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    The Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Playing Computer Games

    Published on October 28, 2020

    As a gamer, you’ve probably been bombarded with stories on how gaming is addictive, unproductive, and maybe even toxic. But is this true? No, it’s not, but good luck convincing grandma. 

    Let’s take a look at the ways gaming can benefit your health and wellbeing. 

    Socialization 

    Games, and particularly multiplayer or massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Valorant, EVE Online, Elder Scrolls Online, and more, allow gamers to connect with each other. Through online games, life long friendships are formed. During the pandemic, gamers still maintained a healthy dose of socialization, while non-gamers often felt isolated and lonely. 

    Games also teach people valuable skills around cooperation and collaboration. Most games involve elements of problem-solving. For example, in World of Warcraft, it often takes several months after a raid has been released for it to be completed by more than a few guilds. Players have to work together to figure out how to overcome complex game mechanics and never seen before bosses with unique abilities. Along the way, they learn what consumables they need and what weapons and gear can give them an edge in the fight. This is all done through teamwork, with each guild member bringing something new to the table. Incidentally, if you’re struggling to get through current content without the gear you need, you can buy WoW gold or buy WoW items online here

    When it comes down to it, gaming is an inherently social activity for most people. One study found that only 17% of gamers choose to play games alone. 

    Mental Health 

    As a form of entertainment, games play an essential role in the mental health of many people. After a stressful day at work or school, many people want to unwind with a relaxing Warzone game where they can shoot randoms off the map. 

    Recent scientific studies have shown that playing video games can positively affect wellbeing. Until recently, scientific studies into games and gamers have been solely focused on gaming’s negatives. Countless studies have been funded to try and find links between gaming and aggression. The problem is, if you only look for the negatives, then you’ll only find the negatives. New studies are taking a much more balanced approach to researching gaming and its effects on health. The truth is, most people today are gamers. Although many people would like to gatekeep who can actually be considered a gamer, the truth is people from every age demographic are playing games every day, whether its on computers, consoles, or phones. 

    Recent studies have found that playing games is linked to emotional stability and reduced emotional disturbances in children. In light of this study, many experts recommend that games be a great way to reduce stress. 

    Performance and Pain

    Games can also boost performance and help people learn new skills. Interestingly, surgeons are often encouraged to play games to improve their reflexes, reaction times, and practice complex procedures. Your brain is like a muscle – it needs to be put to work to grow stronger.  

    Games differ from many other forms of entertainment because they are active, rather than passive. When you watch Netflix, you’re taking part in a passive activity. Your brain doesn’t have to do much. One alarming study found that your mind is more active when asleep than watching TV! 

    Games, on the other hand, are inherently active. If you don’t tell your character what to do, then nothing happens. You’re in control; you make the decisions. This is also one of the reasons that gaming has been shown to reduce pain for people suffering from chronic pain. If you keep your brain active (and therefore distracted), you feel less pain and get some much-needed relief. Although it’s worth mentioning that not all games are equal here. If you’re recovering from surgery, we recommend you don’t pick a horror game with lots of jump scares (Avoid Resident Evil 7 at all costs).  

    Games from all genres have their place in improving wellbeing. Fantasy role-playing games are great for encouraging creativity. Fast-paced console games such as first-person shooters are great at improving hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. And almost all games are great at promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

    Of course, gaming, like anything, is best in moderation. If you find yourself overly consumed with games to the point that it’s getting in the way of your other responsibilities (like work, family, or school), then you should hang up the controller and take a break. Remember, you play games, they don’t play you. 

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