Since video games have been invented, there has always been controversy and arguments surrounding whether gaming is a worthwhile use of your time, money and energy.
Ever since I was little and was first introduced to gaming, my mother has always told me that playing them is a useless, waste of time and money that is better spent going outside with friends or studying.
Naturally, I ignored her and kept amassing my collection, after all, spending time in a world of magic and great heroic quests is better than forcing yourself to make small talk with other people.
So, here I am, giving gamers 5 good points to argue against those masses of people that look down on gaming or to inform those that are just curious as to why it’s a popular form of entertainment.
Take a Break from Real Life
We all need some sort of escape from real life now and then, just to take a breather you know, recharge. There are many things that we could turn to, such as books, sports, TV/Netflix etc. Just to name a few of the safer options, there are worse things than these and you don’t turn out so great afterwards.
Gaming is another one of those safe forms of escape and entertainment, they transport you into another dimension. You get to be in someone else’s shoes, sure you know that it’s not real (I hope you do anyway), but it’s definitely more cool and different than real life most times.
Exploring a different world or timeline, being the chosen hero to a great quest and fighting through enemies like a god all by yourself, that’s got to make you feel powerful, even just a little.
Or you’re ripping through the streets of a different city in your customized dream car, winning trophies and just dominating the competition.
There are many more genres to have fun and escape to, these are just two general ideas that came to mind. Anyone that says you’re addicted to games, just tell them that it’s better than being addicted to the darker alternatives.
They Increase Your Reaction Time
If you’re playing an action packed and fast paced game, then you might or might not notice that your reaction time is faster. As an example that I’m sure has happened to many people; you accidentally knock a cup over and catch it before it hits the ground, you can thank your many hours of gaming for that real life quick time event.
One time, my cousin threw one of those foam noodles that you use in pools at me like a spear, now I wasn’t really paying attention and I wasn’t facing their direction, but I saw it out of the corner of my eye and instantly hit it away.
The cool thing was when I reacted, I didn’t just bat it to the side, it reflected back in their direction. It’s like picking up a grenade that lands near you and throwing it back at the enemy.
This is true for most games that require you to react and think quickly, when you play enough of these games, the speed in which you react will increase and carry over into real life. It’s like the bleeding effect that happens in the Assassin’s Creed series, except without all the pain that comes with it.
Playing Them Engages Your Brain
Another positive thing about gaming is that it makes you use your brain. When you’re going through a game, you’ll usually come across puzzles that need to be solved in order to progress. There are clues sprinkled around to help you figure things out, and this also needs you to use your memory in order to put the puzzle pieces together to move forward.
Whenever you are playing a new game, there is a tutorial in the beginning that is used to teach you how to play. Why does this matter? Well, always learning new things keeps your brain fresh, and it keeps your thinking flexible. Not only that, it helps you learn new skills faster both in real life and in games.
For example, if you’re learning how to fly a plane, you’ll pick up on things faster. If you’ve played any flying simulator games you’ll be more used to the inverted controls and you might not get disoriented as badly when flying in different positions.
Just as a little side note and disclaimer, do not rely solely on simulator games to teach you how to fly or anything else, it’s best to go to real classes that give you practical experience with whatever you are learning to do.
I’m just saying that your ability to learn things will translate to all aspects of your life and you may pick up on things faster than the average person.
One more pro about gaming is that it improves your hand-eye coordination, much like playing sports does.
How does that happen through a screen you ask?
Games target the same areas in your brain that sports activities do, what you input and manipulate on your preferred controller (game pad or mouse and keyboard) translates to what is happening on the screen.
When playing shooting games, coordination is important, if your hands and eyes aren’t in sync, then you can’t land any shots, meanwhile your character has been taken down as you’re trying to get your bearings.
If the urge to play some kind of sport in real life strikes you, you’ll find that your coordination is much better than you thought it would be, all thanks to the power of gaming.
Happened to me before, the chosen activity was badminton, I hadn’t played any sports since physical education class in high school, so I thought I’d be pretty bad, but no, I did pretty well against my opponents, beat them a fair number of times too.
Provides a Great Work Out
You know that common misunderstanding about gamers being lazy couch potatoes and being very out of shape? Well, they could not be more wrong, granted there are those of us who do live up to that misconception, but that’s beside the point. Not all gamers like to avoid exercise at all costs.
Sometime last year while I was at work (pain in the soul), there was a person I was helping and they asked if I biked, I said no, then they jumped to the conclusion that I was a gamer (funny how that works) and told me to get a bike instead and use it for exercise. This made me laugh, internally of course, just to maintain that professional facade in the workplace.
Anyway, I politely said “I’d rather not,” and proceeded to tell her about Virtual Reality. Since she clearly wasn’t a gamer and probably never heard about or thought that Virtual Reality could be used as an at home workout, I gave her the most basic information; you put on a headset with a controller in each hand and use your whole body to move and play games.
As many of you fellow gamers know, virtual reality can be quite the workout. It requires us to swing our arms intensely, squatting to dodge along with quick reaction times, especially in games such as Beat Saber and Thrill of the Fight.
Honestly, if the goal is to lose weight, then you can drop that gym membership and get a Virtual Reality Gaming set and get those games to replace your workout routine. It saves you money in the long term, you don’t have to wait in line to use equipment and strangers won’t have to see your red and sweat drenched face while you try to burn those calories off.
Brings People Together
Every good party has something that brings people together and strengthens bonds or forms new ones. Sitting around a television screen with a multiplayer/co-op game has the same power of bringing people together just as much as having some good food, drinks and a nice board or card game does.
When gaming with family, sharing that one screen can be special. I remember a time when I was younger, every time we went to a certain aunt’s place, we would always be playing Halo co-op on xbox, or Smash Bros on the gamecube, it promotes teamwork and friendly competition.
Since we all seem to be addicted to screens whether they be on phones or tablets, why not utilize these screens for more inclusion? Games like any of the Jackbox Party Packs, Overcooked or Mario Party are great at bringing people together, there is lots of interaction and you can express your sense of humour and skills through the game.
It’s a Fun Way to Spend Time
Finally, if nothing else, playing video games is a good way to pass the time and get swept away in storytelling. Everyone loves a good story, it’s even better to live them vicariously or otherwise. With that, these are just 5 reasons on how video games are good for you.
What are you thoughts on video games? Can you think of other things that video games do for you? I’m sure I missed a lot of good points and would like to hear your opinions down below. Thanks for visiting! If you’re wondering about what games to play, check out my other posts that give honest and complete reviews, maybe you were thinking about picking up one of those.