Video Games Teach More Than Just Quick Reflexes

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The skewed stigma revolving video games has gone on for too long. If you're a gamer, you are typically branded as a nerd and your hobby and passion are cynically labeled as time-wasters by people unfamiliar with the industry. However, games can teach life enhancing skills long after you put the controller down. Here are some skills your favorite games have taught you and how they benefit audiences in the long run:

Patience
Patience isn't only a virtue, it’s a learned skill. A large component of action RPGs center around the grind to become more powerful. The grind describes the boring and long parts of a game where a player might encounter a series of monster fights with no real variation. These can be mentally exhausting and require patience.

This type of gameplay can be compared to the daily grind of work or school and the patience needed to get through them. Whether it's the long hours required to finished a project on time or cram for a test, all of these activities take patience and perseverance.

Memory Retention and Spacial Awareness
In 2013, a study about the effects of video games on the adult brain was published by Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence. In the study, 23 adults played “Super Mario 64” for 30 minutes per day for a month. Another group was asked not to play any video games over that same month. After the month was over, the subjects' brains were examined through MRI scans. Those who played “Super Mario 64” daily showed an increase of gray matter in different parts of the brain (the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex and cerebellum). These brain segments are used for spatial navigation, memory retention and formation, strategic planning and fine motor skills.

The rise in gray matter has given scientists and doctors hope that video games can be used as therapy for people with brain conditions in these areas, such as schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer's.

Quick Thinking
Video games can help you think more strategically, improve your fine motor skills, become more organized and manage resources. All of these necessary skills transfer to the real world.

When at a job interview, for example, you need to communicate quickly and effectively. Online games require a fast thought process and concise communication to achieve your goals, just like in a job interview. Further studies discussed by the BBC outline numerous benefits gaming has on the brain. Games like roulette bonus and poker also teach audiences how to become better at mathematics and how to impress your opponent to win. You may need to do a semi-bluff to make an impression without completely bluffing. The same is true in interviews when you need to impress your interviewer without lying.

Or, if you have your sights set on purchasing a new home, the negotiation skills you learned from betting in poker will come in handy. In many online games, you also learn how to negotiate with other factions by talking and compromising, which can help you connect with your real estate agent and the homeowner.

Whether it's board games, video games or betting games, there are life skills to be learned and applied to other areas of your life. Don't completely write them off as a waste of time, but appreciate them for what they can teach you.

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