Are There Any Mental Health Benefits to Playing Video Games?
Playing video games is one of the most loved pastimes worldwide. Many people look forward to coming home after a long day of work, sitting down on the couch, and turning on their gaming console. It’s undoubtedly proven itself to be a great way to relax.
This is because video games are an artform and entertainment medium that allows people to step into the shoes of a different character. This places the player in a different world, one that is totally separated from the real world.
This level of immersion allows players to forget about their problems, detach from all forms of stress, and completely lose themselves in a world that isn’t theirs. This must have some type of positive impact on mental health, right?
Well, despite these positives, there are still major misconceptions and counter points to playing video games. Many believe that video games are a waste of time and a good way to justify being lazy.
This article aims to show why the above may be incorrect and unfounded, by providing a few health benefits of playing video games. After reading this you may want to turn your console on and start reaping the benefits!
Video Games Provide Mental Stimulation
Entertainment forms like watching movies, listening to music, and even reading, often aren’t as badly perceived as playing video games. This is because many consider these entertainment mediums to be artforms that stimulate and challenge the mind.
It is unfortunate that people fail to see the same level of creativity and art that goes into the creation of video games. In fact, some might argue that video games are by far the most mentally stimulating form of entertainment.
This is because when you play a video game, you dictate the way the stories are told. The games require your immersion and input in order to progress. This stimulates your mind, makes you think about the best route forward, and keeps your juices flowing.
Accomplishment and Rewards
Oftentimes, one of the main reasons that people feel depression is a lack of dopamine in the brain. This is the chemical that makes people feel happy on a day-to-day basis. Many psychologists and doctors refer to dopamine as the “pleasure chemical.”
This chemical is released in bucket loads when we accomplish tasks or complete something that we need to do. Gaming requires you to complete tasks and do missions.
Being able to get through a challenging game can certainly make gamers feel like they’ve accomplished something. Games often offer rewards for completion, which is another great way to increase dopamine. And if you play online pokies or other similar games, your rewards may even be real money jackpots.
Lastly, we have to look at how gaming has transformed from a mostly solitary experience to one that is more often than not, enjoyed with others.
Nowadays, thanks to the internet, many spend a lot of their time gaming, meeting new people, talking to friends, and playing with others. This increased level of social interaction is great for mental health.
Humans, after all, are a social species.