[Written By External Partner]
At all levels of school, students are facing a variety of challenges. Yet, one of the biggest things that keep them back from academic success is a lack of focus and concentration.
According to numerous studies, a huge share of students struggles to maintain focus during their studies. This issue is especially pressing these days. Statistics reveal that the average attention span before the 2000s was 12 seconds. After 2000 it began decreasing at a rapid pace. Now, this indicator is at 8.25 seconds. And this significantly affects modern students’ ability to stay concentrated.
One way students cope with this problem is by resorting to professional academic help. These days, you can turn to a professional helper like WritePaper to get your assignments done even when your concentration is at its lowest. This service helps students set themselves up for success in any situation. Yet, there is one more thing that can also help. You might be surprised, but it’s mobile games.
How Does Gaming Affect One’s Brain?
First of all, in order to understand the benefits of mobile games for students’ focus, it’s important to discover the effect of gaming on one’s brain.
An interesting study published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal reveals the answer. For this study, researchers invited 29 male students from the University of Electronic Science and Technology in China.
Specialists divided all participants into two groups:
- Experts – Young people with at least 2 years of gaming experience who fall into the League of Legends top 7% of players.
- Non-Experts – Young people with less than a half year of experience who fall into the League of Legends lowest 11% of players.
Researchers studied the brain activity of participants from both groups before and after playing the League of Legends. The core purpose of the study was to assess their selective attention. The human visual selective attention is the brain’s ability to concentrate on relevant visual data and suppress less relevant information. In a nutshell, a person with such ability can use their brain more effectively. They can focus on relevant information or tasks and block out distractions.
The initial scanning revealed that expert participants had better visual selective attention than non-experts. When young people were asked to play League of Legends for one hour, the scanning showed that participants from both groups had higher brain activity associated with selective attention.
The results suggest that short periods of playing such games (whether on desktop or mobile) can significantly improve one’s ability to concentrate and avoid distraction. So, if you were wondering whether or not mobile games can improve students’ focus, the answer is yes.
It has been scientifically proven that such experiences affect the brain’s activity. It boosts selective visual attention. Thus, it positively affects one’s academic capabilities too. But, even that’s not all.
The Effect of Mobile Games on Students’ Engagement
A lack of engagement affects the ability to focus. If you are not interested in doing something, your brain will procrastinate and get distracted by something more interesting. And that’s one more case where mobile games can help.
One of the primary reasons for bringing gamification into classrooms is to boost students’ engagement. Different mobile games are bright, dynamic, and feature interesting gameplay. Needless to say that all these things make them incredibly engaging for users. Therefore, by leveraging them as an educational tool, we can significantly improve students’ engagement and, respectively, boost their focus on classroom activities.
Moreover, modern games often involve different social features. They create a strong community of insiders and let users challenge each other, track their progress, and display this process to their mates. Such features create a sense of competition, which makes the process even more exciting.
By leveraging this phenomenon in the educational landscape, educators create more sophisticated classroom activities that keep young people involved. Respectively, by making them more involved, we also make them more focused on the process.
How Mobile Games Affect Students’ Memory
If we study the positive effects of mobile gaming technology in education, we can learn one more thing. Such activities affect not just young people’s concentration. They also affect their memory. Thanks to sophisticated graphics and immersive audio, such apps are packed with different stimuli. And experts claim that these stimuli have a positive effect on the brain’s ability to receive, process, and retain information.
In the virtual world, players often have to deal with multiple tasks and goals simultaneously. This peaks the work of your brain’s hippocampus – the part responsible for converting short-term memories into long-term ones. By training this part of the brain through playing, students can improve their memory.
This fact is also backed by science. The researchers from the University of California studied the work of the hippocampus in people who don’t play at all or play 2D games and those who play in 3D. The study revealed a significantly better result in hippocampus-related memory tasks among 3D gamers. According to it, playing for only 30 minutes a day improves students’ memory and helps keep their brains sharp. But, even that’s not all.
Another study by the University of California-Irvine also revealed the positive effect of mobile games on memory formation as a whole. Young people who engage in such activities score higher on different memory tests that require the use of the hippocampus. They can form memories more effectively. So, this is one more positive effect of gaming on students.
Types of Games Proven to Boost Focus and Concentration
So, games have a number of positive effects. They boost brain activity, engagement, and memory. But are all games the same? The answer is no. Different activities stimulate different skills.
Among different types of games, specialists note the following ones that have the best effect on one’s focus and concentration:
- First-Person Shooters. First and foremost, studies reveal the positive influence of first-person shooters like Titanfall or Battlefield. They require excellent hand-eye coordination, strategy, and attention to detail. Thus, they are proven to boost focus, as well as cognitive skills.
- Strategy. Different strategy games like Civilization or Starcraft are also proven to boost focus. Strategies require staying 100% concentrated on making quick decisions and adapting to changes quickly.
- Simulation. All sorts of mobile simulations (which are very popular) are also affecting your focus positively. Apart from this, simulations teach players decision-making and other real-world skills.
- Mass Effect. This type of game typically has multiple plot lines and endings. Thus, every action and decision made by the player affects the outcomes. And it is also believed to improve focus.
- Action-Adventure. Such mobile apps also stimulate focus. They require quick thinking, reaction, and problem-solving. They also often require experimentation, creativity, and teamwork.
The Bottom Line
As you should know, a lack of focus and concentration can really harm one’s performance in school. But now you also know that playing mobile games can improve both.
Such activities have been proven to boost students’ brain activity, engagement, and memory and stimulate the development of multiple critical skills. So, if you were still hesitant about the role of gamification in education, now you have all the evidence.