Logging on to enjoy your favourite online game is no longer just about having fun. Recent studies have shown that it can also prove beneficial to cognitive development and well-being. Playing certain video games not only boosts your brain power, they can make you feel happier and healthier too.
With benefits like maintaining cognitive function in adults, improving concentration and releasing feel-good hormones there’s never been a better time to enjoy your favourite titles. So, whether you’re into sports and racing games, shoot-em ups or playing free casino slots, here are four ways these games could be boosting your brain power.
The challenges associated with many video games can help to improve a player’s decision-making skills. This is because they help you to develop a deeper awareness of what is going on around you (even if this is restricted to the gaming world you’re playing in).
The speed at which gamers are required to make choices improves their ability to make decisions both extremely quickly and incredibly accurately as they are constantly learning from past mistakes and pitfalls.
Maintaining focus when you feel like you have a million things to do is something that everyone can struggle with every now and again. Fortunately, if you’re a gamer, you may be improving this skill without even knowing it.
Studies have shown some gamers are actually able to detect and decipher new information faster and with more accuracy. This, in turn, allows them to successfully complete more tasks at the same time as they can switch their attention between projects comfortably. The challenges and quests posed by many games also require high levels of concentration and discipline which improves a player’s ability to focus for long periods of time.
It doesn’t matter whether you play casino games, complicated puzzles or sports games online as most genres provide the opportunity to learn from mistakes and progress. This process can go a long way towards improving a player’s memory. The challenges and tasks posed by games are widely believed to aid in the development of memory formation, particularly if the game is played multiple times.
This is evident in the way games get easier for players the more they attempt to complete a challenge. It’s thought that strategy games are one of the best genres for motivating the areas of our brain associated with memory. Researchers have claimed they could even help fight the effects of conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s
Playing video or casino games can also have a therapeutic effect on your brain If a gamer is satisfied or gains a sense of achievement while playing, endorphins are released giving them feelings of well-being and happiness.
Gaming is also associated with the release of oxytocin, widely referred to as the love drug, which can have a deeply calming effect on the body and mind. This is released during game play which requires cooperation and communication with others. Players have also been found to have increased levels of the feel-good hormone dopamine in their systems.
It’s released when a person feels accomplished or completes a challenge and is widely associated with the emotion euphoria. Finally, gaming can also increase serotonin production which helps our bodies to transmit all these feel good chemicals around the body, activating the pleasure circuit in the central nervous system.
Image credit: Freepik
Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.