6 Reasons Why Programmers Should Start Playing Video Games

Written By Brent Hale

Technological advancement has caused video games to become one of the most important sources of entertainment.

However, enthusiastic programmers do not consider video games to be just a form of entertainment, but a life-changing endeavor. It is almost impossible to come across a skilled programmer or software developer who does not engage in some video games or board games.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, credits videos games with his success in the field of programming, saying, “Getting exposed to video games at a younger age triggered my passion to experiment with new technology and eventually got me into programming.”

“I learned, I messed around with a few things, and I designed other things,” he continued during a Q&A session at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Video games have a direct effect on the cognitive and physical aspects of the player. If you want to become a good programmer, then setting up some extra time to spend playing video games can impact your overall programming skills.

Below, we are looking at some solid reasons why programmers should start playing video games.

Boost Learning and Memory

A lot of video games require players to learn, memorize, and apply various tricks. Players also need to remember all the instructions given at the start of the game. These tricks are of great importance when it comes to programming.

Programmers must be able to remember the syntax and related symbols of the coding language. Memorizing these tricks will be able to save you the time and hassle of having to refer to external links over and over again.

Enhance Cognitive Flexibility and Mental Prowess

Video games give you selective attention skills, which refers to the ability to filter out irrelevant jargon and focus on relevant information. Programmers need these skills to help them review lines of code, be observant, and spot errors with ease.

The effective use of brain power determines productivity at the end of the day. Action-packed video games like Counter Strike or Overwatch instill in programmers the ability to scan effectively for a target or concentrate on several targets simultaneously.

There is a niche genre of video games designed to train brain functionality as well as improve mental and creative prowess. A new study has shown that playing games like Halo or Call of Duty can help programmers to develop reading speed, hand-eye coordination, and thinking outside the box.

Improve Problem-Solving Skills

A great problem solver can make critical decisions in a matter of seconds. In video games, decision-making is often cut down to seconds, and players must make full use of their brain power before proceeding to the next step.

Each video game has rules guiding players on what to follow before executing the next move. The decision-making process involves engaging the brain on different angles including perception, peripheral vision, memory, and reaction time.

You can apply this skill to programming, where you are required to develop a software solution that will solve a real-world problem. As in video games, you cannot move to the next step if the solution you have created does not solve the problem at the current level.

Improve Multitasking Skills

There exist some video games that force you to multitask. These are games that oblige you to focus your attention on many different tasks at once.

For example, if the game involves fighting, a player will have to keep monitoring the energy levels of fighters while simultaneously attacking enemies. Without excellent multitasking skills, one is highly likely to fall on the losing end.

Programming will also call for excellent multitasking skills to create solutions to real-world problems. Programmers must be keen and observant to whatever is taking place on their screen and must be able to write code while simultaneously checking for errors.

Improve Concentration and Attentiveness

A lot of action-packed video games need the highest levels of concentration and attention. The effects of losing concentration even for one second can be costly.

Players who remain attentive throughout the gaming session have higher chances of winning. The same case applies to coding.

Coding will require you to concentrate on writing code and pinpointing coding errors to come up with tangible software. Gaming enhances your attentiveness so that you can transfer the same level of concentration to programming and improve your productivity.

Nurture and Mold Social Skills

There are certain video games whose multiplayer feature calls for a team effort to win the game. Team games like World of Warcraft and Dota2 enable players to interact with each other in a virtual world.

After spending several hours in front of your gaming PC, you will have improved your social skills because of their interactive nature. You will also be able to create a new social group of tech-savvy people whom you can ask about some coding language syntax whenever you need help.

Video Games: A Source of Inspiration and Learning

Video games are one of the leading hobbies among software developers across the world. In other words, there are some decent video games behind every successful engineer, even Mark Zuckerberg.

Of course, video games can never impart in you the most fundamental skill – coding. However, they will inspire you to learn and become more tech-savvy in the programming field.