5 Reasons Video Games Are Good For Your Health, According To Science
It's official: games are good for you.
We've all heard it, right? Games are bad for your health. They rot your brain, hurt your eyes, ruin your sleep schedule, destroy your concentration, and blah blah blah.
Obviously, everyone has to be careful - too much of anything can be unhealthy - but if you integrate gaming into your everyday life and balance it properly with time away from the screen, too, turns out there are LOADS of benefits to being a gamer. Here's just five of 'em!
They boost our physical activity
It's tempting to think that gamers get home from work or school and just plop down on their backsides and barely move for hours, but if you've ever spent time with a game like Pokemon Go, you know as well as we do that actually, games can be hugely beneficial when it comes to physical health. Not only do classic games like Just Dance and Wii Sports get the whole family up, moving, and having fun together, others are using cutting-edge augmented reality technology to get us out in the fresh air. Just ask anyone who's needed to hatch a super rare Pokemon Go egg...
They help lower stress, pain, and improve our mood
We've all had those days when all we want to go is scream and run and hide under the duvet, right? Well, thanks to video games, research has shown that gamers who regularly play are better at managing stress and anxiety, and even shooters and horror games are great stress relievers for us. It gets even better, though; according to the American Pain Society, both adults and children recovering from accident or painful procedures have reported feeling less pain whilst focusing on playing video games, too. So if you're feeling particularly stressed or in pain, just throw on your favourite game!
Better decision making
If you're a gamer and you've ever done an Escape Room puzzle IRL, you'll know that when it comes to quick thinking and decision making, no-one's better than us, especially when you're up against the clock! Research has shown that gamers are determined and creative when it comes to problem-solving, too, and the fact we keep going back to take down THAT Dark Souls boss - even though we've been beaten hundreds of times before - shows how resilient we can be, especially when we're under pressure and need to make decisions quickly.
They improve our social and communication skills...
If you've ever spent time working with a clan or raid team, then you know how important communication is, especially if you're taking on a particularly troublesome boss (King's Fall in Destiny, anyone?!). Apparently, this makes us much better at verbal communication than non-gamers as without the benefit of facial expressions or hand gestures, we've learned how to convey our point in just the right way. Oh, and don't forget that we meet, mix with, and befriend people from all over the world, too; 70 per cent of gamers play with a pal online. Researchers in the UK and Canada looked into how common antisocial behavior is among gamers and discovered that sociable gamers are some of the most communicative and friendly people in the world!
...as well and hand-eye coordination
A study has demonstrated that while gamers pretty much automate their hand-eye coordination to the extent that we don't even have to think about it much, non-gamers struggle much more to do so. Incredibly, surgeons are encouraged to play games to improve their dexterity, and some medical schools are developing VR surgeries to help with their training. So the next time someone throws shade for "wasting" time with games, tell them you're training to become a brain surgeon...
- By Vikki Blake @_vixx