With more than two billion video game players worldwide, it is undeniable that gaming has grown to be part of human culture. Unfortunately, the media has often pointed out that video games cause violence and anti-social behavior; however, there are wholesome aspects of playing that people may not be aware of. These are some ways that video game playing in moderation can be helpful.
Fosters Mental Health
A University of Saskatchewan professor, Regan Mandryk says that gaming can help people detach themselves psychologically from stressful circumstances. As health concerns unfolded globally in 2020, games like Animal Crossing and Mario Kart Live were among the most played. These calm types of games helped players escape into a more peaceful world where they could farm, customize characters and game elements, build communities, or simply master challenges. In a way, it can be seen as an alternate life where users can interact with animals that have personalities and help them complete tasks in the game that frees players from troubles and worries. Professor Mandryk states that chilled play helps one to feel a sense of control over a trying situation, which helps relieve tension in people of all ages.
Despite the “anti-social” tag of video games, they are an entertaining means to connect with other people. Massive Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) that have engaging storylines enable users to interact with others and develop their skills in starting a conversation, winning people over, cooperation, and nurturing relationships, albeit online. Dr. Rachel Kowert, Research Director of Take This, says that game-rooted friendships are as genuine as offline ones. Cooperative titles played side-by-side on consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii also boost interpersonal connections.
Strengthen Family Bonds
Playing video games with your children can cultivate family relationships, according to Teachers College Assistant Professor Sinem Siyahhan. Spending time together playing Minecraft, Snipperclips, TowerFall, and Captain Toad present enjoyable ways to develop puzzle-solving skills, logic, and creativity. This is also an opportunity for you to get to know your children better as well as help guide them in choosing appropriate games. Best of all, your children will grow up with wonderful childhood memories.
Video games will benefit you and your children mentally, cognitively, socially, and emotionally when done in moderation. As with most things, the key is balance. The digital age may have enabled humans to spend a lot of time with gadgets, but they can use these to develop better mental health, build connections, and nurture relationships.