Video gaming pros and cons reveal some shocking realities related to behavior issues and cognitive abilities in gamers as these games have a long-lasting impact on the gamer’s personality.
The time spent on these gaming habits affects an individual’s behavior and learning immensely and when teens overdo these activities, it becomes worrisome for parents.
As per the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the overall average time spent
by a teenager (between 13 to 18 years) on internet is almost 3.5 hours in a day!
Young gamers under the age of 18 years spend 3 or more hours per week playing games.
But are these games entirely harmful?
Or is there is way of utilizing this game obsession for the benefit of our younger generations?
Let’s figure out more about it!
Games are instrumental in developing cognitive abilities that are in turn helpful in perceiving the world better. Playing games also improves the minds’ information processing abilities!
Other than this, games also have great educational value because game-based elements, promote deep learning.
Before we get down to the advantages of gamification in learning, let’s understand some positive effects of video games on learning-
Benefits of video games
- Increases the overall time devoted to learning:
Researchers have discovered that gaming allows an individual to invest more time in learning. This happens because of the increased time span consciously spent for an activity.
The logic behind this belief is that these games release chemicals that permit brain plasticity, which eventually results in learning.
- Improves hand-eye coordination:
Eye-hand coordination games are more than pure entertainment for the player. These activities are perfect to improve the sensorimotor control of an individual. It’s even better for handling issues related to cognitive and motor deficiencies, such as the ones in disorders like Autism.
It is a proven fact that people who play video games have greater hand-eye coordination than the ones who do not play these.
- Advanced abilities to fit in various roles:
The BBC revealed another great advantage related to gaming habits. As per its report, gamers have superlative abilities to assimilate information and are great at coordinating their actions.
All these qualities make video game players suitable for highly challenging jobs that need some relevant new-age transferable skills.
- Helps to improve communication skills:
Out of the numerous advantages and disadvantages of video games, this one is directly related to the most important new-age skill, communication. Here’s a gist of an interesting media report on a survey carried out with young gamers.
These facts depict a positive relation between gaming and indulgence in activities that improve one’s communication:
- 79.4% of the survey participants revealed that they read gaming-related material once a month.
- 3 out of 5 participants wrote something related to games once a month.
- These hobbies also create positive communication ties among young players and help in developing social connections as well.
- Great to develop leadership and decision-making skills:
Moving on with the list of video gaming pros and cons, it is time to discuss skills like leadership and decision-making. Gamers acquire skills like adaptation and instant reactions while playing their favorite games. These abilities get better with passing time and help in improving the decision-making and leadership skills of the player.
This happens because these games need instant action, which keeps the player’s brain active for a longer duration. And in a way, it increases the overall focus level and learning capacity of the individual.
- Reduces the consumption of harmful substances:
There is also a positive connection between the time spent on gaming and the reduction in harmful addictive habits. The positive effects of video games and immersive gaming experiences channelize an individual’s energy to more productive and aim-oriented thoughts.
This high level of engagement leaves no room for other things at that particular point in time. The focused attention brings down the consumption of highly addictive substances like nicotine, alcohol, etc. All in all, these habits help to keep the mind in shape and reduce the influence of harmful cravings for a considerable time.
Now, it’s time to come back to game-based learning and see how the gaming obsession can be used as an effective tool to improve a student’s learning:
- Gamification in learning instills a zeal for learning:
Addiction to games is ideal to help students cement their skills through fun and interactive game-like strategies. The reward system designed within game-based learning stimulates the learner’s brain and he/she keeps coming back looking for more.
This intrinsic motivation makes the learner highly engaged, and in turn, improves the possibilities of better outcomes through a never-ending zeal for learning.
- Parents can use gamification obsession wisely:
Online gaming addiction can be utilized by diverting the same to educational content. One way of doing this is to enroll the child in an online learning platform/online course, which will gratify the child’s passion for gaming. Some of the top accredited online schools use systematic ‘game designs’ for their courses.
It has been proved that the use of games and their integration into the academic curriculum improves the quality of learning. These pedagogical attributes of educational games are perfectly implemented in virtual schools.
The elements of online courses create an immersive game-like experience for students and fortunately, parents can now choose 100% online schooling programs to gratify their child’s gaming obsession along with improved learning outcomes.
- Instant feedback and behavioral change:
Elements of game-based learning also have provisions for instant feedback in the form of leaderboards, scores, points, tables, etc. This helps in using gaming dynamics for desirable behavioral changes.
Students can learn from their mistakes instantly and also learn how to rectify them. All this helps in developing critical thinking skills and also promotes behavior change through game dynamics.
All these positive effects of video games and gamification in learning are great for one’s cognitive improvement.
But these addictive habits can be hazardous if they are unmanaged and uncontrolled.
The advantages and disadvantages of video games affect more than
2.8 billion gamers across the world.
And there can be some physical and psychological health risks due to uncontrolled gaming obsession. Uncontrolled gaming habits can lead to weight gain due to a sedentary lifestyle and it can also cause anxiety and other stress-related issues in the long run.
It is also seen that this obsession disturbs lifestyle and sleeping habits which can lead to mood swings and irritability.
Gaming can lead to a level of insensitivity in the players which is an ideal quality for
certain critical career paths.
A British media group says that game addicts are more neutral while viewing distractor and confronting images. This means that they can stay unaffected by emotionally arousing words because of the ‘emotion-induced blindness’ phenomenon.
This quality makes an individual suitable for certain career paths that demand a high control over one’s emotions (eg- medical practitioners or armed forces officers).
Video gaming pros and cons reiterate the importance of limiting over-exposure to any habit.
And fortunately, it is possible to stick to only its beneficial aspects.
Let’s discuss some quick tips for learners to play video games with a balanced approach-
- First of all, you need to set defined time limits for leisure activities like gaming, social media or online video streaming. If you manage to cut down the excessive hours devoted to such activities, this time can be utilized for physical activities such as exercise or playing outdoor sports.
- You can also try learning new skills and purposely place them on the top of your priority list. Music or cooking classes can effortlessly replace mindless lengthy hours of gaming. This practice will certainly be more productive and simultaneously bring down the overall ‘screen time’ as well.
- Reading is another great activity that has fabulous educational value. It’s even better to practice summarizing at the end by jotting down points on paper. Try to stick to basic paper and pen because writing on a device can again add to distractions. Just how eye-hand coordination games are great to improve body control, these summarizing activities are also great to improve retention powers.
- Another great idea is to place gaming at the end of your priority list. So, complete all important academic tasks planned for the day and then move on to games.
Game-based learning has several benefits. It supports skill-building and also help with overall brain development. This passion is helpful to instill researching habits at a young age and allows learners to explore the world through virtual platforms and applications.
In conclusion, gaming can be beneficial for the mind and learning capacities, if we know how to utilize it wisely!
Thanks for reading!