Let’s be honest video games have a bad reputation. Depending on who you ask, you may get answers like they rot your brain, they make people aggressive, or they contribute to the incessant need for instant gratification that seems to plague all young people.
Their reputation has gotten so bad that mentioning you’re an adult who plays video games is basically a guarantee you’ll be looked down upon. But I’m here to change that!
My love for video games started as a child. The vivid colors, beautiful animation and challenging quests were enthralling. As I watched my father take on Disney’s Aladdin and Sony’s Crash Bandicoot I knew I wanted in on the action.
My love was later solidified when Nintendo released the N64, a system that tested friendships everywhere with games like Mario Kart, Mario Party and Super Smah Bros. Every summer my cousins and sisters battled it out until one was victorious, someone was sulking and our grandparents were exhausted.
But what came from all those years of playing, other than blue-shell betrayals, Princess Peach imprisonments and Super Smash showdowns?
Well, according to research, a lot! Research has shown those who play age appropriate video games regularly can enjoy a multitude of benefits.
People of all ages have been found to have heightened multitasking skills, processing power, coordination, memory, social skills, communication skills and problem-solving abilities. These skills are heightened overtime due to the demands of games and your desire to improve.
Checking your stats, assessing opponents, communicating to your team and strategizing require a great deal of focus, quick thinking, communication and brainpower!
Additionally, adults who play video games are shown to have managerial qualities. Due to the challenges associated with video games, people who play them are known to be:
- Driven – Comfortable with strict deadlines, friendly completion and rivalry
- Resourceful – Enjoy challenges and coming up with creative solutions
- Developers – Have a student mentality, enjoy learning new skills and teaching others
- Adaptable – Are flexible and able to switch between tasks swiftly
Studies have also revealed that people who played video games during their workday breaks or after work have lower anxiety levels, reduced stress levels, better moods and improved cognitive performance. This has been attributed to video games ability to halt overthinking, a common stressor for many people.
Win or lose, playing alone or with others, video games can have a variety of benefits.
While this activity may seem out of your comfort zone I challenge you to try something new.
Next time you feel stressed try relaxing your mind by challenging your brain! Grab the family, friends or some snacks and enjoy yourself! With a multitude of games and gaming consoles on the market, you’re sure to find one you like!