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Video Games Are Good For You
Video games are good for you. Really they are. Have you ever wondered if hitting that next level in Skyrim would somehow be good for you? It’s hard to explain why we gamers like to game, as most (old) people think that gamers are mind-numbed tree trunks. But we’re not…
1. Gaming can reduce stress levels
A recent study in 2009, funded by PopCap no less, conducted that a test group who all played Bejeweled had much more rhythmic and relaxed heart levels and an increased propensity to be in a good mood than the ones who weren’t playing the game.
This isn’t a new revelation. Much like books, games have always been a way to get lost and delve into another world of adventure, forgetting about the daily spikes of stress that can come up from everyday life.
2. You can level up your eyes
Remember when your mum said that looking too close into Mario’s mushroom kingdom from the screen would be bad for you? Well, she was wrong!
In a study by a developmental Canadian psychologist, Daphne Maurer suggested with her findings that people who suffer from cataracts can actually improve their vision by playing first-person shooters like Call of Duty or Medal of Honor.
It makes sense when you consider that games like Call of Duty make players rely heavily on hand-eye-coordination and visual reflexes to take down the opposition as quickly and efficiently as possible.
3. 1+ Dexterity!
Surgeons who first played a bit of Trauma Centre for the Nintendo DS were found to be 27% faster at operations and 37% less likely to make a slipping error than their non-gaming colleges.
The pool of surgeons was albeit only a small number of 33, but it still offers an insightful find that people can learn and, almost like in an RPG, “level up” certain aspects of themselves which can help in their professional lives.
Additional reasearch explains that young children who play brain training games during childhood have higher cognitive and learning skills then the ones who did not.
4. When you’re old, games will make you happy
Geriatrics rejoice! When we all get to that stage of being so old we can’t leave the house, and all we want to do is just sit around and be bored to tears, (sounds similar to what I do now, huh) games will still be there for us.
Researchers at North Carolina State University found that of the 140 people over 63 years of age that were asked about video games, 61% of those asked said they played video games, and 35% said they played at least once a week.
The ones that did play games were found to have higher levels of happiness and general well-being compared to the old people that did not play games, these people in turn having overall more negative emotions and a higher tendency to becoming clinically depressed.
5. People who game are people who are social
That stereotypical look of all players of games being complete shut-in loners with no friends could not be further from the truth. MMORPGs and multiplayer-laden games being hugely popular helps with developing social interaction between teens and young adults.
Most gamers play with friends, either online or locally. These times help strengthen relationships and coordinating with teammates via voice chat about when to raid an enemy bunker or when to heal/buff your characters can be equated to the type of social bonding one might experience in the military.
The truth of the matter is that most gamers play some sort of online game or local one with their immediate family; humans are social creatures and even though communicating via video games is a little different to the social norms of old, it is still a brilliant way to learn and interact with like-minded people who also love games.