Video-games are often dismissed as child’s-play, it should be acknowledged that there are real benefits to engaging in virtual reality. All college students should take some time to unwind and interact with the gaming community. With ACU recently adding a competitive video-game, namely Super Smash Bros., to the list of intramural sports, video-games may begin to build rapport among everyday students who wouldn’t normally consider playing them.
This type of competition allows students who typically do not get involved with athletics a chance to be active on campus. This helps fight the negative stereotype that the student who plays video-games in in their room with the shades drawn, when they are really building community playing in tournaments. Even E-sports online are allowing students to connect with those at other universities, building networks and helping them feel like they are a part of something bigger.
Despite the negative stigma surrounding those who play video-games, such as they are socially isolated and may become violent, evidence is pointing to the cognitive benefits of gaming.
Action and adventure video-games, such as Skyrim and Fallout, are the most mind-developing. Dr. Peter Grey, of PsychologyToday.com, acknowledged that action video-games require players to keep track of many items and react quickly, which are abilities that “are precisely those that psychologists consider to be the basic building blocks of intelligence.”
Gamers do not have to be stuck inside their dorm all day in total darkness, in fact many are not. There are several communities on and around campus. League of Wildcats is a student organization that holds meetings where players can interactive and compete in games such as League of Legends and Hearthstone. Local business, The Gathering Place, also holds weekly tournaments, much like the Super Smash Bros. By participating in these kind of events, students can come together which strengthens community and social interactions.
Video-games can become a distraction from homework and responsibilities. If students spend too much time cooped up in their dorm room with the shades drawn playing Call of Duty, they are not studying for tests or doing much needed chores. However, if played in moderation, video-games can be beneficial to students in the long run. An article published in the American Journal of Play stated “Today’s video games are much more than entertainment. They are also weapons in the fight against declining mental capacities in old age. They promote job-related skills. And they are a model of how to teach children complex and difficult tasks and abilities.” Job related skills include hand-eye-coordination, attention, memory and quick decision making. All of these can also be used for success in college, and after.
All students should give action or adventure video-games a try when they have downtime from studying. In short, they are healthy stress relievers and may even help build your memory and other cognitive skills. This might come in handy next time studying for the big test rolls around.