Far from being merely sources of entertainment, video games have all sorts of practical uses, as demonstrated by their use in numerous thriving industries and other sectors. Games of various types have long been proven to hone various skills, improve concentration and mental ability, and even strengthen co-ordination and motor skills.
There are also psychological benefits to playing games, such as the positive effect on self-esteem enjoyed when skills are mastered or when challenges are overcome. Take a closer look at how various professions have found practical uses for video games.
Games In the Military
The US Army has used games in the training of troops for centuries, so it is hardly surprising that video games are now also being used to great effect. In fact, the US Army is so great a supporter of gaming in training that it teamed up with a renowned Super Nintendo games developer to create the Multipurpose Arcade Combat Simulator for marksmanship training.
Other games used by the military include Raytheon’s customisable VIRTSIM virtual reality combat training system, Full Spectrum Warrior for Xbox by developer THQ and the Institute for Creative Technologies, the PC-based Tactical Iraqi Language and Culture Training System, Virtual Battlespace 2, and America’s Army for PC and Xbox.
Some of the video games used by the army aim to give players a virtual taste of situations in which they really could find themselves. Others are focused on practising and sharpening certain skills, and yet others can help develop players’ ability to strategize. Given the role of chance and strategy in certain games like Blackjack that are already on offer at an online casino, the US Army could have saved itself the expense of developing or purchasing strategy games, as they are already available in abundance.
Educational Video Games
That children learn through play is something parents have known since the days when we lived in caves. Whether outdoor, card, or board games, they have been used by teachers for a long time.
Among the benefits of using video gaming in education include student engagement, sharpening analytic and systematic thinking skills, ease of access which makes for frequent, bite-sized learning, better understanding sciences such as physics, and development of critical thinking and other cognitive skills. Video games such as Portal and Minecraft have a great deal of potential for use in education.
Games Develop Business Skills
Corporates and other businesses have also found a practical use for gaming. The most common is the use of simulators to help players develop soft skills that could give them the advantage in their field. Among those simulators are those used for developing team management, time management, and all-important negotiation skills used to resolve conflict situations.
Games in Healthcare
Even the medical profession has found practical uses for video games. Whether a nurse, a surgeon, or a dentist, there is a good chance they have encountered at least one of the games used for training and skills development.
There are simulator games that can help nurses choose the best response to possible real-life emergency cases, those that dentists in training can use to practice uncommon procedures, and those used by surgeons to strengthen co-ordination and perception of space.
Other Professions At Play
In addition to these major sectors that use video gaming for practical reasons rather than for entertainment only are the hospitality and food and beverage industries, accounting and finance, the appliances and electronics repairs industry, health insurance, emergency services such as fire fighting.
Gaming is more than just a multi-billion-dollar industry. It is clear that gaming tech’s penetration and reach is a force to be reckoned with.