Wanna Fight? Fighting Games and Why They’re So Addictive

What makes games, specifically fighting games in general, so addictive? Read on and find out why.

Fighting games are a genre of video games that pit opponents against each other in hand-to-hand combat. They’re usually two-dimensional, side-scrolling affairs where players use various punches, kicks, and throws to deplete their opponent’s health bar. While the fighting game genre has its roots in arcade machines, modern fighting games are now displayed in full 3D and typically played on PCs and home consoles.

Fighting games, by default, are a unique genre in that they require quick reflexes and strategic thinking to be successful. Players must react to their opponent’s moves while also formulating a plan of attack. This combination of twitch gameplay and thoughtful strategy is what makes fighting games so addictive to many players.

They also offer a sense of satisfaction that few other genres can match. Beating an opponent down, for example, after a long and hard-fought battle feels immensely rewarding, and this sense of accomplishment is a big reason why fighting games remain so very popular.

Fighting games also offer a great deal of replay value. With so many characters and moves to choose from, there’s always something new to try. This variety keeps players coming back for more, and it’s one of the reasons fighting games have been around for so long.

Moral Dilemma or an Effective Way to Spend Time?

Some people argue that fighting games are a waste of time. They say that the games don’t teach you anything and that all you do is fight. While it’s true that fighting games don’t teach you everything, they do offer a few benefits as outlined below:

1. Fighting Games are a Great Way to Relieve Stress and Tension.

If you’re feeling angry or frustrated, playing a fighting game can help you calm down and release some of that unneeded pressure. Some studies have shown that playing games have the same calming effect as walking mainly due to the fact that it takes your mind off the stressful situation you might find yourself in.

2. Fighting Games Can Be a Way to Improve Hand-Eye Coordination.

If you’re trying to get better at playing video games, fighting games can help you with that. A recent study showed that game players have faster information processing, allocate more cognitive power to individual visual stimuli, and allocate limited cognitive resources between successive stimuli more effectively through time.

These findings in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience suggest that playing such games can cause long-term changes in the brain and lead to an improvement in temporal visual selective attention.

Keep in mind, however, that not all clinical data validate that kind of improvement in hand-eye coordination. The data, from PubMed.gov, suggest that there was no known empirical data to suggest that an individual’s eye-hand coordination had any direct impact on the number of times or length that individual had played video games. So your mileage will vary.

3. Finally, Fighting Games Can Be a Lot of Fun.

Games in general, offer a great way to spend time with friends or family. So, even if they don’t offer educational or physical benefits, there are still plenty of reasons to play them. Fighting games are a beloved genre of video games for good reason as they offer an addicting mix of twitch gameplay and strategic thinking, and they’re immensely satisfying to play.

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