You hear that? Next time someone tells you that all that gaming can’t possibly be good for you, you can repeat the words, “Well, study shows that gaming is good for your brain” and watch their jaws drop to the floor when you dazzle them with accompanying facts. You’ll probably get marched straight to your room and grounded, or given the cold shoulder treatment, but at least you’ll look smart doing it.
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According to new research, there might actually be some benefits to playing games online.
Analysing the academic performances of 12,000 Australian students aged 15, Melbourne’s RMIT University found that those who played online games scored higher in science and maths than their peers.
Tracking the social activities of the students, researchers from RMIT’s School of Economics, Finance and Marketing showed that online gamers scored 15 points higher than the average in maths and 17 points higher than the average in science. In contrast, students who used Facebook every day were 20 points worse than students who didn’t use social media at all.
Reviewing the results, Associate Professor Alberto Posso has suggested that online gamers are more used to solving puzzles and working with odds than non-gamers. Although it’s just a single study, the implication is that playing online games can improve your powers of logic, deduction and reasoning. If that is true, then people should be clamouring to play one of the many online games out there in a bid to enhance their brains.
Online Gaming is a Growing Entity
So, if you did want to play one of these “online games” and improve your math skills, what options are out there?
Of course, it’s not just teenagers who are playing games online. In fact, when you survey the industry as a whole, the current estimates suggest that more than 400 million people now take part in games of all shapes and sizes. From MMOs such as StarCraft and Overwatch to casino games such as blackjack and poker, millions are now testing their strategic thinking on a daily basis. In fact, when we look at the value of the professional eSports industry (where 18+ adults compete in games for prize money) and iGaming (online betting industry), the combined annual revenue is more than $41 billion.
Using Logic to Solve the Gaming Puzzle
Essentially, thanks to the rise of technology, people can now play all manner of games online. For example, if you’re a fan of games of logic then Betway Casino gives you the ability to play everything from blackjack to roulette. When you log in to Betway Casino, you’ll find 25 blackjack variants, including Vegas Strip and Multi-hand, and each offers a subtle twist on the game.
Indeed, if you’ve ever watched gambling movies such as 21 or read books like Bringing Down the House, you’ll know that blackjack is a game based on odds. Thanks to strategies like card counting, blackjack players can analyse the dynamics of the game (such as the number of cards in play and the value of the cards shown) and actually improve their overall expected value/return or EV. In fact, it doesn’t matter if a player antes up on a practice table or in a real-money game, they still need the same appreciation of odds and logic to win.
Similarly, a League of Legends player’s objective when they go online and play is to destroy the opposing team’s nexus. To overthrow the enemy, a player must acquire skills and plan attacks based on their own strengths and their opponents’ weaknesses. This idea of planning coordinated attacks is akin to a military operation and relies on game theory (mathematical model for making optimal moves), logical deduction and timing.
As with casino games such as poker and blackjack, there is also an element of luck involved in video games like League of Legends. However, the reliance on strategy and memory should not be underrated and certainly feeds into the idea that gaming can improve a person’s ability to make both quick and reasoned decisions.