Video games are everywhere now, so how do they still get such a bad rap?
The video game industry is worth nearly $20 billion in the US alone. In the last few decades, gaming has gone from a niche interest to a global fact of life. Yet video games are still new enough to be the target of media panic.
The only way to counter that is with education.
Next time someone tells you you’re wasting time gaming, hit them with these 5 surprising benefits of playing video games.
Many games don’t set out to be educational tools, but they’ll achieve it anyway.
Even popular games which focus on entertainment first contain more educational potential than the equivalent movie. Thanks to their depth, they can back in supplementary material for those who want to learn more.
Whether you pick up world history through Civilization or avionics through a flight sim, gamers can collect a lot of knowledge along the way.
Information Absorption and Pattern Recognition
This one’s a twofer.
No two games are the same. Each one plays by its own rules, which requires a new player to learn and understand those rules. Only by paying attention can you develop your skill at the game.
That means gamers are learners. They have to absorb information to enjoy their hobby.
While no two games are the same, similar genres share similar features. Part of the unspoken skillset of the gamer is the ability to recognize these similarities so they can learn a new game faster. Not only do they learn quickly, but they’re adaptable, too.
“Game Over. Continue?”
If there are a better life lesson gaming teaches than perseverance, we’d love to hear it.
Getting up, dusting yourself off, and trying again is one of the single most useful skills you can learn in life. Gaming teaches us to disassociate our emotions from the state of failure. We choose “Continue” and try again.
The era of Nintendo Hard games might have passed, but the Souls-like genre has stepped into the spotlight to remind us that failure and fun aren’t polar opposites. Dark Souls says it best: “Don’t give up, skeleton!”
Creative people never stop playing. Being an author, for instance, is the adult equivalent of playing pretend.
Playing video games can augment your creativity. Creativity, in turn, leads to better problem-solving skills and even mood regulation.
Giant sandbox games show the unlimited potential for creativity. Whether it’s recreating Denmark in 1:1 scale or finding cool Minecraft seeds to terraform, gamers keep their creative instincts honed.
Could playing video games make your brain “bigger”?
At least one study thinks so. These researchers found an increase in gray matter in the brains of frequent gamers, suggesting it’s one of the positive effects of video games. That suggests improved strategic and spacial ability, along with better motor performance.
That even suggests that games can make effective therapy for certain mental conditions like anxiety disorders or PTSD.
The Benefits of Playing Video Games Revealed
We’ve laid out a few of the benefits of playing video games. There are a lot more where those came from. The next time someone says you’re timewasting, feel free to fire back with a few truth bombs.
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