Gaming has become more common in households and amongst children ever since technology has began. We might assume that gaming is bad because it can be violent and doesn’t help you develop skills for the real world by defeating Mario Bros. But, that is not the case. According to Jane McGonigal, game designer she encourages the world to play even more games online. This is probably very convincing for those who spend hours staring at the screen.
According to her statistics, right now we spend three billion hours a week playing online games. Surprisingly she says this is not enough because these games can really help your brain easy into solving problems more efficiently and quicker. Personally, I’m not a gamer and would rather spend my days outside in fresh air. But, for people who don’t have time to game including myself, you can always do exercises on brain training apps such as Luminosity and Fit Brains which help the brain create new neuronal cells while trying to perform a task.
Gaming can range from playing Super Mario Bros to Black Cops because all games in common have goals which are not always evident in physical games such as board games. When you purchase a video game, the brain thinks harder on the decision of buying it since it costs more money and what other equipment they might need to be able to play the game. The neurons are immediately working and making quick decisions which help stimulate this growth in the brain which can be translated and used in the real world.
Video games make us feel very encouraged and motivated to do something that matters by either saving someone from lava or earning extra bonus points. It is not common for someone to purchase a video game and if they are unable to complete a level, they throw out the game. This relates to real life when we face failure. We must confront obstacles even when we feel overwhelmed and depressed. Those unique feelings don’t exist in any other games.
The mental side of playing games helps us feel more present and more motivated to achieve and solve problems in the real world. Personally, after a few times a week doing exercises on Lumosity, I’ve become more self motivated and less stressed because I learned to do problems one at a time. These qualities can be useful at work and at school where there is more of a collaborative problem-solving environment.
Overall, being gamers is nothing to be timid about because it not only stimulates new neurons in the brain to make your life easier throughout the day but also distresses you to figure problems out one step at a time. As Jane says, “If we want to solve problems like hunger, poverty, climate change, global conflict, obesity, I believe that we need to aspire to play games online for at least 21 billion hours a week, by the end of the next decade.”
So, the next time you play a game don’t feel regretful that you’ve been playing for a whole day and instead say to yourself how many more hours can I last?