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Can Video Games Really Improve Your Cognitive Skills?

Cognition is a process of receiving information from conscious mind inside the brain and processing it to extract some meaning from the subconscious mind. This process involves stages like judgment, reasoning and perception.

However, this process is made up of complex networks such that at every time the brain should be at work, in this activity or the other in a bid to keep smooth flow of the information, hence, making the cognitive skills stronger.

Cognitive skills are essential for all people of all ages. However, this ability tends to go down in older age, therefore, making it necessary to look for means and ways that can help sustain brain capability. In this case, among other brain enhancement factors, one may ask whether video games really improve your cognitive skills.

Video games, brain games or cognitive games are a good solution to anyone intending to keep his or her memory intact. Since video games are known to insist in usage of senses of attention, perception and cognition, playing very tactical games improves ones cognitive skills.

Other areas that one should focus on include information processing criteria, speed and control. If these areas are put into regular use, the cognitive skills will be improved. A simple way of doing this is by playing cognitive video games.

Studies have shown that video games improve both short-term and long-term memory. Strategic games combine a variety of brain cognitive functions such as planning, executing, programming or scheduling and thinking. They also enhance coordinating and reasoning, as well. In addition, video games that interact with the player happen to benefit those people whose cognitive ability is reducing with age.

To top up the above facts, University of Rochester’s Daphne Bavelier, a professor in brain and cognitive sciences carried out a study on young people involved in playing action video games and confirmed the fact that they have a positive effect to brain cognitive abilities. Her studies show that people who participate in action video games improve in skills such as attention and cognitive skills, when compared to non- players. They performed better in tests involving speed, multi tasking and others. These skills are required in real life, as well.

Therefore parents are advised to consider this study and give a chance to their children to play video and action games, instead of taking the perception that it makes them waste too much time and lose concentration on schooling. Because on the contrary, this will give them a chance to improve their skills such as vision, decision making, speed of thinking, multi-tasking and others that are very relevant in all dimensions in life.

Another important feature in video gaming is that it closes the gender gap between men and women. For instance, woman with little gaming experience, when trained on action video games perform better to mentally manipulate 3-D. This involves a spatial cognitive skill, in which normally, women perform poorly compared to men. At some time, women perform just like men in this skill, mostly applied in mathematics and engineering subjects.

Brainy Video Games

Many people claim that video games are nothing but bad forms of diversion. True, there are those games where players just have to kill enemies or conquer virtual kingdoms. However, today, there are a lot of video games that have been developed to educate as well as entertain.

These educational video games involve a lot of skill on logic and reasoning. They also usually require complex and challenging problem solving which you are sure to take with you long after you have walked away from your computer.

A good example would be Tetris. It is a very simple game yet it requires some degree of quick thinking and analysis in assessing how to strategically use and place the pieces dropping. Add that to the increasing speed and that the pile of blocks grows and grows each time you make a mistake. It would be a good game to play to improve your mental skills and capabilities through the fast spatial analysis exercises it gives.

There are also the memory games. If you have ever spent a valuable 20 minutes rummaging through your stuff to find your keys or have stood on the parking lot as you try to remember where you parked? Then you might benefit from playing memory video games. Studies have shown that memory is actually not a function of IQ. It is actually a skill or an ability to organize the information that are in your brain, which are then retrieved through a series of various memory-triggers.

And of course, there are strategy games that involve running a city, conquering the world, shaping an empire and a lot more. These games require business skills like managing resources efficiently, setting goals and motivating people.