Video games are a great escape from reality. In them you can be who you want and accomplish great things. You can spend hours on a farm, in a war zone or in a fantasy setting. All while being in the safety of your every day surroundings. But if like me you were nagged to death by other people. On why I wasted my time on them. This is the article for you. Do Video Games Benefit You?
Like all things its important to play video games in moderation. As long as your still getting active hours during the day there is very little harm in playing them. They can strengthen your hand eye coordination. Improve your problem solving skills. And at the very least allow you to calm down and relax after a stressful day.
So let us delve into the many benefits that video gaming can provide you.
Problem Solving Skills
This is one of the most obvious benefits for playing video games. Most games have at least a few aspects that require the player to solve problems.
It can be a block puzzle like in the Legend of Zelda. Or a more subtle challenge such as in Stardew Valley where you have to plan the ideal crop placements. To get the best yield. Each of these games makes you come up with the solution yourself. There is very little hand holding.
Dark Souls and other Souls games are also a prime example of problem solving. Being killed by the same enemy(-ies) over and over again eventually leads you to trying different techniques. It may be the weapon or armour you are using isn’t suitable. Or you may have to agro one enemy at a time to survive. These are all problems that need solving.
These skills that you develop can then be used both at work, in the home or in life in general. Only have a specific amount of time to complete some tasks? Your problem solving skills you developed will kick into gear. Or doing your chores in a certain order to make sure you are as efficient as possible.
Even using a search engine to solve a in-game puzzle is just another form of problem solving. It has certainly helped me in the real world.
For PC players, they have a lot of keys at their disposal. To begin with a new player has to look down at the keyboard to locate the correct key. But as time goes on they naturally learn the placement of the keys and can focus on the action. This has given me a huge advantage when learning to type.
For players of the Motion Controlled devices, there is also an element of using hand eye coordination. Depending on the accuracy of the device, you have to learn to position yourself to accomplish your goals.
Finally VR is starting to become more common. I have not yet tried it, but trying to be spatially aware while wearing a VR Headset must require a lot of skill. Which can help you in the real world.
Another video game benefit is the relief of stress. For different people there are different genres to help with the relief.
For some it may be a shooter or combat central genre. Being able to take your stresses out on virtual enemies can be very beneficial. Especially since there is no one as the recipient.
These type of games may cause more stress for others. This is where titles such as Farming Simulator, Cities Skylines and other slow paced games may relax the player. It’s all about finding the genre that suits you.
So this is both a video game benefit and a drawback, but here we will focus on the benefits. If you play on-line with others, this can increase your social skills. Especially if you are an introvert and you find in-person conversations tiring.
Games like Call of Duty and Battlefield require teams to communicate with each other to beat the enemy. If you have a group of friends this can be a huge benefit as you can use Discord or the in game chat to devise strategies.
I’m afraid I have to balance out the benefits with some of the drawbacks and here we are with the first one, a lack of activity.
Lack of Activity
Playing video games in moderation allows you to reap the benefits without the negatives. A lack of physical activity being one of them.
I don’t have to go into too much detail on why a lack of activity is bad. But it can contribute to obesity. Reduced energy levels and weakened muscles.
There is also an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Which is a long term condition that can affect the quality of your life.
There is also a chance of reduced blood circulation which can result in many different conditions that can prove fatal.
Surprisingly if an overweight person has more physical activity than a person with good weight, the overweight person has less risk of disease.
A small amount of people, roughly 50 million, have some form of epilepsy. When a person with epilepsy has a seizure there is an increased amount of electricity in the brain. Depending on the location that this takes place can result in different symptoms.
Playing video games can be a trigger for a person with epilepsy. So before playing any video game they should speak to a General Practitioner before they push the on button.
A large majority of people with epilepsy can be treated if diagnosed correctly and provided with the correct medication.
Lack of Social Skills
So we have already listed that one of the video games benefits is improved social skills. However, this can be a double edge sword.
If you spend long hours playing solo games you won’t be interacting with other people and therefore won’t be able to maintain their social skills. Which can lead to people confining themselves to their homes.
Another side effect, is that you may be comfortable playing video games and talking via a headset. But face-to-face may not be comfortable to the player. So get out there and socialise.
Like everything, video games can bring both benefits and drawbacks. As long as you are sensible and play in moderation it shouldn’t negatively effect you.