All the Reasons Why Gaming Is Good For You
Gaming provides creativity and escapism — similarly to a good novel or podcast — but it often isn’t viewed as something that’s “good for you”.
Regardless of the stigma, gaming actually is good for you in so many ways.
“I think gaming gets a bad rap because folks who game are stereotyped as ‘geeks’ or ‘loners’ with poor social skills,” says Amber Rules, Clinical Psychotherapist and Director of Rough Patch Affordable Counselling.
“It’s so far from the truth — gaming is fun, creative, exciting and can be highly social sometimes. I suppose people worry about or make fun of things they don’t understand. It’s a shame, because gaming is so much fun — they’re missing out!”
According to Amber, alone time is extremely vital to our mental well-being. We all need time to be with ourselves and do things we enjoy, check out for a while, consolidate our feelings and escape from the pressures of our lives.
We asked Amber the top five reasons that gaming is actually good for you:
Check Out For a While
Gaming is a great way to check out from stress, responsibility and distract yourself for a while. As long as you’re still meeting all of your life responsibilities, gaming is a great way to have a break, have fun and let your brain focus on something else for a while.
Adventure and Exploration
Gaming can help us temporarily become someone else, visit real or imaginary places, and learn new things. Some RPGs have complex backstories and lore, while some LARPing requires an understanding of history and geography. Even video game backstories can teach us something new about other cultures and histories.
Imagination and Forethought
A lot of gaming requires imagination to plan and execute a game. Ever been DM for a RPG? That requires a huge amount of imagination, planning and skill! Same for point-and-click adventure games — remember how tough it was trying to figure out the puzzles in Myst and Monkey Island? Games can help us get our brains working and thinking laterally.
Adults often forget the importance of play — it’s so vital we allow ourselves the joy of doing something just for fun. It doesn’t have to be productive or useful, just playing for the sake of it is great for our mental state. It can help us remember not to take ourselves too seriously, and to find joy in silliness or fun.
Playing games with like-minded people is wonderful for our social needs. Games might be especially useful for people who find social situations a bit difficult or who prefer to focus on doing something as part of their socialising. A shared goal or friendly competition can be fun and help to build connections.