How video games can help you increase your multitasking skills and various other facets of your cognitive functionalities?
If you have just started playing video games on either the console, the PC or just your smartphone, don’t worry, you are not alone in this. According to Statista, there will be more than 2.7 B gamers worldwide by 2021. Moreover, along with the increasing number of players throughout the globe, the average age of gamers is also on the rise, and as per another analysis by Statista in 2019, 40% of all people that play video games fall into the age brackets of 18-35.
The constant innovation and evolution in digital technologies have also dictated video game trends, exposing newer demographics of players. Although many gamers prefer to play games on consoles and PCs, there is a wide increase in the number of mobile video game lovers as well. Playing games on the smartphone has become the freshest form of entertainment. So, alright, we understand the video game industry is here to stay and has become a vital form of entertainment for literally billions of people – but do video games positive affect our behavior or our brains?
1NeuroRacer – research on how gaming helps improve your multitasking skills
There have been numerous attempts to use video games to curb, reverse, or repair cognitive deficiencies and decline pertaining to aging; however, the outcome has always been inconclusive. But in 2013, University of California neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley formulated a new approach to fight cognitive decline using video games. He targeted a single facet of human cognition, multitasking.
Gazzaley, along with his fellow neuroscientists were able to demonstrate that just a little bit of training, playing a video game they specifically designed (NeuroRacer) for this experiments, could very well enhance multitasking performance. And they were able to present that the increase in performance could easily last up to 6 months.
The subjects Gazzaley and his colleagues used fell in the age bracket of 20-70. The concept of the game is simple; players have to steer a car on a single, winding track using one finger of their left hand while reacting to different road signs. There are multiple and multi-colored road signs, and they have to signal the presence of each road sign with one finger of their right hand. However, the researchers, at first glance, we’re able to determine that initial performance by older individuals linearly declined as the age brackets increased.
However, after practicing and playing the games for well over twelve hours during four weeks, Gazzaley and his colleagues were able to identify a stark difference in performance between twenty-year-olds and sixty to eighty-year-olds. Older individuals enormously improved and outperformed younger players.
Also, these improvements in multitasking in older individuals lasted six months owing to rigorous gameplay training.
Other tremendous cognitive advantages of video games