Benefits of Games: How “Plants vs. Zombies” Helps Improve Problem Solving Skills
“Plants vs. Zombies” is just one of the video games that achieved phenomenal success. But apart from killing time, does it have any practical use in life?
Zombie madness is everywhere. Writers have been inspired to revive these brain-dead creatures which have been wildly successful. I’m sorry, Rick Grimes, but they’ve practically taken over the world and there’s no stopping them. They have movies, TV shows and games!
Thus came the sensational success of PopCap Games: plants vs zombies. Originally designed for OS X and Windows, it is now compatible with Nintendo, Xbox, Android, Blackberry and Apple devices. Several versions have been released, including one for Facebook.
Designed to be simple enough for casual players to learn, yet challenging enough for more experienced players. plants vs zombies has gained followers. In fact, it’s still the best-selling PopCap Games video game since 2009. The world is obsessed with plants vs zombies-and zombies per se- that almost everyone you come across either plays or knows about.
So what’s so special about the game? Does anyone really benefit from shelling out a couple of bucks to buy the latest version released every year or so?
If you’re skeptical about the long-term effects of gaming, you’re not alone. Since the advent of video games, various people, mostly adults, have condemned video games as a waste of time and money. This inspired studies to determine the impact of gaming. The results were remarkably positive, leading to the creation of digital learning tools.
Simply put, people learn faster when they are having fun. Think about it. Would you rather sit through a three-hour lecture delivered by a monotonous speaker than learn Mandarin through an interactive app packed with all sorts of fancy features?
plants vs zombies It won’t teach you Mandarin, but it can improve your problem-solving skills. It immerses you in a virtual environment that simulates a likely life-threatening situation, albeit an exaggerated one. You know it’s superficial, but you respond physiologically as if it were real.
Here are three key features of the game that can improve your decision-making and other survival skills:
Weapon selection. You start with a basic arsenal made up of sunflowers and pea shooters. As you progress to higher levels, you unlock additional artillery. At the same time, you will face armed zombies. To spice things up, you get to the point where you can only arm yourself with a limited number of weapons. This pushes you to weigh the pros and cons of your choices.
Challenge website. Arsenal restrictions. Tougher enemies. You’re just warming up. The real challenge comes when the game introduces new environments. The absence of sunlight and a pool in the backyard increase the threats and dangers. This requires flexibility on your part, allowing you to adapt to different conditions and adjust your weapon preferences.
The pressure of time. Frankly, pop-up warnings kill the suspense. However, the game manages to generate a series of conflicts that increase stress levels and ultimately test your mental readiness and alertness.
These three features of plants vs zombies are just a few of the many ways that games serve as mental exercises. Still not convinced that playing has its benefits? Or do you dare a little to give your children the latest versions of Xbox or Nintendo? The best way to gain trust is to test drive the game and find out for yourself.
Despite being criticized as a mere distraction from tedium, games have proven to be effective educational tools. like plants Vs Zombies, most video games are not intended to educate, but can improve the skills needed to solve real-life problems. Truly, there is fun in learning.