From problem-solving to socializing, gaming is not just a recreational hobby with minimal health effects. In fact, gaming can do significant wonders for one’s health that contradicts the outdated reasons that we shouldn’t game. Whether you are puzzling over the best items to equip on your Half-Orc Sorcerer or curating a team composition to outplay your enemies, the brain and body are actively and positively involved from the beginning to the completion of one’s game for these reasons.
It makes you a better problem solver
Part of the fun in playing games is overcoming challenges. Whether you are entering Summoner’s Rift for a game of League of Legends, or leveling up your Warcraft character, you will be faced with certain situations that require accurate problem solving to win a fight or complete a quest. What makes this so fascinating is that different types of games will promote different problem-solving abilities. For example, figuring out the best tactics to utilize in a strategy game will do wonders for your analytical problem-solving skills. On the other hand, obstacles whereby you are required to draw on information learned previously will support your memory-based problem-solving skills.
It improves your memory
The more you play, the easier it will be to complete certain puzzles and tasks as your brain catalogs information. As you spend time tracking missions and finding items to aid in said missions, you will hone in on your memorization as your brain naturally remembers the consequences of various actions. This is a result of exercising one’s hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for your spatial memory. A healthy hippocampus will not just improve your ability in the game, but support your overall spatial memorization.
It promotes social skills
This is indeed a double-edged sword. After all, toxic gamers are a real problem for the community. That said, being exposed to toxicity isn’t necessarily a bad thing provided you are equipped with the appropriate social tools. These social skills can be groomed through playing games at a young age with your family or friends. You will learn the appropriate terms, slang, and phrases used by the community, as well as become more willing to engage with others as a result.
It supports perception and vision
As one enters a new area or a meticulously crafted world, the brain immediately registers the various components and decides what areas are important. The brain naturally creates a perceptual template that allows you to better understand recurring images, symbols, patterns, and colors in the real world.
It stimulates your curiosity
With so many genres and an endless stream of titles to choose from, one’s curious nature is ignited even before jumping into a game. Once you have done your research and made your selection, you can hop into a world of limitless possibilities where the curious mind is enticed and encouraged from start to finish. As a game triggers engagement, the brain begins reacting and learning – and the more you win, the more the brain is motivated. This stimulates specific learning pathways in the brain which boost cognitive health. Furthermore, playing period piece games such as Age of Empires or Civilization encourages players to learn more about the historical eras they are set in.
Gaming is a beloved pastime that not only satisfies one’s desires to escape for a few hours, but supports one’s health in the process!