The debate as to whether video games belong to the domain of couch potatoes has been going on for years. Unfortunately, many just assume that video games have a negative effect on humans. While gaming addiction may be an issue, playing video games with healthy boundaries comes with numerous benefits. We selected ten of these benefits you simply have to know about.
Improves decision making
If you’ve ever played Call of Duty or League of Legends, you know how energizing these games are. They require you to stay on your toes and make a number of decisions quickly. Just a single wrong decision can cost you points or even lose you the entire match. With that said, it’s obvious that games are better at making decisions and that they can do it in a timely fashion. They rarely waste time debating which shirt to wear or which coffee to get.
Many of the popular video games require serious strategy and concentration. People have built entire cities in Minecraft and simulated hundreds of years in Football Manager. When strategizing and juggling multiple tasks that exist in these games, you’re exercising your hippocampus. This is the part of your brain responsible for controlling spatial memory and transforming short-term memory into long-term memory. We all know that memory naturally declines over time. Playing video games regularly is a great way to keep your mind sharp.
Helps make friends
We often associate gaming with introverts. While that may have been accurate before, gaming has undergone a lot of change in the 2010s. These days, almost everyone plays online with their real-world or virtual friends. Some games such as Fortnite and PubG even give you a chance to talk and play with dozens of people you otherwise don’t know. A recent study has confirmed that 70 percent of gamers play with friends online. Even playing offline can help improve some social skills. Games like The Sims allow you to practice social interaction without real-life consequences.
Encourages curiosity and learning
Every time you play a video game, your brain is working. The more effort you invest into solving a problem in the game, the more connections you create in your mind. Stimulating your brain in this way is a great way to keep it healthy as you age. This means your mind will wonder about all the virtual worlds you play in. Similarly, gaming encourages learning. Games such as Assassin’s Creed and Age of Empires have historical settings. When playing these games, you’re simultaneously learning about history.
Gives time to reflect
Playing one game for a long time allows you to become comfortable with it. This means that, over time, you can relax when playing and reflect on any real-life issues you’re experiencing. Quite often, taking some time to reflect helps address the issue better and opens up a bunch of new opportunities. This goes for almost all types of video games out there. For example, playing the same slot game maximizes your slot machine wins and gives you enough time to reflect on a situation.
Boosts spatial visualization
Video games are known to help players visualize space better. Whether you play shooter games or action-adventure games, you have to be aware of the space around you. The more aware of it you are, the more likely you are to defeat the opponent and complete your objective. Studies have confirmed that games like this enhance the way you think about objections in three dimensions. This has numerous practical benefits in the real world, like knowing how to parallel park better or organize your living room effectively.
Inspires you to be more persistent
Most video games are made in the same way – you either win or keep trying. Some games have check points while others require you to go back to the start and repeat everything you already did. This is why gamers are good at working towards their goals. They’re also more confident about reaching these goals and they treat missteps as learning opportunities rather than failure. Just try building a zombie-proof base in 7 Days to die you’ll know what we’re talking about.
Improves hand-eye coordination
Many professions require you to have better hand-eye coordination than most people. What’s a great way to improve it and increase your chances of landing a position you want? The answer is gaming. Whether you’re a keyboard or a controller player, gaming can boost your hand-eye coordination significantly. Just think about it, most games require you to aim or press different buttons depending on what you see on the screen.
One of the best things about video games is that they help reduce stress. Various studies have monitored the heart rate of regular gamers and they’ve all noticed lower stress levels. It’s important to keep in mind that this has a lot to do with the way you perceive gaming. Many players “rage” when they lose or someone on their team makes a mistake. Obviously, this doesn’t help reduce stress. However, when engaging in gaming with healthy boundaries, gaming is a great stress reliever.
Helps cravings at bay
Keeping yourself distracted is a perfect way to deal with any type of craving. Perhaps you’re looking to give up smoking? Or maybe you want to stop binge eating? Find a game you like and it’ll keep you distracted as much as you want. The best part of it is that you don’t have to be a pro gamer to make this work. Just find a tycoon or strategy game you can play in a single-player mode and it’ll completely take your mind off your cravings.
Essentially, video games provide all sorts of tangible benefits in real life. All you have to do is find a game you enjoy and it could give many aspects of your life a boost. Just have in mind that it takes some responsibility to avoid becoming addicted to video games and ignoring real life.
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