The distinction between a game and an online game has become virtually nonexistent, with almost every type of board or card game imaginable now having a digital version. Whether it is chess or Minecraft, online games have never been more popular or accessible. Often dismissed as unproductive or a waste of time, the science actually suggests that there are multiple positive benefits to online gaming. Here we take a look at some of the ways that online gaming can be good for you.
It keeps us entertained
We spend more time online than ever before, and the events of the past year and more have prevented a lot of social contact. Confined to our homes, we seek entertainment online. Watching movies and TV series is one way that we pass the time, but it is a passive form of entertainment. Playing games is an active and engaging diversion from the stresses of life.
Home entertainment has never been as relevant as the last year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and gaming companies have reported sky-high sales numbers. With many of us in quarantine or just spending more time safe at home, playing online games have proven to be a good way to pass some time while waiting for better times to come.
There are games to suit every personality and mood, from complex strategy-based games to classic card and board games, to games of chance. If those based on chance or luck are your thing, then you may want to check out a casino bonus Canada site, like this one, where you can find plenty of casino bonuses. Many gaming sites today also offer extra support in the form of tutorials, free demo games and interactive chat to make the gaming experience even better.
It helps us stay connected
More importantly than ever, online gaming can create and maintain social interactions that are difficult or impossible to achieve in person. Many games require collaboration and teamwork, which can have a knock-on effect in improving workplace skills. For people who are cut off from others, whether by choice or necessity, gaming can provide essential contact with others in a secure environment.
In the past, online interaction and social contact was believed to be less valuable than face to face contact. More recent research refutes this assumption, finding that online interpersonal connections are just as important and beneficial as those based on real-world interactions.
The social aspect of online gaming has become more significant during this time of a world pandemic. In a time where more people spend time at home, an online game amongst friends has proven to be a safe and fun way to socialize with others. Not just with friends, but you can virtually meet new people all over the world.
It improves physical and cognitive abilities
Much research has been done on the positive effects of playing games on our cognitive abilities. Both short and long-term memory is improved, as well as other important skills. Playing games online has been shown to be good for coordination, fine motor skills, concentration and multi-tasking and a host of other mental and physical faculties.
Studies have also been done that suggest gaming can slow down brain aging, significantly helping older people to maintain their cerebral functioning. At the other end of the scale, gaming has been proven to help children engage more fully with educational material. There is also evidence that gaming can help improve symptoms and outcomes for a number of conditions, from autism to multiple sclerosis.
As with anything in life, moderation is the key also when it comes to gaming. It is an activity where you’re mainly sitting still for some time, so taking breaks and keeping active throughout the day is vital. It’s easy to get caught up in a good game, so set limits to yourself to ensure it stays a healthy activity.
It can help relieve stress and anxiety
Conventional wisdom tells us that certain games ease stress, while others heighten it. Evidence suggests that more games than we knew could in fact be stress-busters, including some that we formerly assumed to have a detrimental effect. Anecdotally, even the most adrenaline-packed action games can have an overall calming effect on players.
Inspired by the unintended positive consequences of gaming on stress, depression and anxiety, many developers today are focusing their attention on creating titles with these conditions at the core of the narrative. By creating characters and storylines that deal with mental health, the game creators hope to bring these conditions into mainstream discussion, while using the game to help and support players who could be affected.
It makes it easier to learn
Educational games for children have proven to be an effective way to learn subjects like maths and physics, amongst several others. Even for adults, there are plenty of video games with learning aspects, and you can learn the basics of a craft by playing games.
PC Building Simulator is one such game that has caught many gamer’s attention. You probably shouldn’t take apart your computer after you played it, but it will teach you about the basic components of a computer in a fun way. Car Mechanic Simulator is another similar example. In the game, your job is to fix or build cars from scratch and will give you a good understanding of where in a car the spark plugs or carburetor is found.
Such games will never be more valuable than real-life experience, of course, but playing simulation games can be a good way of improving your general knowledge.
It can curb your cravings
Anyone experiencing cravings or withdrawal symptoms will tell you the importance of keeping your mind occupied, and playing games can be a good way of doing so. Whether you have cravings for drinking, smoking, overeating or even drugs, playing a game will let you focus on something else and curb your cravings. It’s not just a theory we have, but an Australian university study dug deeper into this theory and found that participants reduced their cravings after playing a game of Tetris. And not just for a brief moment, but the effect even lasted. Their conclusion was somewhat surprising: Three minutes of playing Tetris a day can reduce your overall cravings by approximately one fifth!