All BS Aside: Does Playing Games Really Help Boost One's Concentration?
Find yourself falling asleep in lectures? Want to know how to fix it? While there’s no fast track to being able to pay attention to something truly boring, there are some tips and tricks to help you stay focused. Can playing games help? Or are they just another distraction?
What is concentration?
Concentration is a person’s ability to concentrate on one thing for a period of time. If you find your mind wandering when you’re doing a task, then you might have poor concentration abilities. This might be if you are watching television and can’t help but play on your phone or get up and get a snack or start thinking about something else. It could be if you are driving and find that you get to where you’re going but don’t remember the drive at all. Or it could be if you are chatting with people and find yourself zoning in and out and missing key details of the conversation.
Concentrating is a bit of an art and some people are better at it than others. Many people struggle to keep their minds on task for lengthier amounts of time. Concentration is also known as attention span and varies by age, with small children able to concentrate for far less time than adults. In fact, average attention span is highest when people are in their early 40s.
Can gaming help boost concentration?
Find yourself falling asleep in lectures but can play XBox for hours? You’re not alone. However, if you think that playing random video games in the hopes you can increase your concentration span for highly non-related tasks then you’re probably going to be disappointed. While games like Call of Duty can give you better attentional skills for tasks like a faster response to targets, those skills don’t really apply to studying.
Serious games for boosting concentration
If you want to improve your concentration through gaming, you’ll need to try out serious games instead. This is a field of gaming that has only become more popular in the past little while. Serious games are developed to achieve a particular learning outcome. For instance, some serious games have been developed with ADHD children in mind, as part of a multi-modal treatment method. Games like “The Secret Trail of Moon” adhere to a set of guidelines that are also designed to avoid addiction.
In case you’d like to test this theory, why not try it and see for yourself? Registering at an online casino is free, and we can recommend quite a number of operators, however, it’s worth reading this BitStarz SA Casino Review too. If you want to check out serious games instead, then take a look at games that target sustained attention and planning.
What is the average attention span?
While attention spans vary, it is interesting to note some formats that help many people get the more out of an informational session. For instance, TED talks are limited to 18 minutes so that the subject is in depth enough but not enough time for the viewer to lose their attention. The Pomodoro method breaks up work into 25 minute chunks with five minutes break time following. There are also typically limits of 50 minutes for lectures. While we are told that social media and scrolling now cause attention spans of 8 seconds, this isn’t really true - we just need to concentrate harder.
For some people, those with ADHD in particular, this can be near-impossible to achieve. For others, it simply means trying to engage more with the given task, it’s more about trying to enjoy it more to stay on track.
Other tips and techniques
You’ve probably heard this one before, but the best way to improve concentration is by living a healthy lifestyle. This includes getting enough sleep, eating well, working out, and having low levels of stress. This is the basis of any good mental practice. Beyond this, there are some other techniques that you can try.
- Mediation for a short period each day can help concentration, as well as lower anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue, according to studies.
- Breaking up tasks into smaller, manageable chunks helps to not make work insurmountable to look at.
- Ensuring that you’re in the right environment for concentration can help. Take into account lighting, temperature, ambient noise levels, etc.
- Use lists of things that you need to do, so that each task can be ticked off and give you a sense of accomplishment. Doing this every day as a habit keeps you on the right track.
Have a serious think about why you’re lacking concentration. If it’s a difficult class and you really feel like the information is too much, consider a different learning style like tutoring or online learning or you may even want to switch track entirely.
Chief Editor at ZebraCasino, Mia Fontane, likes asking the tough questions – even if the sometimes the answer is a tough pill to swallow. Apart from being skillful in her job, she loves writing and experimenting with new recipes (or her adaptations) in the kitchen. She’s also an avid reader, particularly the murder mystery detective type stories. Give her an Agatha Christie novel over a movie any day!
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