Have you ever felt guilty of taking a 20-minute break from your law school readings to play online games?
If you did, I totally get you.
But, please, stop feeling guilty about it. There’s nothing wrong with it.
Actually, it has certain benefits that can give your studying a boost.
In this article, I will share with you the wonders of online gaming during study breaks and some of my favorite FREE online / browser-based games you might want to try.
5 Benefits of Playing Online Games During Study Breaks
Believe it or don’t, online gaming has untapped potentials that law students should take full advantage of.
Here are the benefits you can enjoy from online gaming during study breaks:
#1 Online games enhance memory
Record Head, in one of its articles, reports that playing video games online improves memory as it stimulates a part of the human brain known as the hippocampus.
Our hippocampus is responsible for transforming short-term memories to long-term ones. When we multitask (as when we play online video games) hippocampus activity increases. This leads to enhanced long term and spatial memory.
Another study by the University of California supports this discovery, which only goes to show that online gaming is far from being destructive.
#2 Improve visual attention
Several recent studies have reported improved visual attention from playing online games.
For instance, in one study, experts discovered stronger visual attention in a group of frequent gamers while non-frequent players showed improved visual attention after 1 hour of gaming.
To improve your visual attention, researches suggest that you play action real-time strategy games like Call of Duty or Total War.
#3 Improve/develop problem-solving skills
Online gaming during your study breaks can help improve your problem-solving skills. These skills are vital not just in law school, but also in your future legal practice.
But, how exactly do online games make your problem-solving skills better?
According to The Emory Wheel, online gaming provides your brain an opportunity to make new connections. This allows a person to think of more precise solutions for his problems.
Also, online / video games can instill perseverance and patience in problem-solving. They are a good and safe platform to commit mistakes. As such, the player can replay and correct his mistakes, and relearn the game until he masters it. (Well, this basically sounds a lot like life. Lol.)
#4 Relieve stress; make us feel good
We have a hormone/neurotransmitter in our brains, which experts call Dopamine. Our brain releases this whenever we’re expecting a reward, or when we anticipate or do any activity that we enjoy like eating chocolate or glazed doughnuts.
Consequently, it is responsible for making us feel good. Thus, it is popularly known as the “feel good” hormone.
Now, when we play video or browser-based games online, we actually stimulate our brain to release more of this hormone. In turn, we feel good and motivated whenever we’re in the middle of our favorite game.
And since online games are inherently fun and engrossing, it’s also been shown to be an effective way to destress — something law students like us badly need!
#5 Improve concentration
Studies show that playing online or video games, even in short periods, such as during study breaks, can make the brain more active and improve one’s concentration skills. In addition, researchers discovered that high intelligence can likewise be linked to online / video gaming.
Law students need a ton of focus or concentration given the nature of the topics they study in law school, as well as the different situations they face everyday.
So, if you think you need to improve more on this skill, I guess you have to give online gaming a try.
How much time to spend on playing online games and study breaks
As with other activities that require physical and mental function, law students can only study so much. Accordingly, experts recommend that we take a 15- to 20- minute break after studying for 50 to 90 minutes. That is, if we really want to maximize the benefits of study breaks.
Studies show that excessive online or video gaming can lead to addiction, which can negatively affect law school and other activities of daily living (ADL). Surely, you wouldn’t want to become a gaming addict while you’re in law school or having your legal practice in the future.
My recommended online games for study breaks
This crossword puzzle is my favorite. I play these during my case reading breaks and I love how they keep my brain stimulated for an all-nighter.
I love this online crossword puzzle because it definitely gives you the feel of the real thing. In addition, it has a soothing background music that stimulates your brain to think. (You can also adjust music settings to your liking.)
This crossword puzzle also has a Toggle Background tab/option. So, if you want to really focus on your game, you may use this feature to help you enjoy a bigger screen.
Now, what if you want to use this crossword puzzle as an offline activity with your friends or law school classmates? Don’t fret because it’s printable! All you have to do is click the print today’s puzzle tab”. Then, you’re good to go!
If you want to stay on your laptop while having your break, Letter Scramble is another online gaming option for you.
Unlike your traditional word scramble games, this one’s more challenging. This is so because letter tiles will pile up if you’re slow to think of any word to submit.
Since this is a timed letter scramble game, this is perfect for those who plan to play browser-based games within a short study break.
This Pac Man-inspired action maze video game is great for honing problem-solving and cognitive skills both in children and adults. Hence, it’s something you should consider adding to your list of study break online games.
Honestly, I still get excited whenever I control how Cookie Monster escapes the “ghosts” as he eats pellets along the way. It stimulates my brain, takes away the sluggish feeling in me, and gives me a trip down to memory lane, making me recall how I used to love playing Pac Man.
Hidden Objects Game
Remember playing one of those early Facebook games where you had to find clues to solve a crime scene mystery? That’s exactly the “feels” hidden objects games give whenever I play them during my breaks.
Apart from action video games (AVG), I believe hidden objects online games are likewise great for improving one’s visual attention. By finding concealed objects, you are actually training yourself to have better visual acuity.
Here are some of the ones I love playing:
For some of you who can’t get enough of challenges, here’s another game you can play during your reading breaks.
Word Search is a timed word puzzle game. So, yeah. It kind of gives you the adrenaline rush to finish it.
Unlike those you see on printed periodicals, this browser-based word search game offers you 3 puzzle sizes you can choose from. I often go for the 12 x 12 since I don’t want my game to take forever to finish since I only have a maximum of 20 minutes for breaks. But, if you’re a word search lover, the bigger puzzles (14 x 14 or 16 x 16) are something you’ll surely love.
And just like your crossword puzzle above, this online game allows you to print the word search you’d like to play at any given time.
Do you play online games during your study breaks too?
Indeed, playing online games can be advantageous to law students when done in moderation. It is a great way to spend and maximize study breaks, and destress from law school toxicities.
How about you? Do you love spending your breaks on online gaming too? Let me know in the comments below.
If you liked this article, feel free to share this with your law school friends, classmates, or loved ones.