action game, then make sure it’s something you enjoy and can invest your full attention into so you can reap the benefits.
Whether or not video games are suitable for adults may still be up in the air after this latest study, but there is no denying they have some value if played correctly. If anything, they provide a welcome escape from stress at work or allow for relaxation at home when life gets overwhelming. However, playing too much or ignoring responsibilities in favor of gaming can lead to negative consequences…so it all depends on how severe your pick-up game is.