Video Game Therapy



Many adults (especially parents) may view playing video games as a waste of time. They are afraid that loved ones may become addicted to these random acts of playing, but are video games not also beneficial to our minds? And how do we go about avoiding the dreaded gamers’ addiction?

ADVANTAGES TO PLAYING VIDEO GAMES

Playing video games links to memory improvement. Once the bright-eyed player powers on the video game, simple playing instructions light up on the screen. The player is required to remember these instructions for successful gameplay and to advance to higher levels. Video games require both visual and audial memory to remember sounds, character appearances, their favorite venue settings, and special controls with their game controller. Another aspect that sharpens the player’s memory is mastering the controller or computer keyboard, which is also mind-stimulating in itself.

Playing video games may help dyslexic kids improve their reading. What a fascinating thought! A study in 2013 concluded that action video games and other games such as Rayman Raving Rabbidscould help young children up to 13 years old read faster. Unlike traditional reading treatments which are not as enjoyable, playing certain video games relaxes the young mind so it can be more receptive to quicker reading.

The gamer increases his or her brain power while playing video games. Attention span improves greatly, especially when one is playing an action game. Action games come with an inherent objective to accomplish for each level in order to advance to the next. This enthuses the player and makes them pay close attention to what needs to be done to fulfill their virtual goals. They are led to maintain this attention until they are victors, thus strengthening their concentration. The brain’s speed is also improved while gaming, because it receives both visual and audial stimulations during playing. Receiving these stimulations puts the brain to work and it begins processing those stimulations. The more the player practices gaming, the faster the brain can process those stimulations.

People’s problem-solving skills become stronger when they are playing video games. This is because the gamer is reminded of the rules of the game and must keep him-or herself from deviating from those rules in order to get to the next level. This requires them to think quickly and make quick decisions, all while destroying the obstacles that try to attack on every side.

GAMERS DON’T MEET STRANGERS

While encountering strangers can be stressful for some people, online gaming creates an interface that connects multiple strangers with shared commonalities and similar purposes: to form relationships over their favorite game and become victors. Playing online games allow gamers to connect and constantly communicate with players all around the globe, as well as maintain old friendships. Playing games alleviates the stress of interacting with strangers, because gaming puts our minds in a relaxed state. This is especially helpful if the player is intimately familiar with the video game.

CONNECTING WITH FAMILY

Don’t underestimate the value of playing video games as a family! It’s a mentally productive mode of bonding, relaxing, and cooperating. It’s a way to spend quality time with your loved ones and will help elevate moods after, say, a trying day at work or school.

AVOIDING ADDICTION

Video game addiction is a real thing. The warning signs of a video game addiction include neglecting interpersonal relationships and responsibilities, irritability when playing time is interrupted, and neglecting hygiene, eating, and sleeping. Effective ways of preventing addiction are to pull the gamer out of their zone by getting them to pursue other activities, such as outdoor activities, sports, reading, housework, and spending needed time with family and friends (not by playing video games, of course!). It is important for parents to supervise their children’s video game playing time and know when enough is enough, drawing limits as to when and how long they can play their video games.

Although playing video games is certainly not a waste of time (and can be quite stimulating!), it is important to play them in moderation to prevent negative changes in behavior. Yet, if anyone really loves video gaming, it can simply be used to add quality to their lifestyle.

 


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