Some people consider video games to be a waste of time, with their only purpose being to encourage laziness and immaturity in the younger generations. What those people don’t know, however, is that gaming encourages social engagement and a plethora of other essential life skills.
Many people play video games to escape from the real world for a while, but what they don’t know is that they are subconsciously building on traits and skills that will help them thrive in their everyday life. Players may be unaware of the physical and mental skills that they are developing daily as they play their favorite titles.
While most people get twitchy when a release date draws near, overall, video games have taught people how to be patient. MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 14 are built around grinding the same or similar content to earn rewards and to progress a character.
Often, end-game content has a time lock, such as raids or world bosses, which forces the player to wait until a certain amount of time has passed before participating again. Being forced to repeat the same actions builds a routine while waiting for content to unlock encourages patience, which is an essential life skill.
7/8 Problem-Solving Skills
Mobile puzzle games like Candy Crush or Coin Master are great ways to pass the time, have fun, and trigger the brain’s pleasure response system when winning rewards. Puzzle games are rewarding in other ways, however, as they stimulate the mind and develop problem-solving skills that can be applied to work and personal life situations.
The skills learned from puzzle games can also help people in their social interactions. Thinking out the next step on how to act or having the foresight to know how a particular action could affect a situation will help people form strong and lasting relationships.
6/8 Social Skills
A huge stereotype when it comes to gamers is that they are antisocial – this is definitely not the case. Online gaming allows players to interact with people from all around the world who come from different cultures and backgrounds. Having a common interest in the title being played means there is no end of topics for a conversation.
As players team up together to defeat a boss or compete against an enemy team, comradeship often leads to friendship. Guilds found in many MMORPGs are another prime example of socialization within a game, as they encourage group chats, organization, and allow players to run more challenging content that cannot be completed alone.
5/8 Developing Empathy
Video games like The Last of Us, Heavy Rain, and Gone Home concentrate heavily on narrative, with plot lines designed to evoke emotions. Whether or not a person has gone through particular situations in real life, video games offer a window into painful moments that make the player feel sympathy for a character.
Controlling a character immerses the player in the plot of a video game, which makes emotionally heavy scenes feel more intense when they hit. These moments develop a player’s sense of empathy, which is an invaluable trait to have when friends and family reach out for support.
4/8 Reading And Grammar
It may not occur to many gamers, but as they play, they are developing their reading and grammar skills. Certain genres, like point-and-click games, MMORPGs, and narrative-driven action platformers, rely heavily on sharing the plot through text boxes as a way to make the game available in several languages or to remove the need for extensive voice acting.
Much like reading books, players subconsciously build on their grammatical skills, as well as learn about how sentence structure keeps a piece of text interesting. The speed in which a player reads will also be improved over time as they constantly learn about objectives and delve deeper into the story of a title.
3/8 Hand-Eye Coordination Skills
Most video games require some level of hand-eye coordination to succeed, whether it is aiming a weapon at an approaching enemy, moving a character around the map, avoiding an oncoming obstacle, or hitting the right buttons or keys without having to look down at them.
Hand-Eye Coordination is used in everyday life, from small tasks like making a cup of coffee to more complex ones like competing in sports, playing an instrument, or driving a car. Video games have been proven to sharpen these skills and also increase reaction times, as many games include oncoming threats or enemies that seem to appear out of nowhere.
2/8 Time Management Skills
When taking part in a group activity, such as a raid or seasonal event, it is vital that players turn up on time so it doesn’t affect everybody else’s experience. Sticking to a schedule develops a player’s time management skills, as well as their personal and social responsibility to others.
No matter the age group, time management skills are transferable to everyday life, whether it’s doing homework every night at a fixed time or meeting deadlines at work. Planning out what needs to be completed so the next assignment starts on time will reduce stress, maximize productivity, and will prove that a person is competent and hardworking.
1/8 A Workout For The Brain And Hands
Some video games allow a player to exercise their brain and still have fun. While some games are designed for this particular reason, like Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training, other mind exercises have been cleverly integrated into games to make them more challenging and to break up the overarching game mechanic, such as the puzzles in the Uncharted series.
While video games boost brain activity, they are also good for hand dexterity. In fact, special video games are used with stroke victims to help them recover their motor skills. Experts say that the most effective therapy for these kinds of patients is to repeat the same challenging tasks to help the brain heal.