If you’re big into gaming, then you might have been bombarded down the years with barbed comments about how your favourite hobby isn’t doing you any good. How your eyes will turn square from staring at a screen, or how your brain will rot away due to wasting time engaging in such a pointless pursuit. Well, to counterbalance all the negativity that can be directed at the gaming industry, we’re here to show you how playing your beloved games can actually be beneficial for both your mind and body.
It’s important though to also remember that gaming is mostly a sedentary activity, and so to live a full healthy lifestyle, it’s vital to exercise regularly whenever possible. On top of that, don’t forget to eat a good diet, and make sure that this includes immune-boosting foods to eat during cold and flu season.
Here, then, are some great reasons why gaming can be good for your well-being.
They Give Your Brain a Workout
It’s now understood that to build your muscles, you need to frequently workout to get them to grow in size, achieving this by lifting heavier and heavier weights. Well, when it comes to your brain, similar rules apply. Even though the brain is an organ, and not technically a muscle, it still requires consistent engagement to make sure it functions as it should, and even get it to grow.
Scientists from a 2013 study in Berlin, discovered that by playing the classic Nintendo game, Super Mario 64, over a period of two months for thirty minutes a day, their participants showed an actual increase in grey matter. The areas of the brain that experienced the growth are responsible for functions as varied as; fine motor skills, spatial navigation, strategic planning, and even forming memories.
So, next time you’re going to indulge in a gaming session, just tell any naysayers that you’re actually just exercising your grey matter, and enabling your brain’s growth with a vigorous workout. You’ll have the most in shape brain around in no time.
They Can Help You Get in Shape
If you wanted to give your body a workout as well as your brain though, there are actually now ways to play games that will get your body looking fighting fit as well. This revolutionary method of exercising using video games was first made mainstream by the Nintendo Wii console, back in 2006. Games like Wii Fit, EA Sports Active and My Fitness Coach, all allowed players to use the console’s motion-sensing features to get them sweating.
Nowadays, with the rise of VR sets in gaming, this trend has continued. The best example of this is Beat Saber, which has you slashing the beats of music as it flies towards you. If that sounds confusing, it basically involves wearing a VR headset and having to use your hands to swipe away coloured blocks that rhythmically advance towards you at speed. It’s a really fun and engaging way to burn off some calories.
They Boost Your Problem-Solving Skills
When it comes to navigating the many twists and turns that life can unleash on us all, the person that will cope best is always someone who has impressive problem-solving skills. Knowing that you are more capable of thinking your way out of potential harm, allows for greater peace of mind.
These kinds of skills are first learnt at school, but can grow extremely rusty, or even be completely forgotten, if not consistently practiced. However, it would be tedious beyond belief for most people to regularly test themselves with educational homework.
Fortunately, one way to keep those problem-solving skills razor sharp in an actual enjoyable way, is to play games. Whilst most games employ situations where you have to solve problems, there are many that seem perfectly designed for this need. Firstly, there’s strategy games, which have players formulating ways to conquer virtual worlds, and like the name suggests, rely on competent strategizing. Then there’s puzzle games, which have players picking their brains to solve the mysteries laid out before them. Or even gambling games, which include card-games such as poker or blackjack, where players have to display quick-thinking, and also a degree of competent analytical prowess, to be successful.
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