Every day, the popularity of computer games grows, and children and adults spend more and more time doing so, prompting us to consider how we might use gambling addiction for good – first and foremost, for learning.
Certain sorts of video games, according to Knowable Magazine, can increase brain function for a specific set of tasks. Several studies have also demonstrated its efficacy in learning a second language, math, and science. This might be wonderful news for kids and teachers, as well as millions of people who enjoy or can’t get enough of playing.
By the way, the latter phenomenon has long been a source of concern for parents, doctors, and teachers. According to VTsIOM (as of August 15, 2019), more than half of Russians (58%) believe that video games cause more harm than benefit, citing the harmful impact on the mind and symptoms of violent behavior. In addition, 54 percent of residents have a negative view toward the hobby of playing games read about it more, with loved ones.
According to various estimates, there are more than 2.3 billion gamers in the world (as of 2018 data), and the World Health Organization finally decided two years ago to include online and video game addiction in the list of disorders (ICD-11 will enter into force from 2022).
The impact of play on increasing brain function in the early stages of research
Initially, testing shooters provided indications that this was conceivable. Sean Greene, a psychology student at the University of Rochester, pointed out that “shooters,” who are frequently chastised, can be beneficial. He administered a visual attention test to his pals, which yielded astounding findings. At first, Green and his boss, Daphne Bavelier, blamed it on a human error, because when Bavelier was tested, the results were normal. The only difference amongst the experiment participants was that all of Green’s pals spent more than 10 hours each week playing Team Fortress Classic.
Green and Bavelier then conducted a second experiment, splitting the “newcomers” into two groups. For ten days, the first spent one hour per day on the shooter, while the second spent the same amount of time on the spatial puzzle “Tetris.”
Participants in the first group were better at focusing attention on objects of interest against a visually distracting background, and they were also able to track up to five moving objects at the same time, according to tests. Tetris, in turn, has been shown to improve spatial reasoning and visual representation of two-dimensional objects in other research.
Fans of “action games” are better at “maneuvering” between dispersed attention (the brain’s ability to respond to stimuli concurrently) and concentrated attention, according to Bavelier, who is now a cognitive researcher at the University of Geneva (the ability to concentrate on a target stimulus). She explains, “This is known as attention management, or the ability to switch flexibly as needed.” Playing All You Can ET, a particular cognitive simulator in where players must feed aliens with specific food and drinks in a timely manner, makes switching between jobs easier.
Mistakes to avoid when incorporating games into the instructional process
Greene, who is now a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, believes that games can assist train individuals whose jobs need a high level of visual attention, such as surgeons, police officers, and military personnel. By the way, even at a very high level, the latter is confirmed. “The capacity to quickly absorb information, respond, and coordinate while keeping calm under pressure is frequently an indication of people who play well,” according to a BBC official.
However, Greene concedes that the real-world benefits of playing conditional Call of Duty for hours on end may be limited: if video game time is taken away from other jobs, other skills may degrade over time.
It’s also worth noting that the results of trials are highly specialized and only apply to the job at hand: for example, “shooters” do not increase spatial thinking in the same way that “Tetris” does, but it does not improve visual attention. Educator and psychologist Richard Mayer, on the other hand, believes that after extensive research, he was unable to find convincing evidence that the so-called brain-training games helped to considerably improve memory, attention, or decision-making speed.
Another contentious issue is how (and whether) video games should be utilized in the classroom. Researchers do not always agree in it, therefore computer games that boost brain capacity might be included into school activities to give a “spoonful of honey” to complex subjects and uninteresting programs, according to Bavelier. Although “shooters” are unlikely to be ideal for this: they can scarcely be supplied to primary school children, after all.
“It may be a game in which the doctor must select the appropriate treatment in order to rescue the world. However, it should not be associated with death, violence, or zombies, according to her. However, the professor questions whether youngsters will be able to apply cognitive skills learned through play to other, more real-life situations.
Sean Green, on the other hand, emphasizes the difficulty and expensive cost of game development. The psychologist pointed out that high-quality, effective, and persuasive games can cost as much as a blockbuster film.
The ability to maximize engagement is a benefit that games may take use of.
Despite the absence of research on any improvements over conventional teaching techniques, the thought of incorporating video games into the classroom is exciting. Even if we believe that “brain simulators” are exaggerated, we cannot deny that games are very addictive and fascinating.
“The most important aspect of games is their ability to motivate people,” Mayer explains. “And we’d like to make advantage of it.” To produce intriguing games that hone cognitive skills while having fun, brain scientists, educators, and game creators must collaborate more closely. Children’s brains are capable of memorizing hundreds of Pokémon and their skills, according to Bavelier. Imagine if they were as enthralled by the prospect of examining the sky’s stars!
In his book The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play May Make Our Kids Smarter, author Greg Toppo argues that games can boost student engagement, refresh teachings, and allow you to tailor them to the needs of each individual class. Students can also be rewarded for regular effort, perseverance, and creative thinking through games.
Furthermore, games can aid in the development of soft skills. “Gamers may apply a variety of soft skills to their professional lives, including teamwork, problem solving, and strategic planning,” stated Ryan Gardner, Hays Recruitment’s Regional Director. However, if you play games without considering the skills you can gain from them and subsequently use, you will find it difficult to apply your passion to improving your employment chances in the future.
The article was prepared with the cooperation of casinowis.com website.