When students log on to play video games, they are not just having fun. Studies have shown that they could be sharpening useful skills that could help them be more successful at life.
A review of 13 different studies published in “Applied Sciences” May 24. 2022 contained information on the benefits of video games in cognitive function. The studies focused on attention ability and visuospatial ability.
South student Cylla Neuwirth is studying to be a game designer. She has noticed playing video games regularly has made a positive difference for her.
“I’m able to see things more clearly or have more instant reflexes when something moves. That helps with real life. When I notice something out of the corner of my eye moving, I can notice more detail,” she said.
Another positive benefit of video games is increased creativity. A journal article published in the “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health” in 2020 discusses this possibility.
“Creativity can be seen as one of the main traits of human capacity that is indispensable for the development of knowledge,” according to Inna Cabelkova, Wadim Strielkowski, Anna Rybakova and Alla Molchanova.
“I think games give me the accessibility to be more creative and think more creatively,” Neuwirth said. “Seeing all of these worlds in all of these different ways. It drove my passion to be an artist in that way.”
She wants to become a game concept designer or a character designer and watch people play a game she helped create one day.
“I can tell my family and friends about it,” Neuwirth said. “Like this is what I study and this is what I’m doing, and these people are all enjoying what I’m doing. I want to share that.”
Another potential benefit to gaming is problem solving skills.
South student Bryce Hoffman is studying architectural drafting and design and has been playing games since he was 7 years old. His favorite game is “Factorio,” which is a construction and management simulation game.
“It’s really fun for me to take this logistical challenge and find things that need to be fixed,” Hoffman said. “To make supply meet demand and just design efficient systems. It’s beautiful whenever you design a factory that you spent 20 hours building that can take a piece of iron and build a rocket ship, that’s how you win the game.”
Hoffman said he is really good at identifying patterns and seeing discrepancies.
Another skill students could build is cooperation. There are some multiplayer games that rely heavily on teamwork to win.
“When you look at a game of “World of Warcraft” or any MMO game, those have extremely challenging content that you cannot clear by yourself. You have to do it as a team,” Hoffman said. “In “World of Warcraft,” whenever they release a raid it’s 40 people on the same team all at the same time going against this really hard challenge they have to defeat.”
Hoffman says that when a game relies on this many people to accomplish a goal it is important that everyone be on the same page. He said scheduling gameplay is also a main component of cooperation.
“They go for 16 hours and they take shifts,” he said. “Any guild you join they have a raiding schedule it could be Tuesdays at 5 p.m. we’re going to raid.”
Hoffman said meeting other people and getting to know their skills is a good way to practice teamwork.
“It’s very complicated, you have to work as a team so they want people who are going to support the team in the best way possible,” he said. “You learn to work as a team and find out who’s best at what. There’s positions in the game so you learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
George Miller the vice president of gaming club on South Campus says the most important thing that gaming gives him is stress relief.
“When you’re stressed with class I feel like gaming can help you,” Miller said. “It helps you relax. You just concentrate on the game and just focus on other things. Your stress just goes away.”
Miller said the gaming club is very important to him. He wants it to be an inclusive space where everyone is comfortable.
“We’re more than a club, we’re trying to bring people together to interact and network,” he said.
Miller wants everyone to know that gaming is for everyone.
“Everyone’s invited. That’s what gaming is all about.”