I was reading this post on Lifehacker the other day: Top 10 Ways to Perfect Your Daily Routine with the Power of Science.
And, lo and behold, what pops up as #7? A hobby near and dear to all of our hearts.
According to this blog post, they may not be just a fun way to pass the time. Hold on one second – my favorite pastime might actually be good for me? I LOVE IT.
A growing body of university research suggests that gaming improves creativity, decision-making and perception. The specific benefits are wide ranging, from improved hand-eye coordination in surgeons to vision changes that boost night driving ability. – The Wall Street Journal
And, that’s according to this Wall Street Journal article.
Apparently, gaming can even help with pain management:
Dr. Charles Friedman of the Pain Relief Centers explained that when playing 3D games in a virtual reality, the brain busies itself using other senses, like vision and touch, and releases endorphins, a chemical that generally makes us feel good. At the same time, the virtual experience helps produce a numbing response in brain regions associated with pain. – CNET News
To be fair, a lot of the studies focus on action games, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some benefits to more casual games, as well. Maybe, we just haven’t found them yet.
There’s a lot more research ground to cover, according to Daphne Bavelier. If you’d like to hear about some of her really cool studies, I highly recommend watching her TED Talk:
Interesting stuff, isn’t it? Well, now that I know that I don’t have to feel guilty about it, I’m off to go play. How about you?
Have you noticed any benefits to playing games? Have you heard of any other studies like this? Comment below!