Since their earliest, most humble beginnings, video games have gotten a bad rap. Non-gamers have criticized games as ruining attention spans and planting dangerous ideas into children’s heads. However, there’s unsurprisingly much more to video games than the slander they’ve faced.
In fact, there are perks to video games—and, by extension, the people who play them—that far outweigh the supposed disadvantages. The best pro players and beginners alike will find that gaming offers a wide variety of skills they can utilize in their day-to-day lives.
If you have little ones or have over the past several years, you’ve undoubtedly seen educational video games like Leapfrog tablets or the Reader Rabbit series. However, these children’s options aren’t the only opportunities for gamers to learn something new while they play. In a wide variety of games, you can learn new things, whether that’s history, geography, technology, or even bits of foreign languages.
A game doesn’t have to be labeled as educational in order to teach you something—you might find that you learn the most from those that aren’t. If nothing else, a passionate gamer will keep up with resources like Hotspawn that offer gaming news and insights, a critical skill for any citizen.
If you watch an experienced gamer playing their favorite video game, you’re sure to be impressed by the way their fingers fly over the controls. After playing their favorites for a while, it becomes an instinct. As impressive as that is, it’s even more exciting when you consider the fact that that same skill transfers to other parts of life, too.
The better your dexterity when playing video games, the better it will be for the rest of your life. Then, when that same game releases new content or unique controls, you’ll add that to your existing muscle memory.
Better Social Habits
When opponents of video games picture a frequent player, they’re likely imagining an angry loner who isolates themselves in virtual worlds to escape their real lives. In actuality, though, that’s far from the most frequent sight.
If you were to watch someone playing video games, you’d be more likely to see them connecting with friends and family members, whether that’s in person or over an internet connection. Whether it’s playing a game in a social setting or meeting new people within the game’s realm, there’s a remarkable amount of social interaction to be found through video games.
Improved Problem-Solving Skills
In any game, the player has a particular goal to accomplish. That might be catching Pikachu, rescuing Princess Peach, or defeating the enemy. In any case, there’s a problem that needs to be solved. Like other skills, the better a player becomes at solving problems within the realm of the game, the better they’ll become at doing the same thing in real life.
Real-World Physical Activity
Another common stereotype of gamers is that of being lazy and inert. Modern games, though, aim to challenge that stigma. With the 2016 Pokemon Go craze, gamers flocked to the streets, sidewalks, and local outdoor spaces in search of virtual creatures, a pastime that continues today with Pokemon Go and other interactive games that have followed suit. Other types of video games utilize virtual reality or sensors to get you moving in the real world alongside your online avatar—you might remember the Wii Fit game, for example.
Despite the stigma that surrounds it, there are plenty of perks to being a video gamer. From social abilities to learning new things, the skills you hone in a virtual world transfer into your daily life more often than not—and there’s no denying that that’s a particular benefit of gaming. As more gamers play e-sports in a professional capacity, there’s no guessing just how far these games—and gamers’ skills–will advance.