How gaming is beneficial for all age groups?

Games and gamers are always looked down on in our ignorant society, where grades and your salary are the only metrics for success. It is believed that gaming is a waste of time and the most unproductive activity on the planet. To everyone’s surprise, that’s not true at all; in fact, a gaming session can help us to “succeed” in our day-to-day lives. Here are 6 benefits of gaming, that’ll not only help youth but adults as well.

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Gaming Reduces Stress

Yes, you read that right. A group of players were scrutinized before and after playing the co-operative and competitive games for their stress levels. Stress levels of the players were much lower after the gaming session, especially in those players who played cooperative games. Not only that but players also maintained their positive feelings towards the other players even after the session. So, instead of inducing stress, which is a myth, a session of gaming can help you get rid of the stress, or at least reduce it significantly. [1]

angry

An online survey was conducted to investigate the use of video games for recovery purposes. 1614 people participated in this survey. After investigation, it was apparent that people use video games to relieve their stress when faced with a stressful situation. Some use it to recover from their work fatigue, while some use it to cope with their emotional problems. People with emotion-based problems used gaming for recovering purposes more often than people with work-related problems. [2]

Games to help you deal with stress: Animal Crossing, Tetris, Candy Crush Saga, Untitled Goose Game and Journey.

Enhances Your Cognitive Abilities

As funny and fake as it seems, gaming actually helps in improving one’s cognitive abilities. It enhances your problem-solving skills, strategy development, attention allocation skills, spatial awareness and also gives the player a creative boost.

A player builds all these qualities when they fail the certain level or get stuck at a certain place.

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They are forced to implement the trial and error, explore all the possibilities, get creative with the approach and keep at it without quitting. Such actions are sure to help one sharpen their cognition.

Games are also used in the rehabilitation of patients with some form of brain damage. It can stimulate the growth of new neurons and connectivity in the brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation, and strategic planning. Therefore, specific brain regions can be trained by means of video games. [3]

Games to help your cognition: Call of Duty, Sudoku, Jigsaw Puzzles and similar action and strategy games.

Treats anxiety, depression, and disorders

Depressed-Kid

This sounds like a bold claim but as we read above, it turns out to be true. A study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety, says that video games can address issues associated with depression in older adults. There’s another study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, which says that video games can improve symptoms of depression, particularly for people with serious depression symptoms. [4]

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Psychologist Brian Sutton-Smith discovered that people are more confident, energetic, and emotionally positive when they play. According to Bradley University, a gaming session allows patients to let off steam caused by the daily activities, which results in patients freely expressing themselves. This method can help counselors and mental health professionals to get to the root of the problem, resulting in better treatment. [5]
SPARX is a game designed specifically to treat anxiety and depression.

Improves Social Skills

This goes against the stereotype of gamers being introverts and isolated from society, but studies say otherwise. Co-operative games or competitive games with friends can help you to improve your social skills. It also helps gamers to get better at teamwork which can be beneficial for their professional career.

social skills

In MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing games) like World of Warcraft, players need to make social decisions if they want to make good progress. These social-context immersive games lead to people adapting social skills which are helpful in the real world. There are studies which prove that social skills learned in such video games translate to real-world interactions. [6]

Games to improve your social skills: Minecraft, Guild Wars 2, World of Warcraft and other MMORPG’s

Low Impact Exercise

As shocking as it seems for gaming, which is notorious for making couch potato of a generation, to be linked with exercise, it indeed is true. There are a few games and consoles which operate on physical actions and gestures, and few old-school arcade games are here to help as well.

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Virtual-Reality Gaming

VR (virtual reality) games are the best alternative for exercising where a player is required to wear a VR headset and have a VR controller in their hand. Each game requires a different type of physical activity to play. Wii is a similar type of console which requires physical action/gestures to play.

Pokémon GO is a mobile game that requires the player to walk and catch Pokémons. It sure made people walk, drive and run kilometers in search of Pokémons. It’s now apparent that gaming does make you sweat and get in some good exercise.

Games to help you with exercising: Beat Saber, Supershot VR, Pokémon GO, Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Dance Dance Revolution, Ring Fit Adventure, and similar games.

Makes You Better At Multitasking

This is one of the game-changing (no pun intended) advantage video games offer. In this fast-paced world, multitasking is a significant skill to have and video games are here to help us with that.

multitasking

A study led by neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley of the University of California, San Francisco, proved that there are specific games that can help not only youth but senior citizens as well. 65-year-old Ann Linsey was worried about her declining ability to multitask. She participated in a study to test whether playing a game could improve fading cognitive skills in older people, and to her surprise, it did. Not only that but she also retained the ability for more than six months. [7]

Games that’ll help: NeuroRacer, Surgeon Simulator 2, Anno Series, Human Fall Flat and similar games.

Conclusion

It’s evident that gaming is not only healthy but it also helps an individual to improve and treat themselves. So it’s about time you pick up a game and level up yourself.

PS: This blog doesn’t permit you to mindlessly waste hours on a gaming session! Gaming is only beneficial when done in moderation! So, time your gaming sessions and you’ll be good.

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