The Brighter Side of Online Gaming

  • Added:
    Feb 07, 2013
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game controller: bodypad
game controller: bodypad
Photo by nicolasnova

Online gaming has received much flak for having negative effects on players, particularly children. Violent temperaments, introversion and obesity are just some of the criticisms attributed to online gaming. However, research has shown that there is some good to be reaped from playing online games, for as long as it is done moderately. As a parent, you can read the benefits listed below and decide if you would allow your child to play or not. Some parents have found a happy balance between online games and outdoor activities for their kids. Hopefully, you can too.

The Benefits of Playing
1.  Playing online games can enhance creativity. A study of middle school students showed that the more children played computer games, the higher their scores on standardized tests of creativity. The participants in the study who spent more time playing online were able to show more creativity on a test that required them to build a drawing based on a curved shape and then develop a storyline and a title for the drawing. These children had more original and complex ideas compared to their counterparts who played less.

2.  Online gaming also enhances a person's decision making ability. Action games in particular that require quick decision making from an array of choices translate to the same ability in real life. Studies showed that gamers of action-based games are 25% quicker in making decisions that were also accurate. The same gamers are also able to multi-task better and spread their attention over six simultaneous occurrences without getting confused.

3.  Another interesting benefit of online gaming is that of improved hand-eye coordination for surgeons, which obviously comes from the deft movement of the fingers on the keyboard and joystick while keeping the eyes on the screen.  For others online gaming has led to improved vision that is beneficial to night driving.

4.  For women, it has been observed that online gaming promotes better spatial perception and mental manipulation of 3D objects. This ability is usually mostly associated with men, but has now become increasingly more evident in women who engage in computer games.

A Whole New World
The world of virtual games has become an interesting subject for a lot of studies. Scientists want to discover what it is exactly that these games do to the human brain. We have known for a long time only the disadvantages, and we want to know whether it also does any good. Somehow, these studies have shed a bit of light to these dark corners and given us a brighter picture.

Of course, this is not to say that online gaming should be favorably promoted for all, children and grown-ups alike.  We still cannot deny the fact that there are harmful effects from online gaming, which could outweigh the advantages. But as in all things, moderation should be practiced. And for children, violent action games should be avoided.

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This article was written by James Taste aka Triggerman. James also writes for Zombie Games Online.

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