There is a saying that goes, ‘the best way to teach or pass on knowledge is through entertainment. As surprising as this statement may seem, we can all agree that it is indeed true. One of the most obvious examples of learning through entertainment is demonstrated when young children are taught the letters of the alphabet through alphabet songs or games. I use this example because it is one of the most popular ways children learn their alphabet and it is also the most relatable. Children find entertainment appealing; games do not only let children have fun but also enable them to pick up new knowledge quickly as they interact with the game mechanism. This form of learning is also fancied by adults. As we know, human beings are curious creatures and playing games feeds their curiosity of humans as they unlock new knowledge.
Video games, also known as electronic games, are a type of games played on and with the aid of electronic devices. It is played by an interaction between the human player and a device to generate a reaction that is visualized on an electric screen such as; a computer monitor, cell phone screen, or television screen. Based on the method of control, there are 5 types of video games: home console games, computer games, arcade games, mobile games, and handheld games.
The Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device is the first-ever known video game. It was constructed by Thomas Goldsmith and Estle Ray Mann, in the early 1950s. More video games began to appear during the 1970s, among which are the Pong and Spacewar, which were known to be the most famous at the time.
The concept of video games has continuously been redefined over time as people now play games through newly discovered mediums; or electronic devices. Therefore, electronic devices are now the hub of video games.
Video games are not just a form of entertainment, but a way to increase human intelligence. An example can be in strategy games; you learn to think ahead by many steps, you learn to study your enemy, and your surroundings, and learn those moves that give you an advantage or disadvantage over enemies. This allows you to plan ahead, and build your army to full capacity in order to successfully defeat your enemy.
Here are a few more ways playing video games can improve your IQ.
- Improves hand and eye coordination: A study in 2014 by researchers in the University of Toronto explained that gamers picked up more easily when it came to Learning hand-eye coordination tasks. The study was conducted with two groups using two experiments. The first group was known as the ‘gamer group’. It contained people who had regularly played first-person shooter games for the past six months while the second group was referred to as the ‘non-gamer group’. This group contained those who had played few or no games in the last two years. In the first experiment, both groups were asked to use a computer mouse to keep an object at the center of a complicated (and repeatedly) moving target. In this experiment, both groups did pretty terribly at the beginning, but the gamers eventually became significantly better at the repetitive movement. In the second test, instead of the repetitive movements, they were made to use the same mouse to keep an object at the center of a randomly moving target. In this experiment, no group performed better than they did before, which showed that the gamers really were improving through learning. Also, a 2007 study showed that playing video games improved surgeons’ laparoscopic’ surgery skills. In 2013 a study showed that surgeons who “trained” with a video game warm-up before surgery were faster and made fewer mistakes
- Improves problem-solving skills: Adventure games are one type of video game that helps in improving your ability to solve problems. In this type of game, you learn to find creative ways to solve real-life problems. You may be in the woods and need to cross a river, you look around and discover that there is no bridge or there may be some dangerous animal blocking your way. In the video game, you may discover that in order to make your way past the obstacles before you, you would need to unlock a door hidden deep in the woods with a secret code. If you are faced with such situations in real life, of course, there may not be a hidden door with a code, what do you then do? Video games teach you to examine your surroundings in order to find solutions to such problems. By doing so, your creativity and IQ increase greatly.
- Improves communication skills: Communication skills are one very important social skill everyone must develop. Good communication skills enable one to relate with his environment as well as pass across to others how they feel. Playing video games has been shown to improve communication skills greatly. According to a study by researchers in Scotland, a test group of students demonstrated improved communication skills, adaptability, and resourcefulness after two months of playing video games regularly.
Video games are not just a source of entertainment. Studies have shown its impact on learning and education. It is a way by which one can improve intelligence quotient and become more socially relevant.