Computer games: Gaming makes you productive and creative

Computer games are controversial. Associations of light-shy characters who play first-person shooters day in and day out are still the most harmless. But the reputation is not justified. It is well established that computer games can have positive effects. And that is entirely right independent Lyon age; Whether for teenagers, professionals or seniors – in healthy doses, it does something useful: Because computer games can make you happy, increase productivity and improve several skills simultaneously why Computer Games Is Better Than Its Reputation and How You Can Benefit From It.

Computer games: put an end to the bad reputation.

For many years, computer games had a terrible reputation and many prejudices to contend with. Anyone who spent their free time playing games in front of the monitor was labeled a social outsider, a nerd who only eats pizza and cola, probably neglected, naturally pale due to the lack of sun, and inevitably single because no partner can be found in the digital world.

All nonsense! The image of computer games has changed, and it is increasingly popular in the mainstream. Millions of fans follow games and tournaments, famous gamblers become stars who earn a fortune on the Internet, and even large and well-known newspapers are now reporting on computer games, events, and personalities.

In short: computer games are all the rage. Since the point of view is no longer only determined by negative prejudices, the numerous advantages that computer games can bring are also considered.

Underestimated gambling: healthy through computer games

A few years ago, Jane McGonigal suffered a severe concussion. To accelerate the healing process, she should be advised by a doctor: not to read, not to write, not to jog, to avoid caffeine, and not to play video games.

The game designer followed the doctor’s advice for 30 days – to no avail. On the contrary, she developed anxiety, depression, and even suicidal tendencies. However, according to her doctor, the brain cannot regenerate without positive emotions. So she said to herself: “Either I’ll kill myself or I’ll turn the whole thing into a game.” It sounds very dramatic, but it worked! Why? McGonigal explains it this way …

  • Games make you optimistic. They give us the feeling that we can do anything and meet any challenge.
  • Games make you curious. They are exciting, and we are excitedly looking forward to the next level or the final boss.
  • Games encourage. They encourage self-motivation and perseverance, even when you’ve suffered defeat.
  • Games make sense. Because we have a goal in mind, we want to (virtually) build, create, or achieve something.

She carried these principles into real life. She created a real-time game to speak, made her superhero identity, tied her twin sister, husband, friends, gave them and themselves tasks, and awarded points. A few days later, she said she was feeling noticeably better. The gamification approach helped her get well again.

In the meantime, she has written a whole book about her experiences and has also rummaged through countless studies on the subject of computer games. Her recommendation: Computer games can help make us mentally stronger.

Computer games against dementia

Retirement centre residents react to playing a video game. A study has shown that the risk of dementia could be reduced by playing video games that exercise the brain. Photo: AFP

A Hamburg start-up is also pursuing the approach that computer games can make you fitter mentally and physically.

Dementia is an increasing problem due to demographic development: More than 1.5 million Germans have dementia – the German Alzheimer’s Society expects three million people by 2050.

The young, interdisciplinary company called Retrobrain has already developed four computer games. They should be used against dementia, to prevent falls, against muscle breakdown in bedridden patients, and as a rehabilitation measure for stroke patients. Another game is already being planned, especially for people with Parkinson’s disease.

The whole thing is still being tested. The idea behind it is that just ten minutes of computer games a day could be enough to prevent falls or dementia. Everyone involved is optimistic; after all, the Berlin Humboldt University led the research, financed by the Barmer Krankenkasse. The city of Hamburg and the Federal Ministry of Economics is also involved in the company itself.

If the results are positive, computer games could be a cash benefit shortly.

Computer games at work: a good idea!

Computer games at work? At first glance, that doesn’t sound like a boss’s behavior to see from employees. But every second person in the office has already done it. At least the Hamburg Media School came to this conclusion in a survey.

Result: More than half of the respondents have already paddled in the office, 16 percent play several times a week, over 12 percent even daily. On average, the game is played for 28.6 minutes. However, whether this happens during the lunch break or working hours remained open in the survey – so many employees spend half an hour playing computer games.

This is not wasted working time, but actually, a good idea: The Hamburg researchers were also able to show that the computer game breaks had positive effects. For example, those who relaxed while daddling after a severe word problem were much more concentrated than subjects in a control group.

This also coincides with other research results. Scientists at Penn State University, for example, have shown that daddling makes you downright more creative.

Shyam Sundar and Elizabeth Hutton had students play popular video games and then take creativity tests. It showed that happy and sad test subjects reached a creative climax after the game, but angry and relaxed players did not.

In other words: the excitement that arises while playing is less relevant for creative impulses than the state of mind afterward. Other studies also show that we get into ” flow ” – that is, a productive state of happiness- as soon as we play.

Pros: This skill encourages computer games

Usually, computer games are viewed as a pure pastime. Motto: Sit a little in front of the monitor, press a few buttons, and spoil your free time. That’s true, but the time spent playing computer games is by no means wasted or useless. Instead, computer games promote numerous abilities and essential skills.

The main reason for this: Many different skills are required in computer games and are trained regularly. Quite playful and on the side. We have listed various skills and competencies for you that can be improved by playing computer games:


According to McGonigal, synchronization can improve team performance. In this case, synchronization means that you adapt your behavior, thereby building trust and a sense of camaraderie, an interpersonal bond.

For example, this happens when you show similar facial expressions, concentrate on the same thing, or breathe at the same speed. Video games create precisely this effect. So why not play a little with your colleagues?


A minor aspect of video games that have so far been neglected: Improving our foreign language skills. More precisely: you improve our English. Swedish researchers from the University of Gothenburg and Karlstad observed 76 children between the ages of ten and eleven.

The boys played computer games an average of 11.5 hours a week, the girls not even half as much, only 5.1 hours. On the other hand, the girls spent more time (11.5 hours) on Facebook and other Internet services used to communicate a lot, the boys only eight hours.

Result: Multiplayer online role-playing games improve children’s English skills the most. “As a player, you have to be able to understand what is being said, you have to read and interact in English by writing and speaking in English yourself,” says study author Liss Kerstin Sylvén from the University of Gothenburg. Your main message: Those who regularly play video games have a significantly larger English vocabulary than non-gamers.


Whoever plays becomes more creative. Several years ago, this was shown by scientists from Michigan State University in a study of around 500 twelve-year-olds. Ask the children to draw an exciting and creative picture, give it a title, and then write a story about it afterward.

The children who played the most were much more imaginative – regardless of whether they were boys or girls or which game they played regularly. This effect did not exist when the children “only” used cell phones, the Internet, and computers in general. Translated, it means: Those who only consume passively do not stimulate their creativity as much as an active player.

Cognitive abilities

Those who play computer games can improve their cognitive abilities and thus reduce their mental age by a few years. Scientists from the University of Iowa showed this. They investigated how the mental decline and the decline in attention, perception, and problem-solving skills can be slowed down – and found the solution in computer games.

After just ten hours, the subjects’ mental capabilities corresponded to a person three years younger. The mental decline was not only prevented or slowed down, the cognitive abilities even increased.


Above all, video games, in which overall there is a lot of confusion, in which, for example, goals quickly come into view and then disappear again. You have to make decisions at lightning speed, improve the attention of a gamer. Such computer games lead to a faster perception and help to classify and process new information in a shorter time.

They had so-called brain games, educational games that aim specifically to advance. This is what the US scientists C. Shawn Green and Aaron R. Seitz write. It is wild action games that stimulate concentration and information processing – not the pedagogically correct games.

tactics In computer games, a distinction is made between two types of strategy games. On the one hand, the turn-based strategy game, in which the individual players (as in the classic board game) play one after the other.

On the other hand, there is a real-time strategy game in which the players play simultaneously. Both types train target-oriented, profitable, strategic, and tactical action, with the first form of the strategy game being incredibly involved in the structure. More precise planning is also possible since the players are not under time pressure.

This promotes patience, diplomacy, and thinking skills.

The feared adverse effects also exist, but only with absolute extreme players who spend countless hours with computer games and have absolutely no compensation. In the worst case, gambling leads to addictive behavior, lack of exercise, epileptic seizures, and hurts social behavior. Therefore: Playing a little computer game every day with colleagues or friends has many advantages, but you shouldn’t overdo it.

Computer games increase the wellbeing of young people.

Andrew Przybylski from Oxford University and Netta Weinstein from Cardiff University shows that teenagers’ wellbeing more time they spend in front of a screen, the more increases! Teenagers feel better and are happier after playing computer games or watching TV for a while.

This is not unlimited, but up to a certain point. Only then do the young people’s wellbeing decrease. A general ban on computer games or the use of screens of any kind can therefore damage satisfaction. When there is too much of a good thing depends mainly on the type of screen. The peak is reached on working days.

  • Video games after an hour and 40 minutes.
  • Smartphones after an hour and 57 minutes.
  • Watching a film after three hours and 41 minutes.
  • Computers after four hours and 17 minutes.

Whether it has to be that long in practice is open to discussion – but at least a little computer games will help you feel better.

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1 reply

  1. I couldn’t agree more! Growing up playing MMO’s has taught me valuable life lessons such as buying and selling in the markets. However, I hardly have times for video games nowadays but every now and then I get dragged back into MMO’s


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