When we think of video games, we think of dangerous tools that harm our children. We worry when we see them hours and hours in front of a screen because we are convinced that playing video games does not bring any benefit, but is a pastime to be avoided. In reality, the benefits are many, they improve coordination, attention, concentration, memory, just to mention a few. Among the benefits that perhaps not everyone knows about is that of improving problem solving and the ability to perform different tasks at the same time. In this article, we will try to explain why video games help develop these last two mentioned skills.
A means to help solve problems
Playing video games helps develop decision-making and problem-solving skills. This is the conclusion reached by a study carried out by the Faculty of Psychology of the National University of Cordoba (Argentina). Young people between 15 and 18 years of age of both sexes participated in this study and the researchers concluded that video games, especially strategy games, help to improve the decision-making capacity of young people because they stimulate cognitive functions and improve the ability to make decisions in difficult moments, in situations of uncertainty, by means of reasoning and planning strategies. Strategy games help accelerate the learning process and reinforce strategic thinking. This increases the creativity of young people. But why do strategy video games help develop this skill? In this type of video game, players have to move fast, keep track of many elements at the same time, remember different information and make decisions quickly. Since the game designers offer few instructions on how to solve the problem, players have to go through the process of trial and error to figure out how to continue in the game and try to solve the problems that arise. Precisely because of this, they help develop different skills such as memory, attention and decision making. Sometimes players are faced with a difficult and uncertain situation and are forced to make a decision to solve the problem in front of them.
A means to develop multitasking skills
In addition to decision making and problem solving, video games also help to develop multitasking ability, i.e., the ability to perform several tasks at the same time. By playing games, it is possible to improve many aspects of brain activity, and also the ability to multitask; this allows the brain to think from different perspectives and to react to and process different influences. Contrary to what people think, video games are useful and do not only benefit the very young. According to a study by neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley of the University of California, these tools also help older people develop the ability to multitask, and the effects persist for six months or more. The study, which involved 30 people of different age groups, showed that during the course of a game they multitasked, such as pressing buttons and looking at images, among others. This enabled the development of multitasking, attention and reflexes. Therefore, taking into account the results obtained in this research and its benefits, we can say that video games are useful tools for all ages and that we parents could also spend time with our children and play with them. In this way, both we and our children will develop different skills and we will be able to spend time together.
Therefore, as we have already said, video games are useful and they are good for our health, both physical and mental, because they develop skills that allow us to improve our personal or professional life. We think, for example, that in the working world we are often asked to solve problems. By developing this ability already in adolescence, playing video games, our children already have an advantage. Of course, it is essential to say that we should always use these tools sparingly, without overdoing it, but, if used properly, they are excellent means to develop certain skills.