As parents, many of us are not much in favor of allowing our children to play games especially video games. We prefer that they go out and play in the mud as it results in healthy physical, social, emotional and mental development. You are partially correct in doing so, but labeling all video games as bad is also not right. Many of the video games on the market that you can now download to your PC and smartphones are designed to work as brain training games. They have proved quite helpful in case of children with learning disabilities as they help develop and improve on various cognitive skills.
When your child plays a video game, he or she is not only staring at the computer screen inactively. The action on the screen provides a lot of mental stimulation to which the player must react. It establishes a pattern of co-ordination between the vision, audio and motor movement. Players automatically try to coordinate their hand movements with what they see or what they hear.
Playing involves a lot of input either in the visual or auditory form. Studies proved that people who played video games frequently were able to process the input material faster than others. This happens because the signals registered by the senses involved stimulate the brain and keep it working. The absence of such stimulation in the brain causes degenerative changes (brain atrophy) and that explains the decrease in brain speed as one grows older. This further leads to a decline in memory.
Logical Thinking and Problem Solving
Most video games particularly puzzle and strategic games are timed. You have to complete a certain task in a given amount of time or a limited number of moves. This forces a player to think strategically and logically in order to work through the problem at hand. He does not only have to think; he has to think quickly and that is what makes the difference. He can further carry these skills into his everyday life. Games like Sudoku need you to work through logical deduction while Tetris is all about pattern recognition skills.
Decreasing attention spans are another major issue today. It is hard to stay focused on something for more than 2 minutes. Video games particularly action video games engage the sustained attention and focus of the player for longer periods of time as they work towards achieving a particular goal. Such practices help rewire the brain and increase attention spans in the long run.
Video games as brain training games go a long way to enhance memory. It includes both visual and auditory memory as well as short-term and long-term memory. You might wonder how. It is in the form of remembering instructions or the key combinations needed to move your characters and the likes.
Thus, online and video games can give your brain a much-needed workout. However, not all games have the same brain benefits. Therefore, you need to ensure you are playing the right one.