It’s very easy to be sucked into the rhetoric that gaming is an addictive pastime that leads to people becoming angry and antisocial trolls, but there are a lot of studies which actually suggest pretty much the opposite.
The world can be a pretty terrifying place, especially at the moment and video games offer a welcome escape. Whether you’re running away from ghosts or searching for Netherite, you aren’t thinking about what’s going on everywhere else when you’re playing.
This is especially important for children who are perhaps being bullied or having a difficult time at school.
On the back of being beneficial for children who are struggling, playing video games can lead to lasting friendships which transcend gaming. For example, last year I flew to Texas to attend the wedding of two good friends I met playing games… and look how happy I looked!
Gaming has also helped keep people connected during the lockdown, even those who didn’t usually play games have started to virtually get together with friends to play games such as Tabletop Simulator.
This might come as a shock but spending time on games can actually contribute to better health (in ways other than the obvious ‘not going outside’ argument.)
Not only can playing certain games improve eyesight, but there are even studies which suggest that the focus needed in games can improve the symptoms of dyslexia.
Teachable Subjects and New Interests
As well as keeping your brain active, a lot of games feature subjects and offer passive learning on anything from language to history… think the Assassin’s Creed series.
As well as academic interests, kids who enjoy playing certain games (say Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater) may be more likely to pick up this new interest outside as well as in the game.
In the Workplace
Skills learned in video games, as well as the improvement to hand-eye coordination they can cause has even led to them lending a hand in finding fighter pilot recruits as well as training surgeons.
There are even experiments which suggest that the in-game skills gained from particular video games may, in some cases, make this generation of gamers more adept at piloting a fighter jet.
So much more than a hobby, gaming brings together communities of like-minded individuals and can give people a safe space to discover new interests.
Keep an eye on the SockMonkey blog for more news and opinions from the SockMonkey team.