If you are a mother, you’d be constantly pulling your kids off their mobile phones or laptops and pushing them outdoors. It’s almost as if the gadgets are glued to their hands. I can see all those moms nodding their heads in agreement. But it’s not only our children. Look around, and you’ll see everyone using some sort of electronic device. From the time we wake up to the time till we hit our beds at night, we are connected to the digital world, whether it’s texting, watching memes, or gaming online.
But my greatest objection about online gaming is oddly their addicting nature. It’s as if you can never seem satisfied with just one game. We’ve all been there and done that. As a parent, I’ve had my fair share of concerns about how detrimental it can be to their health. My obvious objection was the strain on their necks and eyesight. And because online gaming can only exercise their finger muscles, I am also worried about the lack of physical activity.
Online gaming can be good for you
But let’s look at this from another standpoint. Anything in excess is harmful. The keyword here is moderation. So if you are able to control the amount of time spent in front of your laptop, PC, tablet, or mobile phones, online gaming can actually be beneficial.
You’re probably wondering why I’ve done a total 180 on my views. Truth be told, the one thing I’ve learned through parenting is that you have every right to change your mind. It’s called adapting to a situation. Technology is fairly new. We are only beginning to grasp the ideologies behind it. And it’s not only about children. Online gaming is helping adults in various ways, as well. Here are a few reasons that have helped me alter my perspective:
- Nearly 80% of the learners say that they would be more productive if their studies or work were more game-like.
- According to the University of Rochester, video games can help people make the right decisions faster.
- Online gaming has reduced people’s reaction time.
- A new study found that teams displayed a 20% increase in productivity after playing video games for 45 minutes.
I think you get the point… If you let me loose on the statistics, I could literally fill up the whole page. We’ve all experienced the thrill of beating an opponent or claiming a reward on the completion of a specific task. The latest incorporation and adoption of gaming ideas into our lives has a completely unique approach.
The following will give you a better idea of what I’m talking about. As Adam Penenberg stated, “Airline frequent-flier miles are games that reward loyalty … look at Twitter as a game, the payoff being more and more followers and greater numbers of retweets the more you use it.” So gaming -and winning- is not entirely a new concept.
The science behind the fun of winning
Besides the gratification of claiming to be a winner or beating an opponent, what is it that makes games so fun? And more importantly, how are they effective in enhancing our productivity?
Winning or claiming a reward activates a neurotransmitter called dopamine in our brains. This is the body’s magical ‘feel good’ hormone. Every time you finish a level or get a high score, the reward center of your brain lights up, and you get a boost of dopamine. It’s the high that makes you coming back for more.
The surge of happiness raises your energy level, allowing you to become more productive. But besides this, many online games incorporate techniques that aim at improving the gamer’s creativity, concentration, motivation, and much more.
Online gaming can increase productivity
Back to my previous statement. Contrary to belief, gaming can be beneficial in moderation.
Let me break it down for you:
You’ve attended a strenuous, demanding meeting and need to clear your mind before reinstating yourself behind your office desk. The easiest way to de-stress is to play online games. Studies show that “social-intelligence games” help lower cortisol, the stress hormone, by an impressive 17%.
Furthermore, gaming through monthly subscription packages such as those offered by Unlimited Gamez Mo. Here, gamer have the opportunity to enjoy their gameplay to the hilt. They will not be interrupted with annoying popup ads or the need to make in-app purchases in order to continue playing.
Keeps the mind occupied
Many times we find ourselves going through a rut. Mundane, repetitive tasks can lead to mental stagnation. To activate various portions of our brain, you need to do something different. An effective strategy is to engage in a variety of games. Often card games have helped to improve concentration and memory skills among gamer.
Helps to fill empty time
Okay, so you may question this point. When we are bored, for example, on the ride home from work, the mind may go into overdrive by stressing about the pending assignments. Everyone knows that the thought process cannot be shut off. The brain continues to work- even when we want it to stop. One way to relax the mind is to occupy it with something totally irrelevant, allowing you to focus better on any work that you pick up later on.
Aids in skill development
Playing interactive games help not only to kill the boredom of waiting, but they can sharpen your intellect. Challenging games have been known to enhance a player’s judgment, analytical, competitiveness, concentration, acumen, and time-management skills. For instance, some online games improve short-term memory, which can boost long-term memory as well. While card games have the ability to induce cognitive and interpersonal skill development, others focus on money and tactful strategy.
Improves employee interaction
Depending on the game, most players will get absorbed into the gameplay. While this is great for developing concentration, conversation levels can become minimal. To combat this, entertaining games like FIFA and Mario Cart can be played to bring laughter into the office. More importantly, it helps to break the ice and promotes comradeship among employees. It allows them to get more comfortable and interact better in the workspace. In the long run, it can also help build leadership and management skills necessary for group activities.
Makes the mind more alert
Gaming can add to overall mental enrichment as you play with friends and colleagues. Gamers are more attentive and alert, picking up on cues on what could happen next. The individual is more perceptive of the opponents every move.
Sharpens entrepreneurial abilities
Games like Lineage 2 and World of Warcraft facilitate players to learn and apply concepts of business, such as earning and managing money. It also helps them master tactics on how to make the most profit- buy cheap and sell for more.
Let’s call it a day
Like most adults, I prefer less intense online games. It’s an effective way to unwind. But with the right motives, gaming can offer a meaningful way to step ahead of the competition. As productivity increases, optimal results can be achieved quicker.
So what’s my final verdict?
Online gaming is not all that bad- it’s the overuse that I disapprove of.