How many times did you think playing online games is a loss of time? Or maybe those around you strongly disapprove with your pastime.
Well, according to science, playing games online makes you smarter. If you need a reason to download that match-3 or casino game on your phone, check out these science-backed ways online games can help enhance your brain function.
1. Gaming Stimulates Your Attention
One of the main ways playing games online makes you smarter is by helping you enhance your attention span. Just think about it. For how long can you stay focused when playing your favourite online game? Perhaps for hours, right?
Now, if you suffer from attention deficit issues, downloading a game you like can help you learn how to stay focused.
Among the most addictive choices, we can mention Tetris, match-3 games, but also card games, such as poker or blackjack.
According to several studies, playing this type of games daily can help improve your focus and attention in all areas of your life, with subsequent positive consequences on your overall ability to retain information.
2. Puzzle Games Improve Brain Function
While match-3 and card games can enhance your attention, other studies found that puzzle games can improve your brain function and enhance your critical thinking. That happens because playing this type of games challenges your brain to find way-outs and strategies to solve the missions.
Indeed, research demonstrated that hidden objects and escape room type of games could stimulate the development of the hippocampus. That’s the part of the brain that regulates your ability to learn and retain information.
A separate preliminary study conducted on 23 gamers also showed that puzzle games could improve the IQ by enhancing the grey matter in all areas of the brain responsible for learning. The study concluded that gamers might acquire better strategic planning skills and have higher knowledge retention than non-gamers.
3. Online Games Enhance Your Multi-Tasking Capabilities
In today’s world, possessing multi-tasking capabilities is a must. And according to scientists from the University of Texas, playing games online can develop your multi-tasking skills.
While more research is needed to confirm these results, researchers concluded that playing online games can enhance critical thinking and the ability to solve multiple problems simultaneously. Not only that, but the participants were also able to improve their performance in psychology tests.
Even though more research is needed, that’s enough evidence for us that playing games online in your spare time is a great pastime.
4. Simulation Games Enhance Basic Competencies
Puzzle and casino games apart, an experiment conducted by the University of Glasgow, found that students playing simulation games, such as FIFA, can enhance basic competencies including critical thinking, communication, resourcefulness, and adaptability.
These games allegedly help gamers think and act as real-life players when solving simple or complex missions.
While this is another preliminary study that needs more research, all we can say is that participants allowed to play games online outperformed non-gamers in all major competency tests.
5. They Keep Your Brain Trained
Regardless of the type of games you enjoy playing online, the truth is that all of them can keep your brain trained. Mental exercise is important for maintaining your neural connections in good shape.
A trained brain is less likely to develop neurodegenerative disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Besides, playing games can also help your brain relax while still staying trained. Relaxation is important to reduce stress and stimulate parts of the brain that aren’t really stimulated otherwise.
Training all areas of your brain while reducing stress is key to enhanced concentration and better learning.
We don’t know about you, but for us, these preliminary results are conclusive. Playing games online is not a waste of time! It’s even more than a mere pastime. Whether it’s simple tasks such as matching three pieces of the same kind, playing Tetris, or basic video slot games, or more complex skill-based gambling like multiplayer poker, or apps that enhance your overall attention and critical thinking, such as arcade or escape the room games, playing games online comes with a wealth of benefits.
So, what are you waiting for? Download your favourite gaming app or sign up to that online casino site you’ve been tackling for a while. You now have science-backed proof that playing games online really makes you smarter!