Cognitive Benefits of Playing Action Video Games

Video games have been around for more than 50 or even 60 years. It is a form of entertainment that is very interactive and allows you to live a life through another set of eyes. The whole aspect of taking control of another character is very interesting. Sure, movies and music can portray you some kind of a story, but they do not allow you to become a part of the story.

In the past, video gaming was seen as something childish and something everyone should grow out of. Most people would avoid playing more than two or three hours and some parents wouldn’t even allow their children to game at all.

However, since then, a lot of things have changed. First, the monitors and TVs that we use today for gaming have completely changed. We have made the transition from CRT displays to LED/LCD. These do not cause as much eyestrain to the human eye as CRT displays. The other important change that we saw in this industry is the understanding that video games can actually be beneficial to both children and adults.

This is especially true for the action genre. Of course, there are some benefits to playing, for example, puzzle titles such as developing problem-solving techniques, but the cognitive benefits of the action genre are much more apparent. If you’re interested in these benefits, make sure you keep reading this article.

Hand-eye coordination

Source: Electronics | HowStuffWorks

The most obvious and the best benefit of playing action video games is the fact that it can improve hand to eye coordination. In fact, many studies have actually proven just how much improvement there is between the eyes and the movement of the body. Basically, the time needed to process the image in front of your eyes and for the information to be sent to your body for a reaction is effectively reduced.

This is especially true for action titles because there is simply more action. A lot more things are happening in a shorter amount of time. For example, a simple adventure videogame does not require a lot of actions to be input by the user. All you have to do is walk in a certain direction, interact with items and that’s about it. When there’s action, you constantly have to press the corresponding buttons.

A great example of such an action game is World of Warcraft. Let’s say you are in a raid and in a difficult boss fight. For the actions that the boss does, your body will need to reply with the proper reactions. If the boss attacks you with spell number one, you will need to counteract with spell number one too. If you were to press another button, you would lose. By constantly training this reaction time inside of the gaming world, you will effectively improve it in real life too.

However, not everyone can benefit from playing an action title. To see real benefits, one needs to be good at the game, and not everyone can be good. According to, the Horrific Visions segment of World of Warcraft has become so complex and difficult, not everyone can finish it. This is why many people have considered getting a WoW BfA Visions boost. Keep in mind, there is nothing wrong with getting a bit of help to boost your character.

Improves memory

Source: Curcumall

Almost every single title in the action genre has some kind of segment where you will have to use your brain, or more accurately, your memory. You will need to remember certain parts of the story or clues that you will need to use in the future. By constantly keeping your mind active and thinking about that certain memory, your ability to remember will actually improve. The more things you have to keep thinking about, the better at it you will get.

Memory is also used when using your keyboard and your mouse. Think about it, an average keyboard has over 70 keys. Can you use at least 20 of those without looking at the keyboard? Have you memorized where W, A, S, and D are located? Have you also memorized all of the other keys around WASD?

Knowing with which finger you need to respond while playing is another proof of how video games can improve your ability to remember.

Problem-Solving skills

Source: New York Post

Did you know that some people do not have any kind of problem-solving skills? It is something that you can be naturally born into, but it is also something that you can learn. The ability to solve complicated problems and the speed with which you can solve them is essential for leading a healthy regular daily life.

Fortunately, even if you have no previous skill in solving problems, by playing complicated video games, you could improve yourself and that exact segment. The constant requirement to interact with the story will improve this skill.

For example, sometimes you have to press a button, other times you will need to push a certain box, and so on. As you progress through the story of a certain title, you will constantly be forced to do something to continue. Once you get the hang of it, you’re actually understanding how to solve the problems you are faced with.

Improved concentration

Source: Improved concentration

What I believe is one of the most interesting cognitive benefits of playing video games is the fact that they can actually improve your focus. This happens because most games usually have a captivating story. Progress through it, you have to constantly be focused on what’s happening around you and the characters you communicate with. If you stop paying attention to the story, you probably won’t be able to finish it.

Since most of us aim to finish what you start, you will start to improve your level of concentration considerably.

Assuming that you have decided to enter the world of gaming, you’re probably glad to hear about all of these cognitive benefits. These points we made in the article are great, but never forget that the whole point of the videogame is to just have fun. So, sit down, grab the keyboard, play, and relax.