Gaming has long been seen as a ‘frivolous’ activity, but the tide of opinion is turning. There are many benefits to playing games, and whether PC or console, online or offline – here are just 11 you might not have considered before now:
1) They can help improve hand-eye coordination
It’s an obvious one, but it still bears mentioning – games are designed for this purpose. Whether you’re dodging missiles in “Call of Duty” or trying to hit a golf ball out of your opponent’s reach in “The Golf Club”, there are plenty of games that will test your ability to control the characters on screen with split-second precision. This is true for sports simulators, too – if you can win a penalty shootout in FIFA 22, you’ll know how to do it when the real thing comes along.
2) They can help inspire creativity
There’s no denying that games like Minecraft, for all their blocky world-building and repetitive nature, are an excellent way of firing up little minds. Even something as simple as “Little Big Planet” allows players to create intricate levels with relative ease – try doing anything remotely similar on your PS4! You might not be able to code or draw or write music, but if you’re playing a game that has these elements built-in (and many do), then there’s at least a chance you might pick up some new skills along the way.
3) Social interaction is still crucial
But it becomes a choice, not a requirement. When you play games with your friends online, whether with voice or text chat or even just a shared screen, there is a level of connection that can’t be found elsewhere. You genuinely feel like part of the team when you’re playing Call of Duty together and helping each other out on various missions – something that’s hard to replicate in real life through other means. Multiplayer games also allow more than two people to interact at once, where some of the most fun can be had.
4) …as is learning
Sometimes, it feels like we learn so little these days, apart from perhaps how to vote on “X-Factor” and what selfie pose works best on Instagram. Games, however, teach us all sorts about the world and the people in it. They help us understand how things work: like seeing a city come to life as you drive around it in “The Crew” or learning about different animals as you try and protect your zoo from destruction in “Zoo Tycoon”.
5) They can be used to develop new skills
There’s an entire industry now built around the idea of providing developers with titles that offer players experience points for completing tasks related to their profession. Not only that, but they might also receive bonus rewards for gaining higher levels within those games – which is much more fun than just filling out timesheets! This goes double if they’re working a games console: interactive entertainment is the best way to learn to use a previously-unseen controller.
6) It is beneficial for mental health
As more people turn to games for their entertainment, it’s no wonder that mental health issues are on the rise. Rather than seek solace in drugs or alcohol, however, there are plenty of gamers who find comfort in knowing they have a hobby that helps them unwind after a long day at work – it’s almost like meditation! There are games built around this concept – “Papers, Please”, which challenges players to process paperwork all day long without making any mistakes. It requires constant concentration but allows you to stretch your brain muscles at the same time!
7) They can help control anxiety
Many of us feel anxious when faced with unfamiliar situations, whether while travelling alone or speaking to someone new while out and about. Games help us overcome these fears by practising and perfecting our responses, often without any consequences if we don’t get it right the first time. Who knows, you might even meet a new friend online thanks to your shared love of games!
8) They give people something to talk about
As the popularity of video games grows, so does their place in pop culture. Because so many people spend so much time playing them, there’s a strong chance they’ll discuss them with friends and colleagues – allowing a bond to grow stronger as a result. You could even find yourself going beyond just talking about games and becoming interested in the broader world of eSports!
9) They encourage collaboration
Games have always been known as social experiences, but as they become more complex, so does how we interact with them. Multiplayer games often require a high level of knowledge from everyone involved for a team to succeed – meaning players have to communicate and work together or else fail spectacularly! It’s a vital lesson that carries over into the real world, too: collaboration is always better than going it alone.
10) They’re fun!
So many people honestly believe that life is all about doing things you don’t want to do – going to work every day, cleaning your house and worrying about money. It should be all about one thing: enjoying yourself as much as possible, no matter your age! Games allow us to do just this by offering a whole new world to explore and immerse ourselves in. They’re often a journey of self-discovery, too, teaching us all sorts about what we want from life and how we can go about achieving it.
11) You can earn money from them
This is why eSports has become such a big industry these days: it’s gradually becoming more acceptable to actually earn money playing games. Whilst not everyone can be crowned world champion, there are plenty of smaller competitions that offer substantial amounts in prizes – and many companies even offer their employees the chance to play for free by sponsoring teams. Also, becoming a streamer is very rewarding and can become a full time gig.
Although some people might claim that games are just a waste of time, there’s plenty of evidence that proves such statements wrong – and this is only set to rise as technology becomes more advanced. Games offer so much for so little: they help us learn new skills, build confidence and experience the best parts of our minds. There’s nothing not to like!