People have always been interested in the capacity of the human mind to learn new things. From discovering how to light a fire to the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle, every achievement of the human race has been based on our capacity to continuously learn and expand our horizons. Acquiring a new skill or capability is how we continue to learn and improve ourselves, enabling us to become more productive and valued members of society. Bidvine conducted a study to assess exactly that. Video gaming has become a popular way to spend recreational time, especially among young people. Technology trends have enabled the refinement of video games over the past three decades, making them more accessible, realistic and engaging. Video games have been attracting people of all ages as they promise hours of recreation within the comfort of the home. These people have come to be known as gamers. The purpose of the survey was to see what people can achieve in the way of personal development by spending the same time on other activities.
Gamers spend on average two hours playing video games a day, Bidvine reported in its study. The studies are hardly surprising; in fact, the general perception is that younger gamers actually spend several hours a day on average with their video games. In fact, almost 34% of the survey participants who were gamers reported that they played video games for 5 hours each day or more. It is not surprising then especially given the fact that video games are highly addictive and less expensive than other activities.
Once the results of the study were out, Bidvine when further to explore the amount of self-development that could be accomplished by spending the same amount of time in some other productive activity, such as learning a skill or completing an ongoing project. A survey was designed to collect data for this question. The company invited expert opinion from a range of professionals including physical trainers, language experts and music teachers. These professionals were asked to estimate the amount of time required for daily practice to develop proficiency in certain skills. Some of the results were eye-opening. It was found that by spending two hours a day on the following activities, they could achieve the significant milestones:
- Become a marathon runner in 10 weeks
- Become fluent in French in 6 months
- Become a salsa dancer in 2 months
- Become a proficient guitar player in 3 months
On first reading, the above feats seem impossible to accomplish, but this is what the survey revealed. Of course, this is not to say that every individual will achieve the same learning outcomes within the same time. The level of accomplishment for each individual would vary according to various factors such as age, mental and physical capacity, and so on. Each one of us has a certain degree of neural plasticity that remains active well into adulthood. This allows us to expand our neural connections and acquire new skills all the time. What these results prove is that human beings are capable of learning new things whenever they put their mind to it. In addition, it is important to mention that these outcomes are beneficial to developing a healthy mind and acquire sound physical health for people of all ages.
The survey participants numbered more than 2,000 of whom 65% were male and 34% were female, thus skewing the sample population heavily in the direction of the males. Approximately 1% of the participants did not state their sex. A majority (55%) of the participants acknowledged themselves as gamers. Furthermore, the average time spent on gaming was two hours a day. The gamers played video games on personal computers, mobile phones and gaming consoles. Of these video game devices, gaming consoles emerged as the most common gaming platform since nearly half (45%) of those who were surveyed by Bidvine reported that they played video games on consoles. Personal computers were popular with 31% of the respondents while 19% of the respondents played video games on mobile apps.
Russ Morgan, who is one of the founders of Bidvine, commented:
“The purpose of this study was not to put gamers on the spot. What we were aiming for is to find out what else the gamers could achieve in the same amount of time.”
Morgan further said that he would expect people to become more interested in spending leisure time in more productive pursuits and interesting hobbies. People keep learning about new things from the Internet but never get around to doing them, because they spend their time on less useful activities. There are a lot of things that people keep on their to-do lists and keep postponing them for more convenient things. Perhaps the results of the survey will inspire people to pursue their interests and use their time more productively.