Hi all! A bit delayed on my Sunday post (so happy Monday!) as I was wrapping up my final for a grad class. I hope you’ve all been staying safe and well and hope you weren’t holding out for a Sunday post!

Like the title indicates…I recently started playing this video game called Valorant (an upcoming free-to-play multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Riot Games. The game is set to be released for Microsoft Windows in the summer of 2020, with a closed beta that launched on April 7, 2020).

Riot's shooter Valorant goes into beta on April 7th - The Verge

There’s a ton of talk about how video games are terrible for people (if you get addicted and are unable to do any other thing, then yes, that is troubling) and how they impact the brain so I thought I’d do a post highlighting six benefits/positives of playing video games.

1) It helps with problem solving and logic.

Before playing Valorant, I played this other game Town of Salem (an online multiplayer role-playing strategy game developed by BlankMediaGames. It was released on Steam for Windows and macOS on December 15, 2014).

Town of Salem Tips Guide - 7 Things the Game Doesn't Tell You

Enjoy this Wikipedia description of Town of Salem below:

Town of Salem is inspired by the party games Werewolf and Mafia, in which players adopt different roles belonging to different teams, of an informed minority and uninformed majority, aiming to eliminate each other for control of the village or town. As the name implies, the game takes place in the historical town of SalemMassachusetts, alluding to the infamous witch-hunt trials that killed innocent townspeople due to paranoia and superstition. The chief strategy of the game is to survive and accomplish win conditions. Players use a combination of role abilities, teamwork, communication, deduction and deception to achieve victory.

Town of Salem - iOS and Android Launch Announcement | BlankMediaGames

Town of Salem is huge on logic as much as it is strategy, persuasion and communication.

Games like Town of Salem is similar to a popular phone game “Cut The Rope” and even good old Sudoku. Playing games like these helps your brain come up with creative ways to solve problems without it really costing you anything. You can practice, explore, find different ways of doing things–this trial and error approach in games is incredibly useful in real life.

2) Video games help with hand-eye coordination, fine motor, and spatial skills.

In shooting games like Valorant, you’re going to be running, hiding, shooting–this requires the video game player to keep track of the character, where they are heading, where the gun is aiming, etc. This all requires a lot of eye-hand coordination and visual-spatial ability to succeed. Research suggests that people can learn spatial and visual attention skills from video games.

3) Growth mindset and perseverance!

seasoned with perseverance - salt bae1 | Meme Generator

No matter how great a video game player is now currently…they didn’t start off instantly that great. Some people may have a little more of a gamer advantage to them, but with practice, you get better. The best people out there don’t necessarily succeed on their first try.

Video games give you a sense of accomplishment when you reach goals or level up. This can translate in real life and help you garner more motivation to advance, learn, and achieve in other aspects of life.

I was TERRIBLE at Valorant – I was pointing my crosshair closer to the ground as opposed to eye level while my character walked and wasn’t looking at all the angles, stood out in the open (just honestly asking enemies to just shoot my character down, tbh), but hey I was and still am a beginner! Learning from mistakes is key. Games are a safe place for you to make mistakes, learn, and ultimately succeed over time. 

Valorant: How to shoot? tips - Valorant Guide | gamepressure.com

+ A crosshair is a circular range most commonly associated with telescopic sights for aiming (lets players know what/where they’re going to shoot).

4) Playing video games help with planning and resource management.

planning-meme - ELGL

With Valorant, you are either team attackers or team defenders (whichever your team starts with first–random) for 12 rounds before switching to the other. This allows both teams to be both attackers and defenders.

  • The goal for the attackers is to deliver the spike to a site (depends on the map if there are two sites A and B, or if there’s three sites: A, B, and C) and plant the spike.
    – TO WIN:
    + Attackers plant the bomb and the defenders cannot defuse in time (each round is 1 minute and 30 seconds).
    + Defenders are all eliminated during the round.
  • The goal of defenders then would be to either defuse the bomb before time is up or to eliminate all the attackers.

The more you win, the more resources you are given (you get to keep your gun so you don’t need to waste more game money to purchase new equipment) along with more confidence to continue the streak.

Resources are not unlimited, so teams need to be strategic in what they decide to purchase, which characters they choose to be and strategic in how they use the character’s powers, and which site they decide to either guard/plant the spike. You learn to manage resources that are limited and decide the best use of resources the way you do in real life.

5) Video games can help improve adaptability and multitasking skills.

With Valorant, your enemies can sneak up on you easily if you’re not watching all angles. They could be hidden behind a wall, standing on top of a box or window, waiting for you to be out in the open to get their shot at you. If your team is trying to push to plant the bomb at site A and you see tons of enemies shooting and blocking your entrance there, you might decide to make a run for B instead with another teammate or two while the others distract them by site A. You learn to be adaptable and quick in changing tactics.

I love TED Talks, so here’s another one from 2012 (but still good) that talks about our brain on video games and how it helps us focus, learn, and multitask.

6) Teamwork, cooperation, and communication!

Multiplayer games like Valorant and Town of Salem involve cooperation with other online players in order to win. Games like these encourage you to make the most of individual skills to contribute to the larger team.

11 Coolest Teamwork Meme and Lessons To be Learned - My Cool Team

For Valorant, you rely heavily on sound (if enemies are running and making loud shuffling noises, you’re able to more easily track them down than players who walk stealthily by pressing down the SHIFT key; paying attention to where enemies are shooting their guns or using other abilities) and information exchange with your team (certain characters have abilities to track where enemies are) or seeing where enemies or teammates are being killed.

Valorant beta guide: Best Agents for new players - Polygon

I’ve seen some people do extremely well and take on four enemies alone, but the best teams are ones who work together and give positive reinforcement as opposed to players who yell at their own team. When has negative attitude and verbal abuse help to make something better?

From games like Valorant, you learn how to work better within a team, you learn how to cooperate to reach a common goal, and it all starts with effective communication. This game gives you tons of room to practice all three.

Do you play any video games? If so, which one(s)?

How do you think they help you in real life?

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justviasyl
Aspiring to be a woman comfortable and happy mentally, physically and professionally, JustviaSyl highlights Sylvia's personal and professional development journey through tips, thoughts, and stories in hopes of bringing more positive energy into the world and encouraging us to keep learning, laughing, growing, relaxing and reflecting to become the best versions of ourselves and live a life we're remarkably proud of. To get in touch or work together, send a note to justviasyl@gmail.com

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Anteneh
Anteneh
3 months ago

Playing video games is one of my favorite pastimes. More than ever, it is a great way to escape current reality, as we spend so much time indoors during this pandemic. I haven’t played my PlayStation 3 in a long awhile so to my surprise, it was amazing to catch up on my gaming history, remembering how I waited for each game to be released, playing it, and wishing I could forget it to play it all again to enjoy the action, adventure and gameplay as I did the first-time. Then again, with a list of in-game accomplishments, I found… Read more »

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