Gaming Can Be Good for You – Here’s How
Gaming has never been more popular than it is today, with a global market value estimated to be more than $150 billion and competitive esports on the rise. Despite this – or perhaps because of it – gaming continues to garner bad press from many quarters, blamed for societal ills such as declining physical fitness, social isolation and increasing violence.
Gamers have always argued that their pastime is being used as a convenient scapegoat, often by politicians who wish to deflect from the true causes of such problems. And now that some real research is being carried out, the results largely seem to vindicate gaming. More than one big study has concluded that there is no link between video games and violence, and it seems that gaming can in fact have many positive impacts.
Here we take a look at some of the ways that gaming can actually be good for us, many of which are backed by science.
Gaming Can Make You More Social
Contrary to the popular cliché that playing video games is a solitary activity, recent research into the way that people play games shows the opposite to be true. This has much to do with the way that games have evolved in recent years, with modern multiplayer games bringing players together from around the world. Add to that the many conventions and competitions, and gaming is now very much a social pastime.
The social aspect has even reached as far as the other type of online gaming, playing at real money casinos online. Any search for the latest online casino real money no deposit Canada is likely to point you to a gamified casino, with competitions and tournaments built into the site. Casinos themselves have always been social spaces, so it’s no wonder that the online versions are catching up.
Gaming Can Help with Stress Relief
Much like sports and other physical activities, playing video games can play a role in reducing overall stress levels. Most gamers will tell you that one of the main reasons for playing is to unwind, and the research seems to agree. One study conducted over six months showed a reduction in the stress response after playing games for some time.
Gaming Can Make Your Eyesight Better
The myth of gaming damaging your eyesight was debunked back in 2009, during a study that was designed to test the theory. Test subjects who plaid a first-person shooter game then scored better in visual sensitivity tests than those who didn’t.
Another study showed that gaming can have a dramatic effect on the vision of those suffering from a lazy eye – where one eye does all the work and the other doesn’t function. Subjects plaid video games with their good eye covered, and in many cases there was a complete restoration of normal sight in the previously lazy eye.
Gaming Can Improve Your Attention
This is an area that has seen a lot of research, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. Separate studies have found that gaming can have positive effects on spatial attention and impulse control, and can even help dyslexic children raise their test scores by improving their focus.
Gaming Can Help with Language Learning
This one feeds back to the idea of gaming as a social activity, as it is a direct consequence of gamers playing multiplayer games with a text or voice chat function. Participants come from all around the world, and English is invariably the common language used. It was first noted anecdotally in teens learning English as a foreign language that those who plaid such international multiplayers tended to be more advanced in the language than their peers.
Subsequent research suggests that these games give players, especially those in their teens, both a powerful motivation and a protected space in which to learn naturally. It seems that those students who underperform in a stressful classroom environment are those who can benefit the most from learning in another context.