Playing video games is not the most popular option when it comes to self-care during the pandemic. The usual choices are usually limited with exercises like yoga and Pilates as well as hobbies like reading and painting. With remote work and distance learning in place, you’re probably concerned about spending too much time in front of any screen, may it be your laptop, smartphone, or television.
If you’ve been cutting back on excessive video gaming, then that’s good. Removing it from your routine altogether, however, might not be such a good idea. Video games are popular for its negative impact, but now is the time to acknowledge that it does come with plenty of benefits, especially now when social connectedness is at its all-time low. Need more convincing to pick up the controller? Here are four that will make you proud to be a gamer.
Emotional management is an underrated skill. Now more than ever, it’s essential for people to know when to indulge their emotions and when to shift their awareness to ignore them. Catharsis has recently been debated among scientists because they discovered that always acknowledging and venting your emotions may worsen your next experience with them.
This is where video games help by creating an effective diversion. Unlike in watching movies and reading books, all your senses are engaged. Developers customized each aspect of the game from the story, the musical scoring, and the quests you have to accomplish to give you a full experience. With the advancement in 3D modeling for games, most titles you’ll encounter today are so visually compelling that it’s easier to immerse yourself in that world. With how busy your mind and hands are trying to win every battle, you’re better able to disconnect from temporary emotions and return to reality with an objective view of your situation.
Enhanced Cognitive Functioning
What does it take to complete a video game like The Last of Us and Ghost of Tsushima? Coordination, problem-solving skills, concentration, and brain speed. The great thing is that the more you play, the more you’ll develop all of these. While this isn’t a valid excuse to be skipping sleep to finish that 72-hour boss battle in Final Fantasy XV, it will make you more appreciative of each gaming session.
Improving your brain speed alone can be an advantage at work, as it will make you process information faster than average. Concentration and problem-solving skills are also assets worth honing, and it’s a good thing you can accomplish this by doing something you love.
Lastly, playing video games can actually improve your memory. Developers are kind enough to leave reminders here and there of your objective, but the crucial information is often only said or encountered once. Remembering every little thing is important, as that could make the difference between life and death for your characters.
Better Social Connections
Playing video games provides a more entertaining and engaging way to bond with your family and friends. If you’re quarantining with your parents and siblings, you can toss the idea of another Netflix binge and engage in friendly competition instead.
The teamwork and execution needed to win will probably result in much shouting, jumping, and laughing that you won’t get by reading books or watching an average TV show. It’s also a nice way to get to know each other and feel things as a family or friends. With the way 2020 turned out, there are few reasons for rejoicing, and if winning against your children in a video game is what it takes, then, by all means, indulge yourself.
As with everything, moderation is always the key. Limit your gaming sessions to one hour each day, and give yourself more leeway on weekends. More importantly, use this as a way to engage with friends and loved ones that you’ve lost contact with during the pandemic. After talks to remote work and health protocols have waned, you’ll find that sharing a thrilling activity will improve your mood and relationship.