Since the first consoles arrived in the 1980s and 1990s, playing video games had always been considered a hobby, an activity of little value, and only served to distract yourself for a while. However, according to various recent studies, such as one carried out by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the United States, there are also benefits of video games: they can increase productivity in addition to other aspects that help us a lot in our professional careers.
Video games can allow us to acquire and practice valuable skills that will end up being very useful in our workplace. Plus, they've never been so close at hand. Currently, we can all access a game in seconds through our mobile phones.
When we are playing, we need to think creatively, constantly make decisions, try things without fear of being wrong, or plan taking into account how events will unfold in the future... In short, video games make us live a simulation of real life that in many cases it works as training for it.
Below we will review several of these benefits and how they can impact our job performance.
1. Decision making
Many workers tend to hesitate too much when making a decision in their workplace. But in many video games, we have to make many decisions and also in a very limited time. That can be great training for real life.
At first, it may seem strange, but these games can help our teams feel more confident in their decisions and know how to react better under pressure.
2. Better collaboration
In the past, video games were essentially a solitary activity that could even lead to isolation, but today, thanks to the integration of the Internet, many allow multiplayer games with or against other people. This completely changed the dynamics of video games and the potential benefits for gamers.
Games like Call of Duty have allowed gamers to compete and team up with other gamers online, creating situations where they have to work together to achieve common goals. A 2019 study from Brigham Young University showed a 20% increase in productivity. after a group of coworkers played 45 minutes of mobile games together.
On many occasions, while playing, we encounter problems that are difficult for us to solve. We fail and we try again, we fail again and we rack our heads thinking about how to get out of that quagmire until we finally succeed. This way of creating a solution out of thin air when we get caught up in a difficulty has obvious parallels to the real world.
Trying harder when we encounter difficulty is a valuable lesson when we are dealing with our duties and job responsibilities.
Although the degree of importance and complexity of the problems we face at work varies according to our position or the tasks we are assigned, being able to solve them quickly and efficiently is a universally valuable tool in all areas.
Role-playing games, puzzles, or strategic video games are the ones that contribute the most to developing this skill, which can be key in the development of our careers.
4. Social skills
Online video games allow their users to establish a meaningful social connection with other players. Today, most gamers play, interact, compete, and collaborate with other players in real-time, people who in many cases only know through the Internet.
For many of these people, multiplayer video games work much like a social network, allowing them to connect, communicate, and share with other people. The relationships born in the world of the game, usually also extend, if the possibility exists, to the real world. Therefore, these types of games force participants to develop social skills that will be beneficial for daily life and in their work environment.
5. Strategic planning
Real-time strategy video games make our brains have to react quickly to succeed and also strengthen our strategic thinking abilities. In this way, they make us improve our decision-making process, which promotes the ability to think creatively, strategize and act quickly based on mistakes made in the past.
This type of creative problem-solving requires the ability to think quickly and adapt to the fact that information reaches us in an irregular, changing, and disorderly way. For this reason, strategic planning is key to being successful in many of these multiplayer action and strategy video games (such as the aforementioned Call of Duty).
Expert gamers exhibit great cognitive flexibility that allows them to multi-task and successfully solve problems on the fly, both of which are highly valuable skills that can be applied in a wide variety of personal and professional circumstances.
6. Leadership among the benefits of video games
According to a 2017 study by two Russian researchers, Mariia Rubtcova and Oleg Pavenkov, video games have a positive impact on a player's ability to form and develop leadership skills that will be useful throughout their professional career.
Specifically, 89% of the players participating in the study demonstrated organizational skills. 66% knew how to influence the thinking and behavior of others. 75% of the participants had high self-control capacities. 68% of the players showed that they had personal leadership abilities and 89% tenacity in their purposes. For their part, 55% knew how to manage groups and 67% of the players knew how to apply a creative approach to solving problems. Due to all this, the study concluded that video games have a positive impact on the training and development of people's leadership skills.
7. Conflict resolution
One of the greatest attractions of video games is that we have the possibility of not being ourselves, of being able to play as if we were other characters. This helps players to develop some empathy towards others, it allows them to put themselves in the shoes of another in a very natural way. Furthermore, it also forces you to create ways to resolve conflict from alternative and often insightful perspectives.
When we play an online real-time strategic simulation game, we also develop negotiation and conflict resolution skills that automatically carry over to academic, work, and personal life situations.