When the general public thinks about video games, they generally don’t see that hobby as a good source of entertainment. Many people that are not well-versed in gaming will perceive it as negative, an activity that is neither good for the brain nor the body. Perhaps for the body (unless you’re playing the Wii or with a Kinect) but your mind is unlikely to suffer from playing video games, and many benefits are linked to playing video games.
Playing can help with mental illness or physical pain
More and more therapies are using video games as a tool to relieve stress, anxiety or even depression and pain management. According to an article from the US National Library of Medicine, video games have been tested to improve the social skills of kids and adolescent that have severe learning disabilities such as autism and helped many patients with severe physical injuries including severe burns or muscular dystrophy to distract themselves from the pain.
Video games are also used in what is called “exposure therapy” to treat phobias, in short exposing the patient to the cause of the dread through a game to soften the uncontrollable fear that shakes the patient when he or she sees it. This is especially effective because it’s without danger and it’s way cheaper than other therapies through medications.
Playing can enhance your “brain skills”
Certain types of video games have been linked to enhanced sensory skills, coordination and concentration, it’s “soft learning”. Action video games are in the highlight because those fast-paced games demand the player to be quick-witted and decisive about everything he or she does. Other types of games may help with different skills, for example, strategy games with reflexion, RPG for creativity or sports game for anger management.
Some people now see the benefits of learning those skills with video games in the educational system, and we see more and more classrooms “gamified”. To put it simply, we include points, rewards and a pinch of competition to augment the motivation of the students and raise the grades of the students because they don’t perceive it as boring like sitting on a chair listening to the lesson which makes them passive in the classroom.
Playing can help connect with others
With the rise of online gaming and online chat services like Discord, playing can assist you in meeting new friends. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your best friend playing a MOBA like League of Legends or an MMORPG like World of Warcraft?
There’s also some dating sites that ride on the trend of the growing gaming community like GamerDating.com the will help you find your significant other that share the same love of gaming that you do.
There’s also esports now, playing on a professional level on an online game. Many casual or hardcore players share this passion and fill entire stadiums to watch essential events like at the KeyArena in Seattle for the Dota 2 International of 2017.
In short, gaming is a network, and you have all the tools needed to find every kind of relationship you need: a friend, a lover or maybe your future job!
At the contrary of common beliefs, gaming is going further than sitting in the basement; it’s developing in many aspects of the society: healthcare, skill development, education, social meetings…
Still, like everything good in life, it should be enjoyed in a moderate manner to not let all these benefits go into a pitfall.