Serious Gaming Against Mind-Wandering or Lack of Concentration

Are you easily distracted? Serious gaming and videogames are the subjects of many studies about learning improvements, like this one by the University of Bristol conducted by Professor Paul Howard-Jones. These are the benefits of the game, especially when it comes to fighting “mind-wandering” or lack of concentration:

Serious gaming encourages brain activity

Same as the 10,000 students at the University of Bristol who participated in the study, many young people spend a lot of time in front of the computer. Those hours spent on videogames can become a great asset to improve learning processes. According to the study, videogames encourage brain activity and this has a positive result in the way of learning.

The research team was able to verify these benefits through neuroimaging showing how serious gaming and gamification reduced the brain network responsible for “mind wandering“.

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What is mind-wandering and why is Serious gaming effective against it?

Being absent-minded, day-dreaming, staring into space… there are many expressions we can use to define one of our greatest enemies when learning: distractions and lack of concentration. This is what we mean when we speak of “mind-wandering”, but the good news is that gamification turns out to be a perfect technique to combat it.

Read more: The Unstoppable Growth of Gamification and Digital Learning Games in Education

From the Bristol study we can clearly see the potential of videogames for training: mind-wandering disappears when we include the competitive aspect, which makes learning something fun and challenging for the user, whether they are students or managers trying to develop a skill.

Howard-Jones says that videogames can be “beneficial for learning”, provided their design and implementation in the syllabus or training plan are well taken care of. Essays like this one show what serious gaming causes in the brain; an increase in concentration and ease in retaining what is learned.

Why are videogames so effective?

Serious gaming is the future trend for developing knowledge. Why are videogames so effective? There are four main reasons:

  • Games engage: through interactive adventures, users have fun and see learning as an appealing activity.
  • They improve confidence: learning in a relaxing and fun environment generates confidence in the user.
  • They improve performance: gamification elements improve motivation and, therefore, performance as well.
  • They allow for practice: videogames function as simulators, allowing for experiential learning.

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