10 Excellent Reasons To Play Video Games

5. Attention Span


There was a lot of negative media a while ago talking about video games damaging our ability to concentrate. This seemed somewhat counter-intuitive to me, since for many games you need to spend many hours doing quite similar tasks €“ in fact parents typically complain that it€™s impossible to distract children from their game, which is exactly the opposite of what the report claims. Well, it turns out that the evidence was somewhat dodgy, to say the least, based mainly on testimonies from disgruntled teachers. In fact there€™s now considerable evidence to the contrary €“ video games can help your attention span. Prove ItThe same report mentioned earlier, by Dr Bavelier, also noted improvements in the attention span of test subjects who gamed.

4. Problem Solving/Decision Making


That€™s not the only improvement you might note after gaming. Video games also improve your ability to make quick decisions - regardless of whether or not you€™re playing them voluntarily. Even people who were forced to play as part of a medical study showed a vast improvement in a huge variety of areas, most notably in making much quicker choices than those who hadn€™t, without any sacrifice in the quality of the choices made. In 2011, a study published in Psychological Research found evidence that those playing first-person shooter games did a better job of judging what information should be stored in their working memory and what was no longer relevant to the task at hand. These are obviously extremely useful abilities, with many functions beyond the realm of video gaming. Prove ItThis article is one of many which mentions this research: "Our brains constantly perform probabilistic inferences €” as you drive along and detect some unexpected moving object on the right side of the road, say a motorcycle, your brain will compute how likely it is that you are on a collision path with that motorcycle, and then infer from this probability whether you need to steer left or not, this kind of inference is used each time we make a decision." Action video games give an edge "by improving this inference process".
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Laurence Gardner was born in Canterbury, England. After moving around various cities during his childhood, and spending some time travelling in Europe and America, he studied English Literature at Oxford University. Since then, he’s been living abroad, teaching English, learning a range of languages, and writing in his free time. He can currently be found in Heidelberg, working as an English Tutor and Translator and studying at the University. If you liked this article, follow him on Twitter to get automatic updates on his work.