Video gaming has for the longest time been a contentious issue, especially among caregivers and parents who are concerned about the effects of taking too much time in front of the console. 

Yet, it is evident that some forms of gaming can actually be beneficial among people of all ages and gender. Several studies have proved that playing video games could protect older people from dementia in older people and improve learning among school-going children.

In this article, we will discuss how video games can enhance cognitive skills among school-going kids and all other people who chose it as their way of entertainment and fun activity.

Understanding video gaming and cognition.

Also called a computer game, the video game is an electronic gaming system that involves interactions with an input device or a user interface to produce visual feedback. 

The input devices may include joysticks, motion-sensing devices, a keyboard, or a controller to generate the visual feedback via TV sets, a monitor, or a virtual reality headset. Video gaming is often enhanced with audio feedback via headphones or speakers. Occasionally, it may use other feedback like haptic technology.

Video gaming is generally defined based on their presentation platforms such as console games, arcade games or personal computers, or PC games. Video games have recently extended to mobile gaming on tablet computers and smartphones, augmented and virtual reality systems, and cloud gaming.

Cognition is a term used to refer to the collection of all the methods and psychological abilities to attention, knowledge, decision, working memory, problem-solving, evaluation, and decision making. Cognitive techniques use the existing knowledge and skills to generate new helpful ideas.

Due to the quality of interaction compared to other media, video gaming has witnessed a progressive rise in recent years because of the claims of improving the cognitive functions and abilities of individuals.

Though playing video games may be associated with the development of other vices like depression, aggression, and addiction, researchers have begun documenting its benefits in terms of improving cognitive abilities, mental health, and general well-being in learners.

How video games can enhance cognitive skills in school goers.

Based on the conclusions made by the authors of a review by Frontiersin, video gaming is beneficial in both emotional and cognitive skills. The study showed that school-going children who played video games showed significant improvements in their memory compared to those who do not play.

This implied that video gaming can have great and long-lasting benefits on memory and cognitive abilities. Below are how video gaming bolsters cognitive skills in learners.

  1. Enhancement in basic visual processes.

These processes include:

  • Improved visual contrast sensitivity.

This is the ability to separate the small underlying differences in the shades of gray from controls. Several studies have shown that fifty hours of gaming spread over 12 weeks can improve this feature in children.

  • Successful treatment of “lazy eye” or amblyopia.

This is a disorder that is common from childhood, where one eye becomes partially non-functional. Several research has proved that playing video games at a school-going age can treat this condition back to normal or near normal.

 Gaming also improves visual attention and the ability to coordinate the input of two eyes to see farther-stereoscopic vision.

  1. Improvement in vigilance and attention.

Action games have been extensively associated with the ability of children to maintain a track of similar moving objects in a visual field. They have also been proven to improve spatial attention-the ability to quickly locate a target stimulus in an area of distractors.

Playing video games also is known to reduce impulsiveness by instilling the ability to restrain from responding to non-target stimuli in an instance where the triggers need a response. It also helps in overcoming dyslexia and improves children’s rating on reading and phonology scores.

  1. Improvement in executive functioning.

Executive functioning is the ability of an individual to allocate mental resources like memory, attention, and perception to allow for efficient and quick problem solving and decision-making skills.

Several experiments have reflected a positive change due to video gaming towards improved executive functioning ability. Notable examples include improved ability to simultaneously engage in multitasks, increased mental flexibility, and reduction to mental decline due to aging in adults.


As a parent or a caregiver who has been apprehensive to allow your children to play video games due to its side effects, the benefits summarized in this post should make you reconsider your take.

Video gaming can significantly improve your child’s cognitive abilities, which are significant in today’s world. Video games enhance visual processes like visual contrast sensitivity and treatment of amblyopia. 

It also improves a child’s executive functioning, vigilance, and attention, essential for complete mental development.

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