If positive effects of video games may well sound as an oxymoron to you, it is not your fault. Video games did get their fair share of bad press, and still do.
The most prominent of the fears being, that they can get quite addictive, which is certainly true.
But, it's also true there can be good coming out of them.
Video games can play a positive role in several areas of our self improvement. The key is - moderation.
Just like a lot of things - starting from television to alcohol to even the food we eat - more often than not, it is the excess of something that makes it bad for us, and not the thing itself. That cannot be more true for video games as well.
Studies point out that playing video games that are easy to learn, but difficult to master - for about 15 to 30 minutes - can help in alleviating the day's stress.
In fact, findings reported in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggest that, such games actually lower the stress hormones produced in our bodies.
Video games can serve as brain exercises that strengthen the connections between our brain cells, build new ones and help us improve our memory.
Recent neuroscience research suggests that video games can potentially rejuvenate our brains, resulting in gains in episodic memory and concentration.
There is plenty of research evidence to suggest that our brain is not a static organ as was believed to be just a decade back; but it is more of an evolving organ, with brain-stimulating activities like video games having the potential to promote the production of new neurons in the memory center of the brain.
The positive effects of video games can
also be seen in the improvement of other skills and abilities, depending
on the specific game, such as - problem-solving abilities, faster
hand-to-eye coordination, multi-tasking, better planning, estimation,
analysis, strategic and quick thinking skills.
While it is good to hear that video games have benefits, the need to exercise moderation cannot be over-stated, as the negative effects of video games are only all too well-known.
Repetitive stress injuries are a common occurrence among those who play video games for prolonged duration.
Additionally, statistics show that 1 in 8 people who regularly play video games become addicted to them, to the point of neglecting their other responsibilities and obligations.
These games play their part
in rendering the decay of our much needed social skills, as all too
often, they are played to the point of avoiding people contact,
intentionally or otherwise.
By exercising a little bit of prudence and moderation, we not only get to have some fun with these games, but also keep those negatives at bay, and hopefully, learn to apply the positive effects of video games to our own benefit, along our self improvement journey.