How Mobile Games Affect Your Studies - The Downside

While we're all used to traditional, desktop-based learning, now there are so many mobile games that are meant to be played at any time.

Let's take a look at some of the latest and greatest additions to the scene, so you can see just how beneficial this can be for your studies.

Tetris for education

UKRAINE. Kiev. 2019.

Even though it looks a bit silly, Tetris is one of the most widely known and loved video games.

It has inspired a huge amount of research to study its effects. And if you've ever played it, you'll know that it's definitely been shown to reduce stress, although studies are currently inconclusive about its effects on anything other than your short term memory.

But there's another use for the game which you may not have heard of: Tetris therapy. If you've ever found yourself feeling stressed or anxious, you may have considered playing Tetris to try and alleviate these symptoms.

Now, there's another set of studies out there looking into this and the results are surprising.

Researchers randomly assigned 60 students to either a group which completed four sessions of Tetris therapy, or a control group which completed four online versions of hangman.

The results showed that those in the Tetris group experienced a significant drop in their levels of anxiety. Although researchers aren't exactly sure why this was the case, they believe that the game triggers a relaxation response.

Rolling simulator games

Pilot flying flight simulator

If you like playing chess but don't have a chessboard or pieces handy, there are plenty of mobile games that can help you get around.

Although these aren't particularly powerful for your studies, they still have the benefit of increasing your mental agility and making you more likely to remember the information you're studying.

Players simply have to roll the dice to move their character across the screen, and different kinds of dice give you different speeds.

Because you're rolling the same number of times, you can use these to work out which is a good way to move across the screen. These games are ideal for anyone studying maths, science or any other subject that relies heavily on spatial awareness.

According to Science-Online, “Whether or not you have any prior expertise with this type of mental puzzle, you will get a lot out of these games”.

It certainly seems like the right kind of thing to use to work on your memory and concentration, so why not give it a go?

Wizard of Oz cards

Wizard of Oz cards will often be present in literature or works of art. These pictures are surrounded by mazes that you must solve to reach the end, often with the help of a friend or family member.

This is known as mazes of participation.

As such, it is a fantastic game for anyone studying difficult texts and techniques, because it helps you to focus on the pictures more, rather than the text and its accompanying words.

As Dr Nicola Watson, author of how to improve your memory told the Telegraph, "When you read a novel or some other piece of text you can get so caught up in the plot, your mind is on the text itself, whereas in mazes you are always aware of the piece of paper you are reading on, so you are not so distracted by the narrative."

The game is so effective that it was even used in a recent project to improve the memory of recovering patients.

Classroom shooter games

boy wearing black and white VR headset

If you're a student who enjoys playing violent video games, there's a whole host of new mobile games that can make you a more efficient teacher, and make you a more efficient learner.

One such game, Engage!, was developed by HBS UK to help improve the learning habits of students in primary schools.

The game teaches students about various sciences by allowing them to complete tasks in a confined space while firing guns at a variety of enemies.

The kids say it "looks fun" and "really helps with your focus" on the internet, so don't knock it before you've tried it for yourself.

Many similar games have been created, to ensure the students aren't the only ones learning. Of course, if you're just looking for something to entertain your child, games like Zynga's Farmville series can help improve the amount of time you spend playing them.

Ping Pong

brown wooden ping-pong racket

Playing a form of table tennis might seem like an odd choice, but in our society we are always stressed out about our health. Ping pong is designed to increase blood flow to the brain, and can help to alleviate that feeling of stress.

In fact, many research institutions are even investigating the links between ping pong and increased performance, although results so far aren't very conclusive.

Playing ping pong with a friend is also a great way to improve your memory and concentration.

Most ping pong games have a timer on them, to help you plan your movements and increase your efficiency, and it can also be helpful to play a quick game before class so you can stay in a more alert mindset.

Guess my number

Another memory game to help your brain, Guess my Number requires players to sort numbers into categories, such as 1–10, 101–200, etc.

The task is to find the number that has been generated by adding the numbers in the category together. You have to do it quickly, while keeping track of which category you're in.

This game helps you to improve your memory and concentration, because it helps you to divide your attention into different parts of your brain.

Brain train

Learning is exhausting, so take a break and play one of the many brain training games available online.

The brain train games can be played over the course of a few days, weeks, or months, but they should be continued regularly, because the effects of the training can last for many years.

For example, Can You Learn?, one of the most popular brain training games, has been scientifically proven to increase mental abilities for as long as two years.

As with many games, playing these games will help you improve your memory and concentration, so you'll be much better at solving problems in the future, and you'll find yourself feeling more alert and enthusiastic.