When you think of doing that things are good for you, even healthy endeavors, gaming probably would not appear on the list. You’ll think of running, working out, eating healthily, getting out and about in nature, but you more than likely won’t consider sitting in front of a screen playing video games something that is going to feature as actually being good for you.
The truth is, however, although gaming isn’t such a great thing to do if it’s the only activity you enjoy in your free time, if you do it sparingly, it can have some benefits and even be relatively good for you. It will probably come as a surprise to hear this but let us look at the reasons why playing video games a moderate amount can be a good thing.
Slows the Signs of Aging
We all get older; that is one of the privileges and one of the negatives (depending on how you look at it, it might be both or one or the other) of being alive and being human. The problem with aging is that it can have a seriously detrimental effect on the body and the mind, causing us to be much less mobile and much less able to deal with challenges than we were in our youth.
Although playing video games might be something that is associated with younger people, there is something to be said for everyone getting involved from time to time because playing these games can help keep our minds youthful (although it will be nothing for our bodies, of course).
Playing certain types of games can strengthen the brain, which is a muscle, after all, and like any muscle, needs to be trained and improved to remain strong. Games with a strategy behind them and puzzles to complete are the best, as they require a lot of thinking, whereas games that simply ask the player to drive a car or shoot the ‘bad guys’ aren’t so useful, so make sure you’re playing the right ones.
Decision Making Skills
Not everyone is good at making decisions, and they find the process very difficult. They will take a long time to consider each positive and negative aspect of any choice they are asked to make, and it might be that they run out of time completely, or get flustered and find they are unable to come to any decision at all. Alternatively, knowing they are bad at making decisions, they might just rush and pick anything because they know they will never be able to decide anyway. This can have very negative consequences.
In a video game, decisions need to be made quickly, otherwise, the game will be over, and you will have to start all over again, either from the very start or from a saved position. To advance through the game, decisions will need to be made and the more you play, the better you will become at seeing the opportunities ahead of you and understanding the pros and cons of each choice without having to take so much time over it.
Thinking things through when it comes to life-changing decisions is crucial. Still, when it comes to smaller decisions such as those in video games and the ones we have to make in everyday life, the more we do it, the more confident we will become, and that means that decision making in ‘real-life’ will be easier too.
Improve Your Social Skills
Social skills and video games seem a strange match, especially since gamers have often been stereotyped as loners without very many friends. Although some gamers will certainly prefer their own company to that of anyone else, many are very sociable, and who love to chat to other people and get to know them; if they have a shared interest in playing video games, that’s all the better.
The good news is for these more outgoing gamers, technology has made it possible to interact with other game playing people all over the world, and many games even have inbuilt chat features that allow you to talk (sometimes literally, something through typing) in real-time as you are playing. You can be sitting in your beanbag from SumoLounge and enjoying a fantastic gaming session, and you can be talking to someone on the other side of the world at the same time.
If you prefer to meet people in real life, there are often conventions set up specifically for those with a love of gaming to meet, play games, look at new releases, and even meet some of their heroes for photos and autographs. So, no matter how sociable a gamer you are (if at all) there will be a way for you to enjoy yourself thoroughly.
The myth that goes around about playing video games, or even watching TV, for too long a time, is that it is bad for your eyes, and you will damage your eyesight doing it. In reality, although playing for too long will cause your eyes to become dry and irritated, it is just as the same as looking at any screen for a long time, and that includes screens you might use for work. This is why you should always take breaks away from your screens, and why eye drops can be a useful tool to have in your home or purse.
Regarding your eyesight and playing video games, there is no direct evidence that says your eyes will be worse if you play games than if you do not. As gamers need to be able to spot many different things happening at once and must carry out some fast movements and – at least in some games – aim a weapon or key or other objects, eyesight can be improved. It will not be by much, but studies have shown slight improvements. If nothing else, hand-eye coordination is better in those who play video games regularly compared to those who do not.