Many people have a negative view about video games. They are often just seen as violent, time-consuming and an activity that makes kids passive. When people think about gamers, they just assume they sit in front of the screen all day long, drinking fizzy drinks and eating fast food. Yet, the video game industry isn’t actually that bad and the negative image is too much of an exaggeration. Indeed, playing games can actually be beneficial for your health. Here’s how.
Playing can relieve your pain
It’s quite easy to lose track of your surroundings when you’re playing a good game. Anyone who’s ever played a good game knows how time flies when you are lost in your new world. It’s no wonder then how studies have found video games to help relieve pain – similarly to actual painkillers. In a study, patients were immersed in a game in virtual reality while undergoing chemotherapy. With the help of the game world, patients reported pain readings of 30% to 50% less than without the games. So, next time you are feeling pain, you might want to give virtual reality a go.
Playing can help you see better
The stereotype tends to think video games make people blind. But staring that screen, especially if you are playing action games, can actually have an opposite effect. People who play video games can enjoy from improved eyesight and increase in spatial resolution – small things and details become easier to notice.
There are even certain researchers who believe eyesight issues might be treated with video games in the future. This is definitely good news for anyone who wears glasses!
Playing helps you socialise
Good health isn’t just about the physical side of things. Mental health is an important part of wellbeing and something people are struggling with increasingly. Gaming can be a great tool for anyone battling with mental illness. Most games these days have a social element to them, as you often play with other people online. You won’t be stuck in your own home, but can meet up new people all over the world. You can even learn how to socialise better, and improve your cognitive skills and boost your emotional intelligence.
Games have even helped people with autism. Minecraft has produced plenty of stories where kids with autism have learned to communicate better and come out of their shells.
Playing gets you moving
Video games are not a passive activity. With the rise of motion controls, playing a game can actually get you up from the coach and help you build a sweat. All the big consoles, Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox, have motion control mechanics that transmit your actual movements into the game. You can find games that make you jump, dance and throw! You can even get actual workout games that can make getting fit a lot more fun – not to mention you can do it all in the comfort of your own home.
Furthermore, with virtual reality, active games are likely to increase. The HTC Vive, for example, allows you to duck and dive, making even shooter games a more active experience.
Playing can teach you new things
Educational games have increased in numbers in recent years. What’s better is how the games have become much more enjoyable – often you learn things even when you’re not aware of it. You have games that teach you math, geography and even history. Learning new things isn’t just good for your brains, but it can actually boost your health. So, learning a new language, gaining more information about a country, or learning a new skill can help you feel more confident in your abilities and this can boost your overall wellbeing. In fact, dyslexics have found video games to help them read faster, which in turn can make learning at school a lot less stressful.
How to get started?
Getting into video games isn’t difficult. Console and gaming computer prices are not as high as they were just a few years back. There are also plenty of second hand options to get you started if you’ve not played before. Furthermore, game retailers run special discounts around the year, ensuring you can find games without destroying your budget. VoucherBin is a great place to learn more about the biggest games of the moment and get your hands on titles without spending more.
Naturally, you can turn video gaming into an unhealthy habit if you aren’t careful. None of the above benefits suggest you should start playing all day long. You just shouldn’t be afraid of spending a few hours here and there lost in another world – you will do yourself a favour if you do! Like with most things in life; video games are good for your health when you find that all important balance.
So, don’t be put off by video games or think your kids are harming themselves if they play. Remember the above benefits and give video games a go – you might enjoy it and the healthy benefits of playing!