Saturday, May 15, 2021

Due to video games often getting given a bad name for the violence and aggression they can expose the player to, you may be surprised to know that health care professionals such as Doctors are now recommending people to play video games! Which is good news for you gamers, but not so good news for the parents who are trying to wean their children off their consoles!

Cognitive/Intellectual Skills

There has been a stigma around video gaming for a long time, with a common belief being that people who play video games are not very intelligent and are wasting their time doing something unproductive. However, more recently, it has been acknowledged that many video games are great for exercising the brain. It may not be obvious at first, even to those playing the game, but many video games stimulate the mind and require the player to use many cognitive skills in order to win. Many games require those playing to use problem-solving skills in order to complete challenges or quests, meaning they are having to think strategically and outside of the box.

Social Skills

While it is often frowned upon that children today are spending much more time playing video games and less time playing outside with friends, does this really mean they are isolating themselves? Well, it turns out, not at all. The majority of video games allow the player to compete against others, play as part of a team, and communicate with one another, either verbally through a headset or through a chat box function. This kind of debunks the whole notion of video gamers being ‘loners’ or ‘anti-social’ as just because they aren’t interacting with the physical world as such, they are still using social skills through an online community. In games that involve working in a team to compete against others such as Arma 3, the team members are required to cooperate with one another to ensure they are successful in beating their opponents; requiring strong communication and teamwork; there’s a whole range of good cheats available for Arma 3.

Mental Health

Research has shown that video games can actually improve your mental health- which is the main reason doctors are now recommending them! The reason for this being the case is that video games often require the player to pick a character and play in a pretend world, this means that the player is able to escape reality and forget about the real world outside their bedroom door for a while. This can be a great way for reducing anxiety or de-stressing, as the individual is focusing their energy on something they enjoy. Video games can also support a person’s emotional development, which relates to mental health, as they can build resilience and get better at realizing that you cannot always win at life, sometimes there will be setbacks or other people that get in the way of success. Quite the opposite to escaping reality, some games (such as SIMS) involve the player creating an animation of themself and completing everyday tasks; this could help an individual in applying what they have learned in the game to real life.

Physical Health

Of course, when we think of video gaming, we picture someone sat on a gaming chair or bean bag, with a controller in their hand, looking rather motionless (apart from their fine motor skills being worked). However, many games have been developed to encourage people to exercise such as the Wii Fit. These types of games are great for people’s physical health, as they are a way of promoting exercise that is fun and interactive. Due to these games being enjoyable, people are more likely to continue playing and may even be working out without even realizing it!

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