Video games have been blamed for everything from childhood obesity to the increase in violent tendencies among young people.
And, while they can have negative impacts, they also have positive ones, especially in the area of mental and physical health benefits, which include:
1. Mental Alertness
Playing video games actually keeps you mentally alert, which can help ward off Alzheimer’s or dementia. Older adults may enjoy puzzle and math games.
2. Stress Relief
Video games are a good way to relieve stress, as long as you don’t get stressed trying to beat your highest score or achieve the next level.
3. Improved Hand-Eye Coordination
Playing video games improves hand-eye coordination. For younger people, this is something which can prove useful in their careers, especially if they pursue those which require delicate precision. For older adults, maintaining hand-eye coordination may help them remain independent longer.
4. Keeps Reflexes Sharp
Playing a video game that requires quick responses can help keep reflexes sharp. Older people may find this very helpful.
5. Relief from Boredom
Video game playing can relieve boredom, which is sometimes the cause behind some harmful habits. It keeps the fingers busy so that they can’t hold a cigarette or snack, and keeps the brain engaged so that the urge or craving can be more easily ignored.
6. Personal Reward
Playing a video game can be used as a personal reward. Adults can use this as an incentive to finish a task that they find particularly tedious. Younger children can be taught that video games come after fulfilling responsibilities, and that playing them is contingent upon everything being done properly.
A video game can start or increase interaction with others, both in the virtual world and in the physical realm, which can help stave off loneliness and feelings of isolation. Many of the games are designed to be played with multiple players, who may actually be in a different part of the world. Others are designed to be played by two players, using the same gaming system.
8. Physical Therapy
Video game playing can be used in physical therapy because it requires movement of hands, arms, and other parts of the body. Many hospitals and rehabilitation centers have already started using them.
9. Controlled Environment for Young People
If you have teenagers in your home, you can encourage them to invite their friends over to play video games. This way, you will know where your child is, what he or she is doing, and exactly what video games are being played.
10. Learning Benefits
Many of the video games that are geared toward younger children (including preschoolers) allow children to learn colors, numbers, letters, shapes, and other things because they have to make the right move in order to see results.
You may have never even considered some of the positive impacts of video games, but now that you know them you can use them to your full advantage. Or, you may be able to think of other ways that video games provide mental and physical benefits, and you can use those also.
Jessy is the entertainment blogger who writes for Life Insurance Finder, the free Australian life insurance comparison tool.