Online gaming has a bad reputation but there are actually lots of surprising benefits to playing online games and video games. Whether it’s providing an escape from the often monotonous routine of daily life, being an outlet for stress relief, or improving your problem-solving skills, there’s a lot to be said for the benefits of online gaming that aren’t frequently discussed. If you’re interested in finding out more about the benefits of online gaming to your mind, body, and soul, have a read of this article.
Games Can Teach You to be a Better Problem Solver
Online games are often designed with the same concepts in mind as puzzles that take many hours to solve – this means that you will inevitably use the same problem-solving skills as you would when playing a board game like chess or solving a puzzle like a sudoku.
Online gaming can help you with quick thinking reflexes, let you adapt your problem-solving strategies at a moment’s notice, and gets you prepared for thinking on your feet – something you will inevitably need in the fast-paced environment of day-to-day life.
Many people dismiss online gaming as a waste of time and something that actively numbs your brain rather than improving it, but this isn’t necessarily true. Many games require you to actively use your brain, engage in difficult concepts and use basic maths. A study published in 2013 proved that children that play strategy-based games showed an increased ability to problem solve compared to their peers that didn’t engage in online gaming. Problem-solving skills aren’t just useful in a gaming situation – these mental abilities translate to all parts of daily life and the children who played online games in this study also tended to perform better in school.
Games Can Be an Escape From Daily Life
Many studies have shown that playing online video games can boost your mood and decrease stress levels. Video games are a common tool used in therapy, and although some teenagers become addicted to online gaming, used in a healthy way, online games can provide an escape from the reality of day-to-day life. Video games have the power to transport you into a completely different universe, especially if you are playing an immersive fantasy game.
Sometimes, even if you don’t want to destress, you need an escape from the outside world – maybe an adrenaline rush after a boring day at work. Some people get these adrenaline rushes from fast-paced action video games, others from live online gaming with other people on the internet and some from internet arcade games and gambling.
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Gaming is Helping People Overcome Dyslexia and Dyspraxia
Everyone knows that online gaming requires a certain amount of dexterity and attention to detail. Some research points towards attention difficulties being a big part of dyslexia – many dyslexic people find it difficult to concentrate for extended periods, which can affect their performance in school where children are expected to concentrate for lessons up to an hour in length.
Studies have shown that, when asked to do a reading comprehension text, dyslexic students who had played video games beforehand performed significantly better in the test. This was inferred to be down to the fact that the student’s attention span had been naturally lengthened with the stimulating video game – meaning when they came to do their reading comprehension, they were accustomed to concentrating for longer periods. The students did particularly well in reading comprehension tests following games that involved intense action scenes – the researchers believed that the rapidly changing environments of these video games required intense focus and it was building up the ability to intensely focus for longer periods caused the children to do better in their reading comprehension tests.
Video Games Could Improve Your Vision
Yes! You read that right – we’ve been told all our lives to limit our screen time and not sit too close to the television but there is little scientific evidence to back this up. Scientists are instead discovering that online gaming (in moderation) may be able to improve your vision.
If you’ve had to stare at a screen for a whole day, you’ll often notice that you develop eyestrain – this is inevitably bad for your eyes as your eyes get used to focusing on near distance, you’ll find that it’s a strain for your eyes to focus on objects far away in the distance. This isn’t what we’re saying – it’s never a good idea to look at a screen all day, but the wonders of online gaming for your eye health shouldn’t be dismissed.
In one study, 10 weeks of online gaming was associated with an increased ability to distinguish between different shades of grey. The study also found that people’s eye movement and ability to track fast objects increased significantly. When online gaming, players often have to track objects and characters moving fast across the screen; they also have to practice their hand-eye coordination to spot an object on the screen and click a button on a mouse just at the right time. All of these skills are good for your eye’s reflexes!
Despite its bad reputation, don’t dismiss online gaming. If you like online gaming, don’t let people put you down and say it is a waste of time. As long as you are gaming in moderation and using it as a healthy outlet for stress, there’s no harm at all!