For many years, we have heard mostly negative things about the video game hobby, with the assumption being that it promotes procrastination and exposes the players to violence. However, what is often ignored are its benefits. Can playing video games help you in many areas of your life? Yes! Take a look at the examples below to find out why.
One thing that any gamer is aware of is that many video games demand intense concentration. Because of this, they may help people with dyslexia or multiple sclerosis to improve their cognitive functions, which in turn makes it easier for them to deal with their disorders. This is especially true for the so-called „brain games” that involve problem-solving and memory skills. They are especially recommended for older people, who can use them to keep their brains sharp and thus slow down the aging process significantly.
Although it is often said that video games are an isolating hobby, it turns that frequently the opposite is true. After all, a large amount of popular games nowadays are multiplayer titles that demand intense cooperation between players. Because of this, even the most socially withdrawn players are made to communicate with other players and thus create sometimes close bonds with them. You might say that it is better to communicate with people in the outside world, but the truth is that the socially isolated people often need to take that first step in order to become more accustomed to social contact.
Because games are an incredibly immersive form of entertainment, they can help people suffering from intense pain. Basically, they offer a really effective distraction from pain and can help to produce pain-killing response in higher cortical systems. For a similar reason, games can also be beneficial for those addicted to over-eating, drinking or smoking, as they provide an extremely effective distraction from the cravings.
Many of the popular video games can be called educational, promoting the love for history and science. Obviously, a lot of them are riddled with inaccuracies (no one should be learning history from the Assassin’s Creed series…), but cannot the same thing be said about most historical movies? A great example of educational gaming are strategy series such as Age of Empires, in which the players have the opportunity to become the leaders of the biggest empires of ancient history. Those games can encourage the younger players to immerse themselves in historical knowledge.
There are yet more skills that can be strengthened thanks to video gaming. Fast-paced action games promote fast reaction times and hand-eye coordination, exploration-based games improve spatial awareness as they force players to make their way through complex environments and strategy games require careful planning and leadership skills. Although they cannot really replace learning those skills in a real-life environment, it has to be said that they are an entertaining way to practice them at home.