Video games have been an integral part of many people’s lives since their inception. While video games now provide us with an outlet for relaxation and entertainment, there is another side to video games that their more hardcore fans might appreciate more. Virtual worlds are becoming more real than our reality, and with the advancements in artificial intelligence, the virtual world is going to become as real, if not more so, than the real world. In the future, video games could lead to a lifestyle of endless activity from our children and grandchildren.
With augmented reality video games such as Pokemon Go, extroverts are better players than introverts. That statement may seem controversial, but it isn’t. Researchers have found that competitive games, such as chess and solitaire, increase your brain activity. They help you think. Think about the things you do in life, such as driving a car or riding a bike. Those activities require both thought and movement.
We’re not saying that video games could lead to a life of Zen Buddhist monasticism. Rather, we are suggesting that it could lead to greater thinking. That doesn’t mean that playing Tetris would give you insights into your life and psyche. But the research into how video games change the human mind is real and significant. It also suggests that the human brain is adaptable and creative.
We already know that playing video games can improve hand-eye coordination. The ability to multi-task is crucial in many areas of modern society, from sales and customer service to networking and work. If you played Tetris for hours on end without stopping, you would become a more effective multi-tasker, able to solve problems while keeping your eyes on the ball. If you played video games that were very basic, such as Pong or Space Invaders, you would learn to complete tasks even with minimal movement.
Multi-tasking isn’t just a matter of being able to multi-task. It’s also about being able to do it well. In many cases, that means being able to do your job. Many scientists have concluded that playing video games developed our ability to concentrate better. There’s even some evidence that they could help us improve our memory.
Video games can encourage creativity, because children tend to immerse themselves in worlds where they are the only living beings. In a world where adults are busy creating meaning out of the garbage they collect, children are busy creating meaning out of the meaningless chaos that surrounds them. We all know that children are creative and have a great imagination. But it has been suggested that video games could be a helpful tool for encouraging this creativity. As they say, “Let your mind run wild,” and video games certainly allow a child’s mind to run wild.
Kids tend to play video games for longer periods of time than they would, say, be playing baseball, or other sports. This means that over time they could accumulate more cumulative damage to their brains. The National Institute of Health has even reported that video games could lead to a decrease in reading skills in a very short period of time. Video games are known to cause problems with eye-hand coordination, and it’s even been suggested that playing these games could lead to permanent damage to the muscles in the eyes. Couldn’t we see a lot more eye-hand coordination problems as kids if all video games were eventually banned?
And as parents we could also see an increase in behavioral problems, such as acting out or hitting others. These things are all things we know about in school, and it is only through video games that we are being introduced to the concept of violence on a mass scale. It might be a good idea to keep our kids away from these games for the sake of their health, and for their sanity. They are developing things in their heads that could lead them to real-life scenarios they’re not ready for yet.