Games are fun, but we often take them for granted without giving much thought to their true benefits. Aside from entertaining us and providing us with a distraction from our daily lives, games can improve several aspects of our well-being, including our coordination and memory, problem-solving skills, social skills, and even our cardiovascular system. Here are just some of the benefits of playing games that you should know about.
The importance of playing as a child
While it might sound like parents telling you how important it is to eat your vegetables, sometimes we can focus so much on learning and studying that we forget to have fun. Parents and teachers often encourage children to play because they know that play helps kids grow in many different ways. Play can help a child develop their motor skills as well as their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills. So play those video games or hop on your bike—it might just be good for you!
The relationship between childhood play and later success has been studied by psychologists at Yale University. In one famous study of 150 boys aged 4-12, researchers found that over time, each additional hour per week spent playing was correlated with higher levels of adult income 10 years later (with other factors controlled). In addition to financial success, people who enjoy leisure activities also experience greater life satisfaction. One 30-year-long study followed several hundred men from adolescence into adulthood and found that adolescents who enjoyed leisure activities (such as games) were more likely to describe themselves as satisfied with life than their peers who didn’t engage in these activities.
How social networks have changed the way we play
Have you ever played a game in which your opponent is sitting right next to you, studying your every move and waiting for you to make a single mistake so they can win? The phenomenon is called social gaming and it has changed how we think about video games. If a player can share his or her progress through social media channels like Facebook or Google+, then what was once perceived as a solitary hobby becomes something more like competition. This can be exciting for gamers because it means that games no longer need an endpoint—the fun isn’t over when someone wins (and, therefore, stops playing). And it’s also exciting for developers because social media channels help them form communities around their products.
The link between video games and mental health
A research study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is making headlines for its findings on video games and mental health. It’s widely known that engaging in too much screen time isn’t good for you; it can hurt your eyesight, lead to poor posture and contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome among other things. But a more recent link between excessive screen time and mental health has led some parents to limit their children’s use of technology. However, new research suggests that video games have an unexpectedly positive relationship with children’s mental health. If you play video games regularly then there are many proven benefits beyond entertainment value.
Video gaming as a hobby
Video gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry that has exploded into an entertainment phenomenon over just a few decades. For anyone who wants to get in on the fun, here are some tips for getting started. Video games have become a standard part of many people’s lives. Today, there is a huge variety of video game genres and platforms. Regardless of whether you want to play as an action hero or build your world from scratch, there’s something for everyone out there, so grab your controller and let’s take it away! Gaming can be a great way to spend time with friends, work through problems and learn new skills. So why not give it a try? Start small if you’re unsure about committing yourself, but don’t underestimate how quickly gaming can turn into a habit. You might find yourself hooked before you know it!
Finding your motivation to play video games
video gameplay is by nature a passive activity. Sure, there’s some interaction involved and you get to decide when and for how long you want to play, but overall it’s just watching (or in some cases listening) to something happen without much control over it. And that can be hard to keep doing when things get boring or hard. At some point, most people probably find themselves saying I really should stop playing/do something else… The best way to keep yourself motivated is to simply have your reasons for continuing — reasons that aren’t based on whether or not you’re having fun at that moment. These kinds of reasons are often called extrinsic motivators because they rely on factors outside your personal preferences.