It’s easy to dismiss gaming as a mind-numbing and even damaging pastime. Violent themes and online threats have been two common criticisms – yet advocates are increasingly pointing to the potential cognitive benefits for children and adults alike.
This switch to a more balanced perspective comes at a time when the gaming industry is booming, too. Global lockdown conditions combined have driven unprecedented numbers of people to pick up controllers, while new console releases have led many to trade in their old tech.
So what skills can you develop by joining the crowd and getting into gaming?
Almost all video games incorporate some element of problem-solving. Whether that means decoding puzzles in fantasy role-playing games or simply breaking down an opponent’s defense in a sports simulator, finding creative solutions is often vital to a player’s progress.
Problem-solving in gaming can involve making split-second decisions as well as long-term strategies. These skills can translate to many situations in our personal and professional lives where we must tackle challenges with limited resources.
Playing video games also engages and enhances your memory skills. Players are often challenged to read or listen to instructions that will guide them through the rest of a game’s story while mastering the hardest difficulties typically demands memorizing a raft of button commands.
This improved memory can come in handy when recalling training tips and techniques at work, or when practicing hobbies such as cooking, music, or sport.
Concentration and multitasking
Far from being an idle pursuit, gaming often requires intense levels of concentration to succeed. Players can need to focus on timing and speed of thought while paying attention to any number of triggers and changes in the environment around them.
Action games are a perfect example given the number of factors such as health levels, oncoming enemies, remaining ammunition, and time limits that demand observation.
Becoming able to shut out distractions can be beneficial to ensuring productivity within work hours, as well as keeping others safe while driving.
Many games promote efficient teamwork and collaboration to achieve objectives. If part of a squad in an online shooting match, for example, concise communication over headsets can be vital in outsmarting opposing teams.
Building positive relationships like this at work can be key in keeping everyone working together towards business goals, as well as maintaining positive social bonds.
Do you feel as if gaming could improve your skills?