Playing games can seem to some people like a waste of time. Others think that it is only the really young, or really old who like to play games. Yet others view gaming as the realm of the social rejects of the world. There are however, some great hidden benefits to playing games.
#5. People who play games have improved mental functions
Yes, games like Brain Age have shown us that exercising your mind can improve your mental capacity. When you have to think about strategy, or plan moves before you make them, your brain has to expand its thinking process. You are engaging the most complex computer on the planet, and in the process making it better. (This is exactly the opposite of what you do when you are watching T.V.) Your mind is more active, less prone to wander, (if you are focusing on the game) and you achieve greater mental clarity. (Much like the monks of old).
#4. People who play games have improved social skills
Wait, what? Gamers are the most socially inept people on the planet and now you tell me that their social skills are improved over mine? Yes, people who play games with others have the ability to interact in many different settings with others (as many different settings as there are games). Each of those settings can train us for the realities of life away from the game. Gaming has the potential to make us better winners… that means you won’t do the victory dance when you get the big promotion at work thus alienating everyone in your office. Gamers also learn to become graceful at losing; although hopefully you don’t have to learn this skill too often. This prepares you for a lifetime of ups and downs and can prevent a person from mentally snapping on those around them.
#3 People who play games can save money
But games are expensive you say? Yes, some games can cost $100 or more just to start with, but ask yourself how much did you spend on your cable this month… plus the power to run the T.V. or game console… plus the cost of the T.V. and game console… plus the cost of the game? As you can see, the initial cost of other forms of entertainment can be just as expensive, if not more expensive than the social get together games. Then you must take into account the recurring costs of running all those systems. Last time I checked my Monopoly game didn’t need a plug in. So, board games and the like really don’t cost as much as other forms of entertainment, plus there are some additional benefits such as…
#2. People who play games have more friends
Ok, this is just going against everything high school taught you about social interaction! Yes, you may have 500 “friends” on your social media site, but can you really call the guy you said “Hi” to next to your locker 20 years ago a friend? Playing games with other people requires by definition for you to go out and MEET other people! It would get old to play games with the same person day in and day out… Just ask my wife… So it is beneficial to go out and meet other people who have the same interest and game with them just to mix it up a bit. But where do I find these reclusive gamer types you ask? Check out your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). These stores many times will host tourneys for different types of games. There are also conventions all around the country where you can meet a whole range of people willing to game with you!
#1 People who play games will live longer
Yes, when not exposed to the harmful rays of the sun you do have less of a chance to develop wrinkles and skin cancer… but when playing games, you also develop mental abilities to keep you brain young, thus reducing the likely hood of alzheimer’s disease. This can be useful when trying to remember the names of your 100 great grandchildren when you are 120 years old. Also, people with active social lives, and who have more money… (see points 2 and 3), typically live longer than those who have neither of those things. Social games also have the side benefit of not placing the player in physical danger, unlike more active games such as football or Nascar racing. So gamers have less of a tendency to obtain concussions or die in a flaming car!
See, there are many reasons that playing games can improve your life. Unfortunately, television has viewed gamers as social outcasts and nerds… But don’t worry, we will have the last laugh! In the meantime… Happy Gaming!