6 Surprising Benefits of Video Gaming for Business Professionals.
What springs to your mind when you hear “video gaming”? Images of violence? Mindless, juvenile fun? Since the advent of arcade games in the days of Space Invaders and Pong, much has been said of the nature of video gaming – and much of it negative.
Contrary to popular belief, recent studies show that gaming can offer multiple cognitive benefits, particularly for business professionals. Below are 6 ways in which video gaming can improve your work life.
1 – Boosting leadership skills. Role-playing games reward and encourage leadership traits. Whether by encouraging you to provide for virtual ‘communities’ or secure the safety of other characters, this can positively affect your ability to lead your colleagues in an office environment.
2 – Enhancing vision. Whilst focusing too long on artificially-lit screens can indeed strain your eyesight, evidence suggests that gaming can actually improve it. One study shows that 10-weeks of gaming can help the human eye discern between similar shades of a single colour, whilst another demonstrates the ‘healing’ properties of gaming – participants were asked to play games using only their ‘bad’ eye to see, and after a time results showed that the players had significantly improved vision in this eye. When executed in moderation, gaming can enhance your vision – this is particularly relevant for business professionals working in creative industries.
3 – Improving decision-making and problem-solving skills. Exposure to constant, new information and the level of improvisation in certain games strengthens your ability to quickly adapt to new and unfamiliar situations. Moreover, as each game involves certain rules, you must think carefully before proceeding in your gameplay – or it’s game over. This ability to think fast but carefully in the virtual world can be translated to an office crisis in which circumstances have changed abruptly and solutions need to be found pronto.
4 – Strengthening social skills and team-working. Video gamers are cruelly known for being “loners”, incapable of communicating with real people – but this is untrue. Online gaming allows multiple players to engage in one game simultaneously, which results in players being in constant dialogue with one another to progress through the game. This not only improves your communication skills, but also your ability to work within a team to identify and solve problems in an efficient manner.
5 – Increasing productivity and learning capability. Action and role-playing games are notoriously addictive to many gamers – they somehow manage to capture your attention for the whole duration of gameplay. As these games often incorporate multiple ‘quests’ in which you must achieve certain goals to proceed to the next stage, your attention-span and concentration levels are improved.
Furthermore, gaming requires players to rely on their visual and audial memory. For example, you must remember instructions shared at the beginning of a game to continually proceed to the next stages of play, in addition to mastering new commands on a keyboard or controller to navigate the virtual world.
As many games demand a high level of attention and concentration, and require you to improve your short- and long-term memory, your capability to focus and learn is strengthened through gaming. In a business environment, this translates to greater productivity when carrying out task-based work.
6 – Reducing stress and anxiety. The aforementioned benefits of gaming provide players with the necessary skills to navigate office life and tackle difficult tasks that would normally cause them stress. A study in 2010 at Texas A&M even demonstrated that violent video games – yes, the so-called ‘bad’ ones – provide a virtual outlet for your real-world frustration. This means you are less likely to become hostile (or simply unpleasant) during stressful situations at work.
Video gaming – sounds promising, right?
Prove us wrong by testing out these benefits for yourself.
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