The Benefits of Video Gaming on Wellbeing


A game is an activity with goals and rules, usually involving mental or physical stimulation. It can be interactive, social, educational, or even serve a therapeutic role. Games often help develop practical skills, provide an opportunity for exercise or simulate real-world science, history and economic systems. They can also help to build resiliency by encouraging people to take risks, learn from their mistakes and adopt a growth mindset.

There are many different types of games, from impromptu outdoor activities to competitive sports, board and video games. Most games are played for entertainment, but some may be used for training or to improve a skill, as in chess. Some games have an audience of non-players, as when spectators watch a chess championship. Other games are played by a single player, as in solo video gaming, or with an opponent, as in association football or a board game.

Although games can be fun for many people, they are sometimes perceived as being harmful or addictive by others. This is partly because of the way that games are commonly measured, through self-report. It is difficult to measure precisely how much someone plays a video game or other digital entertainment, and it is possible that these figures are inflated. However, research on the effects of video gaming on wellbeing is increasingly using objective measures such as the number of hours spent playing.

Some of the benefits that are being found by researchers include:

Promotes cognitive growth- Games can offer puzzles and challenges that require the player to find solutions. This can help develop a variety of mental skills, from short-term memory recall to spatial reasoning and planning.

Increases problem-solving- Some games can help people solve problems in realistic environments, such as financial decision making or the management of a virtual corporation. This can help prepare them for more complex tasks, such as performing surgery or designing buildings.

Improves motor control- Some games have been shown to help people with physical disabilities improve their coordination and balance. This can be helpful in rehabilitation from injuries or in promoting health and fitness.

Encourages resiliency- Games can be used as an outlet for negative emotions, such as anger or anxiety. They can also be a way to build relationships and make connections, as shown by the popularity of online gaming communities.

In an era where long-haul isolation is common and mental health professionals emphasize the importance of connections, gamers have been finding new ways to forge meaningful friendships with strangers across the globe. While some people worry that too much time spent gaming is unhealthy, a growing number of experts are finding that it can actually be beneficial for our well-being.