Gaming’s Advantages

Gaming-AdvantagesQuestion: How much is the video games industry worth to the UK economy?

Answer: £1.43bn – UK games industry contributed £1.43bn to the economy in 2015

Just to put video game popularity into perspective, one of the most popular video games on the market at the moment is the Call of Duty franchise, within 1 month of the release of the Call of Duty game “Black Ops”, the game had been played for 68,000 years worldwide. That seems unbelievable, but I don’t think anybody would be complaining if this was the case about linear algebra? The question is, how can we leverage that power for education.

Benefits of playing video games:

  • Video games are therapeutic: The University of Utah released a study which examined the effects of regular gaming on children diagnosed with illnesses like autism, depression and Parkinson’s disease. Kids who played certain games helped improve kids’ demeanours as they faced the daily challenges of their illnesses.
  • Video games can improve your vision: That’s right! Your mum might have warned you that sitting in front of the TV was not good for your eyes, however one developmental psychologist found it could actually be beneficial to your vision. People suffering from cataracts can improve their vision by playing first-person shooter games such as Call of Duty. This is because the fast paced gameplay requires a lot of attention and this helps to train the eyes to view things more sharply.
  • Video games improve motor skills: Researchers from Deakin University in Melbourne examined the development of 53 preschool-aged children and found that those who played video games had better object control motor skills than those who didn’t.
  • Video games improve your decision-making skills: Most video games require fast reactions and split-second decisions which could mean the difference between virtual life and virtual death. Neuroscientists at the University of Rochester in New York found that these games give players plenty of practice for making real life decisions.
  • Video games reduce stress: 2009’s annual review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine included a study which found that gamers that suffered from mental health issues such as stress and depression were able to vent their frustration and aggression by playing video games and showed a noted improvement.
  • Video games provide pain relief: Video games don’t just provide relief from emotional pain, they can also help those who are suffering from physical pain. Psychologists at the University of Washington developed a game which helps hospital patients suffering from immense physical pain by using an age-old mental trick: distraction.

GameTrack estimate that there are 20 million people of the 6-64 year old population that are playing video games in the UK. This translates to approximately 42% of the population and on average, this population spends 8.9 hours per week on games.

Benefits of using video games for education:

  • Mastery-based learning: Video games allow for mastery-based learning, meaning users don’t move onto the next level until they have conquered the last
  • Immediate performance feedback: Just like on Education Quizzes video games can easily offer scores. Gaming also offers educators a wealth of data on pupil performance
  • Fun! – Learning through video games makes the experience a lot more fun and interactive for the student

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