Guest Blog Post: How Gaming Can Stimulate the Mind

Guest Blog post by Kelsey Simpson

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Video games are growing in popularity as the digital age thrives. More and more people are turning towards video games rather than other kinds of entertainment; this is for a number of reasons. Video games are not only entertaining, but they also can stimulate the mind; creating a wide variety of benefits for users.

No matter the age of a user, he or she can greatly benefit from video games in terms of brain function. Although not recommended to play for hours on end, video games can improve a person’s mental capacity, specifically his or her cognitive functions. Here is what you need to know about gaming and how it can stimulate the mind.

Learn How Gaming Can Benefit Your Brain

From children to teens and adults to seniors, video games offer hours of entertainment, and with that entertainment can come the added benefit of improving brain function. In fact, an in-home senior care specialist pointed out that seniors that play video games on tablets and other mobile devices seem to have sharper minds than those that do not; adding that gaming also improves senior’s moods.

With the vast benefits that gaming has to offer, the way it benefits the brain is the most significant.

Promotes Cognitive Functions

According to a study from the US National Library of Medicine, cognitive functions can be vastly improved by playing video games, here’s how:

  • Improved Memory

By gaming, users have the opportunity to improve their memories, this is especially true with games that are three dimensional. Gaming, according to AANS Neurosurgeon, can boost memory performance by up to 12% and could even decrease the chance of Alzheimer’s in users. Most games require the user to pay special attention in order for the user to win. This forces the gamer to employ memory skills, a skill that people don’t typically practice on a daily basis.

  • Spatial Orientation and Information Organization

Spatial orientation and information organization skills can be improved by gaming. Spatial orientation deals with a person’s ability to regulate and understand his or her body in the environment; while information organization deals with the ability to categorize information in the brain.

Spatial orientation is an important skill for humans to have, however, there are very few ways to learn this skill if one does not possess it; there are also very few ways for humans to improve and  practice this but gaming offers a solution.

Gaming puts the user in an environment and he or she needs to understand the environment in order to be successful in the game. With the need to understand spatial orientation in a game, the user is forced to apply it in real life as well.

Similarly, gaming requires a user to practice information organizational skills in order to win or thrive in a game. In most games, a person needs to think about how to be successful and pragmatic in order to achieve a certain goal, the user will follow a mental path in order to come up with a solution in the game. Therefore, the user will unintentionally do this in real-life situations as well.

A good example of a game that employs both of these cognitive function improvement skills is The Sims.

  • Preservation of Fine Motor Skills

This is especially beneficial for seniors and medical practitioners. Fine motor skills can always be improved upon in humans, and it’s important to preserve the ones that one already has. By using a controller, users are employing and preserving fine motor skills without even realizing it. When gaming, users will have to process what’s happening on the screen and react with their hands; this is true for users that play games on tablets and mobile devices as well.

Seniors and medical practitioners are the two categories of people that require the preservation of fine motor skills. Seniors need to keep their fine motor skills in order to carry out everyday tasks, while medical practitioners need their fine motor skills to perform their job requirements such as surgeries.

Gaming Can Benefit People of All Ages

Though people should still make it a point to remain active and productive in order to promote overall health and wellness, playing video games is a great way to spend free time. In fact, in order to remain productive as one plays video games, he or she can play brain games that are designed to give the mind a workout. No matter your age, gaming can benefit you; improving your all-around mental capabilities. Keep these points in mind as you think about how to entertain yourself next.


About the Author

Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about things that can help others. She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.


 

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