Video Game Boosts Multitasking Skills

Video games are the most popular past-time of the new millennium. Research shows that we spend most of our leisure time playing virtual games.

Some people blame video games for the unemployment, procrastination, and depression of young people. However, studies reveal that video games can boost creativity and adaptability. In this article, you’ll find how virtual games can improve your multitasking skills.

The Science Behind it

Video games often simulate real-life events. However, even if the settings are fantasy-based, they still push you to adapt. From taking care of your house in Sims or Animal Crossing to shooting monsters in Doom Eternal, the virtual realm challenges you to use your skills and solve missions.

Additionally, they urge you to exercise mentally and pretend that you’re in an alternative environment, where reality is different from the norm. This form of mental training stimulates your cognitive functions such as creativity, multitasking, and problem-solving.

Virtual games also help you expand your field of knowledge since they encourage you to discover areas that you usually wouldn’t consider exploring.

Games that aim to stimulate a specific function can improve that ability more efficiently since video games engage you into the action. Moreso, they can help with emotional intelligence: video games can teach you moral and ethical values such as compassion and altruism.

Research And Experiments

Vast epidemiologic studies about video games started last decade, but have produced positive and neutral results.

One of the pioneer studies, completed on the 4th of September 2013, showed that video games help multitasking skills. A neuroscientist, Adam Gazzaley, from the University of California, San Francisco, led the experiment by creating a virtual game that tested the cognitive function of multitasking.

neuroracer video game
NeuroRacer

NeuroRacer is the 3D video game used for the study: the player drives a car with one finger on the left while signaling specific road signs with a finger on the right. The participants, ranging from 20 to 85 years of age, played the game 12 hours a month. 

The results lasted six months after the experiment. They revealed that cognitive functions increased dramatically for subjects from 60 years to 85 years old. Moreover, the game restored the multitasking skills of older participants to the point where they performed better than younger subjects.

The experiment also showed that working memory, sustained attention, and other functions that weren’t targeted increased. Professor Gazzley stated that video games seem to stimulate the entire cognitive system, even when a game focuses on a specific skill. He added that the results need to be further investigated and that more experiments are trying to prove the benefits of video games.

Other study groups and research centers are enthusiastic about the findings. Still, they wait for more results to back up the NeuroRacer experiment.

The conclusion of the research is clear, as Emil Toescu from the University of Birmingham stated: video games can increase cognitive activity, specifically in mature subjects, and regardless of neurological benefits, virtual games are entertaining.

More Experiments And Results

Since 2013, multiple studies proved the beneficial effects of video games. Here are some neurological functions that can improve through videogames:

  1. Mental flexibility. First-person shooter (FPS) games boost your capacity to switch from a mission to another and adapt to various situations.
  2. Reaction time. Action video games are fast-paced games, and they can push you to react more quickly to rapid movements. In other words, action games better your reflexes.
  3. Spatial memory and recognition. 3D video games teach you how to move in a specific environment, thus increasing your ability to orient in space.
  4. Information processing. Action games can help you improve your capacity to extract vital information out of a pool of secondary data. Moreover, virtual games help you switch between visual-auditory attention, thus boosting your reading abilities.
  5. Problem-solving. Video games involve tasks and missions. Thus players use their creativity and problem-solving capacities to overcome obstacles.

How To Improve Your Skills With The Help Of Video Games

If you want to improve your cognitive skills, all you have to do is start playing. Choose video games that look appealing to you, or you can engage in specific games for a particular function.

For example, if you want to improve your reaction time, which is also responsible for reflexes, you can play sports games. You can try Sports Champions on Playstation: the game allows you to move and even get a workout while practicing your cognitive response. You can play golf, bowling or you can box and play tennis. The game is also multi-player so that you can play it with family and friends.

Alternatively, if you want to improve your mental flexibility, try FPS games such as Call Of Duty or Halo. You have to adapt to survive and accomplish missions. The game also helps you multitask since you need to consider multiple elements.

Improve your logic by playing Portal. This game urges you to solve problems, and you can even play it with a partner. This way, you practice teamwork.

One of the noticeable results is lucid dreaming and the capacity to control your dreams better.

Whether you are a doctor, an essay writer, or a student, video games can improve your skills. Moreso, the older you are, the more video games boost your cognitive system. Try different video games and see if you like them. Consider virtual games that target specific abilities. Just remember to have fun and to avoid sitting in front of your screen for too long.

 

Justin Osborne is a content marketer, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing, and blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as an essay writer

 

Sources:

https://www.the-scientist.com/the-nutshell/video-game-boosts-multitasking-skills-38743

Other sources:

https://lifehacker.com/are-video-games-keeping-young-men-unemployed-1794268772

https://effectiviology.com/cognitive-benefits-of-playing-video-games/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00426-013-0514-8

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2009.01660.x

https://www.jneurosci.org/content/35/49/16116

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-05826-8

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01853.x

https://behavioralandbrainfunctions.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12993-020-0165-z

 

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