Can Gaming Help Develop Better Problem-Solving Skills?

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Researchers have been investigating how video games might be helpful in the real world for years. With their ability to teach us how to achieve goals while confronting various challenges, games could assist players in developing practical problem-solving skills. 

This line of inquiry has been going on for decades. But what precisely do we mean when we talk about addressing problems? What sets these abilities apart from other learning and mental activity? And with all of this, what exactly does gaming have to do with it? 

As part of our investigation into the impact that playing video games has on developing problem-solving skills, let’s look at the responses to these and other questions.

Games encourage out-of-the-box thinking.

While the stereotypical concept of a gamer is a lazy, unproductive individual who lacks social skills, it may surprise some that playing video games has plenty of benefits. One of these benefits is the increased ability to solve problems and think outside the box. 

A study by Villanova University found that gamers are better at solving problems than those who do not play video games. The participants were given an IQ test with three questions: 1) What’s the capital city of Thailand? 2) How many keys can you find on a piano? 3) The number 37 is written in Roman numerals. The people who played video games before this test could answer all three questions correctly, while others could only answer two or fewer.

Games improve your memory.

In a study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, researchers found that playing games positively affected memory and participants’ ability to solve problems. In the experiment, participants were asked to play Tetris for 10 minutes. 

Those who played Tetris scored higher on problem-solving tasks than those who did not. The study’s authors suggest that video games are a powerful tool for cognitive enhancement. They believe this is because engaging in any task involving attentional control, such as gaming, can improve many skills.  

This concept is backed up by research from Princeton University, which suggests that practicing puzzle games like Tetris can help improve short-term working memory, long-term spatial memory, and planning skills. Players often have to think several steps ahead to find their next move. Similar skills would be helpful when trying to find your way out of an impossible maze or when taking a difficult math test!

Games help you develop planning and strategic skills

Games can help you develop many skills that are necessary for solving problems. For example, games can help build your ability to plan and strategize. Games also force you to become resourceful and use what is available around you to move forward. With these skills in hand, it becomes easier to find solutions when faced with real-world challenges. 

In a study on problem-solving, three groups of participants were observed. The groups consisted of gamers (people who played video games at least four hours per week), non-gamers (people who did not play video games), and nonplayers (those who had never played games). The game players solved more puzzles than either of the other two groups.

Games Improve Your Reaction Time

The ability to react quickly is a skill that can be developed through playing video games. Video games are designed with all sorts of different obstacles, from jumping over gaps to shooting down enemies. All these activities require players to make split-second decisions, which teaches them how to react faster than if they were doing the same activities in real life. 

For example, if you’re stuck on a particularly difficult level in your favorite game and need help getting past the challenging part, you can take a break and come back later with fresh eyes for an entirely new perspective. This process trains your brain to be able to stay focused on the problem until it’s solved!

Games Promote Teamwork

One of the most common skills that people develop when gaming is teamwork. Many games require players to work together, rather than against each other, to achieve their goals. In team games, such as League of Legends, gamers have to strategically plan out how they want to approach a match before playing it. 

This requires them to analyze their strengths and weaknesses as well as those of their opponents. This type of critical thinking is one way that gaming can help individuals develop better problem-solving skills.

Gamers also often have to think creatively about how they want their characters or teams to engage with the game’s various challenges and obstacles.

Uncovering Some Gaming Myths

Let’s uncover some of the popular myths related to gaming and eSports.

1. Gaming is a waste of time.

We’ve already established that gaming has the potential to boost analytical reasoning. This is a valuable ability that will serve you well in the real world. 

So, playing video games is not a waste of time. As a bonus, gaming has been shown to help many people de-stress and unwind.

2. Playing video games might harm your health.

Inconclusive research suggests that gaming has no negative effects on physical well-being. Keep in mind that, like everything else, moderation is key. 

As is the case with most things, excess of anything may be harmful. However, engaging in a reasonable amount of gaming will not negatively impact your health.

3. Games are supposed to be played by kids only

You may find a lot of more mature games. Involvement in gaming as an adult may be a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and deepen existing friendships. 

Family time spent gaming may be a fun opportunity to connect with your kids. As a family, you may also have some fun gaming time.

4. Games are addictive

Although gaming addiction is possible, it is far from the norm. To a large extent, players can regulate their gaming behaviors. There is treatment available if you or someone you know has a gaming addiction. You need just ask for assistance.