What are the benefits of gaming?

Cognitive Benefits:
  1. Improved visual attention and spatial intelligence skills which predict higher achievements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  2. Faster and more accurate decision making in high-stress, time-sensitive contexts.
  3. Improved ability to track multiple streams of information simultaneously, up to three times as much information as an infrequent game-player.
  4. More efficient neural processing generally (their brains use fewer resources during difficult tasks).
  5. More effective information gathering.
  6. Faster and more accurate evaluation of options.
  7. Stronger ability to formulate and follow strategic plans.
  8. Greater flexibility in generating alternative strategies or goals.
Emotional Benefits:
  1. Improve mood immediately.
  2. Ward off anxiety.
  3. Experience more frequent positive emotions, such as delight, curiosity, surprise, pride, wonder, and contentment.
  4. Better able to deal with frustration and anxiety in high stress situations.
  5. More skillful at controlling extreme emotions such as fear and anger
Social Benefits:
  1. Stronger cooperative mindsets.
  2. Improved communication and collaborative skills.
  3. More engagement in civic behaviors, such as volunteering to help local charities and mentoring.

All of our principles are backed by science! Here are some of our references.

Jane McGonigal TED Talks:

1. McGonigal, Jane: SUPERBETTER: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver, and More Resilient (New York: Penguin Press, 2015)
2. McGonigal, Jane : Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (New York: Penguin Press, 2011)
3. Burak, Asi and Parker, Laura: Power Play: How Video Games Can Save the World (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2017)
4. Larsson, Linus and Goldberg, Daniel: The State of Play: Sixteen Voices of Video Games (Audible Studios, 2015)
5. Yee, Nick: The Proteus Paradox: How Online Games and Virtual Worlds Change us – and How They Don’t (Yale University Press, 2014)
6. Day, Felicia: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir (Simon and Schuster Audio, 2015)
7. Bissell, Tom: Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter (Random House Audio, 2010)
8. Kent, Steven: The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World (Audiobooks.com, 2013)
9. Medina, John: Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving and Work, Home, and School (Pear Press, 2014)
10. Carey, Benedict: How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why it Happens (Random House Audio, 2014)
11. Kaku, Michio: The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind (Random House Audio, 2014)
12. Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly: Flow: Living at the Peak of Your Abilities (Nightingale-Conant, 2015)
13. Seligman, Martin E.P.: Learned Optimism: How to Change your Mind and Your Life (Simon & Schuster Audio, 2001)
14. Achor, Shawn: The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work (Random House Audio, 2010)
15. Lyubomirsky, Sonja: The How of Happiness (Penguin Audio, 2007)

1. Paul Grossman et al., “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Health Benefits: A Meta-Analysis,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research 57, no. 1 (2004): 35-43
2. Mark Stephen Tremblay et al., “Physiological and Health Implications of a Sedentary Lifestyle,” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 35, no. 6 (2010): 725-40.
3. Ruth M. Barrientos et al., “Little Exercise, Big Effects: Reversing Aging and Infection-Induced Memory Deficits, and Underlying Processes,” Journal of Neuroscience 31, no. 32 (2011): 11578-86
4. Genevieve N. Healy et al., “Breaks in Sedentary Time Beneficial Associations with Metabolic Risk,” Diabetes Care 31, no. 4 (2008): 661-66.
5. Corby K. Martin et al., “Exercise Dose and Quality of Life: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Archives of Internal Medicine 169, no. 3 (2009): 269.
6. Barbara L. Fredrickson “The Role of Positive Emotions in Positive Psychology: The Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions,” American Psychologist 56, no. 3 (2001): 218.
7. Barbara L. Fredrickson, “What Good Are Positive Emotions?,” Review of General Psychology 2, no. 3 (1998): 300.
8. Sarah D. Pressman and Sheldon Cohen, “Does Positive Affect Influence Health?,” Psychological Bulletin 131, no. 6 (2005): 925.
9. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Wendy A. Birmingham, and Kathleen C. Light, “Influence of a ‘Warm Touch’ Support Enhancement Intervention Among Married Couples on Ambulatory Blood Pressure, Oxytocin, Alpha Amylase, and Cortisol,” Psychosomatic Medicine 70, no. 9 (2008): 976-85.
10. Robin I. M. Dunbar, “The Social Role of Touch in Humans and Primates: Behavioral Function and Neurobiological Mechanisms,” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 34, no. 2 (2010): 260-68
11. Kerstin Uvnas Moberg, The Oxytocin Factor: Tapping the Hormone of Calm, Love, and Healing (New York: Merloyd Lawrence Books, 2003).
12. Dr. Robert Emmons. See Robert A. Emmons and Cheryl A. Crumpler, “Gratitude as a Human Strength: Appraising the Evidence,” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 19, no. 1 (2000): 56-69.
13. Sara B. Algoe, “Find, Remind, and Bind: The Functions of Gratitude in Everyday Relationships,” Social and Personality Psychology Compass 6, no. 6 (2012): 455-69.
14. Sara B. Algoe, Jonathan Haidt, and Shelly L. Gable, “Beyond Reciprocity: Gratitude and Relationships in Everyday Life,” Emotion 8, no. 3 (2008): 425.
15. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Beyond Boredom and Anxiety: Experiencing Flow in Work and Play (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1975).
16. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “Activity and Happiness: Towards a Science of Occupation,” Journal of Occupational Science 1, no. 1 (1993): 38-42.
17. Brenda E. Mansfield et al., “A Possible Physiological Correlate for Mental Flow,” Journal of Positive Psychology 7, no. 4 (2012): 327-33.
18. C. V. Russoniello, Kevin O’Brien, and Jennifer M. Parks, “EEG, HRV and Psychological Correlates While Playing Bejeweled II: A Randomized Controlled Study,” Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 144 (2009): 189-92.
19. Stefan G. Hofmann et al., “The Effect of Mindfulness-Based Therapy on Anxiety and Depression: A Meta-Analytic Review,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 78, no. 2 (2010): 169
20. Alberto Chiesa and Alessandro Serretti, “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Stress Management in Health People: A Review and Meta-Analysis,” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 15, no. 5 (2009): 593-600.
21. Guillaume Chanel, J. Matias Kivikangas, and Niklas Ravaja, “Physiological Compliance for Social Gaming Analysis: Cooperative Versus Competitive Play,” Interacting with Computers 24, no. 4 (2012): 306-16
22. Inger Ekman et al., “Social Interaction in Games Measuring Physiological Linkage and Social Presence,” Simulation and Gaming 43, no. 3 (2012): 321-38.
23. Charles J. Walker, “Experiencing Flow: Is Doing It Together Better Than Doing It Alone?,” Journal of Positive Psychology 5, no. 1 (2010): 3-11.
24. Berns, G. S. “Something Funny Happened to Reward.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2004, 8(5): 193-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2004.03.007.
25. Keltner, Dacher. Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life (New York: Norton, 2009), 219-20.
26. Lyubomirsky, S., K. M. Sheldon, and D. Schkade. “Pursuing Happiness: The Architecture of Sustainable Change.” Review of General Psychology, 2005, 9: 111-31.
27. Sheldon, K. M., and S. Lyubomirsky. “Is It Possible to Become Happier? (And if So, How?)” Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2007, 1: 1-17.
28. Brickman and Campbell in “Hedonic Relativism and Planning the Good Society.” In M. H. Apley, ed., Adaptation Level Theory: A Symposium (New York: Academic Press, 1971), 287-302.
29. Botton, Nicolas Luis, Perez Truglia, and Ricardo Nicolas. “Deconstructing the Hedonic Treadmill: Is Happiness Autoregressive?” Social Science Research Network, January 2010.
30. Nesse, R. M. “Is Depression an Adaptation?” Archives of General Psychiatry, 2000, 57: 14-20.