July 18, 2005
When you play videogames, you're giving your brain an intense workout, and the skills you're developing are useful across the board.
It's not like riding a bike, where the muscles you develop are useful for riding a bike. When you're playing a videogame, you're stretching your ability to notice things with your peripheral vision (useful for driving cars without killing people), recognize patterns, remember intricate series of events, and to delay instant gratification for greater rewards later.
Most of all, you're practicing learning.
Compare it to homework, where you simply repeat what you've already learned until it's boring. It never gets faster. And if you're making mistakes, you don't get any feedback until the teacher grades your work and hands it back.
With videogames, you get instant response to your mistakes and a chance to correct them right away. And when you've mastered a pattern or figured out a puzzle and moved on, the next puzzle is more challenging and the next pattern is faster or more complex ... or both.
Videogames keep you constantly on the edge of your abilities, stretching, growing.
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