7 ways playing video games make you a better student

While old people stereotypically disregard gaming as a "waste of time," there are plenty of studies that suggest this interactive form of entertainment helps to improve important skills and cognitive abilities.

After all, there's a reason military training often involves video game based simulations and e-sports has been seriously considered as a potential Olympic sport. So let's go through the list.

1. Problem solving skills

This boy played so much Crusader Kings II he became a stock photo for "genius."

Unlike television's zombie state, video games require players to interact with the medium and solve a never ending-avalanche of abstract and strategic problems. Confronting and overcoming these challenges is the reason video games are so fun to begin with -- and studies show it's having an effect on our brains and grades.

"The more adolescents reported playing strategic video games, such as role-playing games, the more they improved in problem solving and school grades the following year, according to a long-term study published in 2013," the American Psychological Association reported.

2. Social skills

With nearly every household in the Western world having an internet connection, there’s a huge percentage of gamers who play their favorite titles with friends online.

Online gaming has also become a way for people to connect and make friends all over the world. According to a study by Whistle Sports, three out of four Gen Z boys believe playing video games help them stay close with their friends.

Having excellent social skills is an important for skill student success, and it will undoubtedly help students as they progress into the work force.

3. Team work and communication

Almost all of the most popular online games require players to work in teams or cooperate in some way, and the most successful players are often those who most effectively communicate with their team.

It's textbook operant conditioning: good teamwork results in rewards and bad teamwork results in a punishment. Video games inherently teach students good teamwork and communication skills.

4. Multi-tasking

A study conducted by scientists at the University of California San Francisco found that video games can increase multi-tasking skills.

The scientists at UCSF developed a game in which participants were instructed to drive around a race track and press a button when they spotted a certain sign.

The study found that participants -- particularly elderly participants without much experience playing video games -- had better multitasking skills after playing the racing game.

If playing video games improved multitasking skills for elderly participants, imagine the effect video games must have on younger people who play video games throughout their entire life.

5. Information processing

Gamer at work, do not disturb.

Video games are also proven to improve your information processing.

Experimental psychology journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review published a study in 2013 that investigated video games' effect on cognitive functioning.

"Using random-effects models, video games led to improved information processing in both the quasi-experimental studies ... and the true experiments," the study reported.

And a 2010 study published by Current Biology found that playing action video games "enhances the ability to select relevant information over time."

6. Stress relief

Notice the higher stress level in Japan, which only plays dating sims instead of real video games.

There’s a lot of pressure on students nowadays, as success in the classroom can be makeor break when it comes to career prospects in the future. Students like to escape from their stressful schoolwork, and online gaming provides an excellent opportunity for relieving stress.

The APA reported that playing simple video games, such as Angry Birds, improves players’ moods, promotes relaxation and wards off anxiety.

Through video games, students able to escape to their happy place, putting the trials and tribulations of learning to the side temporarily.

7. Hand-Eye Coordination

You think that tennis ball stands a chance?

One of the most obvious benefits from video games is increased hand-eye coordination. This should go without saying -- it's obvious that your hand-eye coordination would improve as you react to things on a screen -- but it's also been scientifically proven.

A 2016 study published by Psychological Science found that "action gaming in general improves the responsiveness of the sensorimotor system to input error signals."

"The findings support a causal link between action gaming (for as little as 5 hr) and enhancement in visuomotor control, and suggest that action video games can be beneficial training tools for driving."

Bonus: Counter-terrorism

With benefits like improved team work, hand-eye coordination, and information processing, it's no wonder why the military uses video games to train the next generation of elite super-soldiers.

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that video games are helping global counter-terrorism efforts.

So if video games don't magically turn you into a genius, don't worry -- just visit your local military recruitment office and tell them about your Fortnite skills.

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  1. 4 years ago

    >This boy played so much Crusader Kings II he became a stock photo for “genius.”
    Has anyone under 30 ever even played that ? I call BS

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