Get Gaming to Get Smarter

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By Anton Rublievskyi

New Delhi– Over the past two months or so, gaming has provided a sense of the past reality like no other medium. Walking through the open grassland of the PUBG map serves as a substitute to the real feeling. Socialising happens when you plan an attacking strategy for the enemies, and banters happen when someone loses their life cheaply. Some laughs are shared and a few adrenaline charged gaming moments are experienced. Post the game, everyone returns back to an uncertain reality.

There has been an increase in people moving towards gaming which has resulted in the growth of gaming traffic across regions. Gaming, which was considered a distraction until two months ago, is turning out to give people their much required escape from a grim reality. Since the lockdown, The World Health Organisation ((WHO) collaborated with video gaming companies to encourage people to socially connect with friends through video games during this quarantineto ensure social distancing.

Over the years, we have read stories of how video gamers could fly and land aerial drones as good as trained pilots, or how gaming has enabled surgeons to enhance their hand-eye coordination during surgery. While these stories sound good on paper, not everyone is convinced by it. Also, this questions the age old myth that gaming has been battling since inception- Does playing too many video games negatively affect you?

Contrary to this opinion, multiple global research companies have concluded that gaming actually has numerous physical, social and cognitive benefits. Successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Elon Musk too are self-proclaimed gamers and have spoken about the need of gaming to be a part of modern lifestyle. Here are a few examples of how gaming can be beneficial for the modern consumer:

Boosts Memory
Games like PUBG and Fortnite require immense concentration to keep track of the map and the enemy location. Gaming can enhance a wide range of cognitive skills, and a research by University of California stated that playing immersive 3D rich video games can engage the brain’s hippocampus area, which is associated with complex learning and memory.

According to the study, these games have a lot of immersive data and information that the players need to keep track of to ensure virtual survival, which helps to boost the formation of memory. Research also indicates that video games improve the brain functions of people with early memory problems related to Alzheimers. Recently, there has also been a rise in the popularity of brain training gamesthat are designed to improve brain functions across age groups.

Improves Decision Making
Imagine you’re playing Call Of Duty, when suddenly, someone throws a bomb towards your direction. You have 2 escape routes.One route has 2 strong and 3 weak opponents waiting for you, and the other has 1 strong and 4 medium opponents.Time is running out, and you need to make a quick, calculated decision!

Gaming provides exactly this ability to process information quickly and make faster decisions. In Parimatch’s gaming platform too, we have observed our players making split second decision which in many cases turn out to be accurate. According to a study by University of Rochester, individuals who play first-person shooter games regularly develop a heightened sensitivity to their surroundings which can assist in daily routine quick decision prone activities such as driving and multitasking. The human brain creates probabilistic inferences before making any decision in life. Studies prove that action video games improve these inference processes as these games force players to make multipleimportant decisions over the course of the game.

Enhances Life Skills
Video games also teach players valuable life skills which tend to be useful for the future. Strategy games enable people to plan ahead and measure consequences. Skills such as patience and perseverance are a part of every game. Hand-eye coordination is another skill that gets enhanced through gaming, and this turns out to be beneficial in everyday tasks. Most of the games also force players to deal with visual and auditory distractions while doing a task, which can develop multi-tasking abilities. Skills such as teamwork, leadership and adaptability are also tested through multiplayer games.

Increases Focus and Attention
From being considered as an activity that reduces attention, researchers are now stating that an hour of video games can increase the brain’s ability to focus. Most of the action games require players to keep track of many items at once, quickly locate enemies, and target them in a field of multiple distractions. According to the research, gamers tend to have more visual selective attention, which refers to the brain’s ability to focus on relevant visual information while suppressing less relevant information, which in turn means using the brain more efficiently in everyday life.

Reduces Stress
Studies have continuously shown that gaming tends to relax people and enables them to unwind and escape from the turbulence of work pressure and personal problems. While there are games that are designed to pump up your adrenaline, these are still considered therapeutic, stress relief activities as it helps people to switch off from the world for a while. Social gaming further elevates this as any social activity that involves friends tend to generally reduce stress levels. Gaming provides instant gratification and a confidence boosting sense of achievement which acts as a motivator for many people who might not experience this in everyday life.

So, does this mean that everyone should stay up all night and fight off the bad guys? No. Anything in excess in bad. Even an excess of work can be harmful for your mental health. Similarly, gaming needs to be consumed in moderation to ensure that your health is not affected.It is essential to make sure that gaming becomes a part of your lifestyle, not your whole life itself. There is no dearth of innovation in the gaming industry, so it will be interesting to see what new technologies will be unveiled by the sector in the future, and how this will help their consumers. So what are you waiting for? Game ON!! (IANS)



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