We may have all been told that playing video games will just “rot your brain” or “will waste your life.” Who needs that kind of negativity when you’re trying to beat Sifu, right? Lucky for us, studies are revealing many psychological, intellectual, and social benefits of playing video games. Here are just a few ways that gaming can improve your overall well-being.
Improve Cognitive Skills
There’s an unfair stigma against video games that they only promote violence. However, studies show that video games, primarily shooting games, improve cognitive skills. These skills include overall information processing, such as languages, visuals, and overall problem-solving skills. A study of 2,000 children playing video games for three hours a day showed that they had faster cognitive skills than children who didn’t play. You exercise your brain quite a bit when you’re playing Call of Duty. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Promote Emotional Regulation and Processing
Though many people suffer from gamers’ rage, studies actually show that gaming can improve overall emotional regulation. For example, video games can help the brain to process positive emotions, such as joy, more quickly. Also, some games can be frustrating, but losing a game doesn’t have any real negative outcome in life, so the brain can better process accepting these losses. As a result, the gamer can try again and problem-solve until finally beating the level, which is an attitude that can combat depression and lead to an overall positive outlook.
Create Social Connections
We’re not all anti-social loners. Gaming, whether in person or online, can lead to some amazing friendships. Studies show that gamers can have equally healthy friendships as those who don’t game. Collaborating with others to defeat a boss or finish a level can encourage overall altruistic or social actions towards others in one’s day-to-day life. Personally, I feel invigorated, engaged, and excited when I talk to other people about gaming. It also feels great to help others in online gaming. If you need to be resuscitated in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, then I’m your turtle.
There are definitely some games that will challenge your brain more than others, but overall, gaming is definitely not a no-brainer. By relaxing, having fun, and focusing as much as possible, gaming can actually enhance your life, not hinder it. Take that, haters.
Guest Author: Gabrielle Muniz