Today, gaming has taken off in a huge way – to the point that many young people are getting their social needs met through online gaming rather than playing out with other children. In some ways, this can be a concern for parents, yet there’s research to suggest that gaming can be good for you.
Of course, as with anything, moderation is a critical element – in the sense that overindulgence in anything can be unhealthy… just like how watching too much TV can zombie us out, yet research has shown that a little bit of gaming a day can actually be good for you.
In this article we’re therefore going to look at how videogames can be good for you, as today, the days of playing Mario Kart, sitting alone in your room are mostly gone. Today, games are connecting people. They are also expanding us as individuals… as many games involve a large component of strategy which enhance cognitive and creative ability.
Indeed, many companies are focusing on the gamification of education as a way to enhance the learning experience. For instance, language learning with apps like Duolingo or brain training games that help with memory, focus and cognition can be a very positive resource.
1. THE INFLUENCE OF VIDEO GAMES
If we look at games like Rollercoaster Tycoon or Candy Crush, few would argue these games are a dangerous social influence. Whilst they might be considered to be the tool of choice for procrastinators to procrastinate, they can also be helpful in terms of one’s cognition.
Yet, when we look more toward action packed games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto we can see the reason some people consider these violent games to have a negative influence, particularly on young impressionable minds. That said, some could argue that these games provide an effective channel to vent anger and decompress.
2. THE LONELY DAYS ARE GONE
The challenge with gaming is that it can turn into an addiction. There’s nothing wrong with getting a gamer desk for computers, in fact this can make ergonomic sense, but there has to be moderation in terms of the amount of time spent sitting on your own in a room playing video games as this form of detachment and dissociation isn’t healthy… but in small doses, gaming has been proven to benefit a person’s mental and emotional health – as today, it’s much more of a social and collaborative experience than it once was.
Specifically, video games have been known to improve self-esteem, confidence, and intellect in terms of thinking strategically. Today, as there are around 1.2 billion people playing video games throughout the world gaming has become a much more social affair than it once was – meaning there’s now an element of teamwork and friendship on offer.
3. THE CONCLUSION
The conclusion is that gaming can be good for you, in moderation, and depending on what games are being played. We are living in a much more digital world to the point that everything is done online today, even dating, so in the “new world” perhaps we need to let go of the notion that gaming is intrinsically bad for us.