There is a stigma attached to those who enjoy playing games. Whether they play on a console, a cellphone, or a board, those who frequently play games may hear how bad they can be for development, social skills, and mental health. Rarely do they hear of the benefits of playing games.
However, recently, the benefits of playing games have started to come more to light over the past few years. Psychological professionals are now saying that some measure of game-play can help children and adults with things like concentration, time management, and brain development. Take a look at just four of the many benefits playing games may have for you.
1. Games May Help Develop Critical Thinking Skills
There are many types of games available on the market. While some people may gravitate towards one particular type, it’s worth it to reach outside your comfort zone and try new things. One group of games, both video, and board-based, are strategy games. And one of the benefits of playing games is that it helps develop critical and strategical thinking.
These are games like Rise of Tribes that allow the player to develop and survive in an ever-changing world. By allowing players to make choices to grow a prehistoric tribe, the game helps develop thinking skills and deal with cause and effect scenarios to implement a strategy and come out the winner.
2. Games May Help Increase Attention
You may have noticed that it is easy to sit in front of a game for an hour, but maybe it isn’t easy to sit down and do homework or a project for your job. Another benefit of playing games, when played with some moderation, is that they can help increase attention span throughout all sectors of a person’s life.
For parents with kids, getting them to do homework and then rewarding them with a board game or some time playing on the Xbox may help them understand the importance of time management.
3. Games May Help Keep the Brain Sharp
For older adults, one of the worst things you can imagine happening is a reduction in brain functionality. This process, which is typically part of aging, can lead to memory loss and even dementia. However, studies have shown that one of the benefits of playing games is that they can help keep the brain functioning and fend off a reduction in function and cognitive abilities.
These games may include card games, memory games and critical thinking/strategy games. Adults who are having a difficult time with cognitive skills already may find some relief in playing these types of games alone or with others.
These are games like Solitaire that allow the player to practice and improve their memory as well as other mental skills. Subconsciously the player is memorizing the card colors, suits, numbers, and even the order of the cards in the deck, in some cases even after going through it just once. Plus, it has also been shown to enable the player to go into a shallow state of relaxation/meditation while playing.
4. Games May Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Yet another benefit of playing games is that they can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Coming home after an exhausting day at work is not always easy. You may not want to deal with additional stress while trying to process what just happened earlier at the office. For adults, stress and anxiety are critical issues that many face.
One outlet that can be beneficial in helping fight these off is gaming. Video games allow a release of the mind and transport players to alternative worlds where they can effectively lead others or remain a supporting force.
Additionally, chemicals released during gameplay can help soothe the body and make the physical and mental side effects of stress and anxiety decrease.
Board games and video games alike offer benefits in many forms. Allowing yourself to get lost in a game may help improve your overall quality of life.