Over the past few years, video gaming has gone from being a niche activity to a mainstream hobby enjoyed by millions, with some people even turning it into a profession. When gaming first appeared, many people viewed it as being a fun activity that was not great for your health, but it has emerged more recently that gaming can actually have genuine health benefits as well.
Keeping your brain sharp
This is one of the more well-known health benefits of playing games, but the research has indicated that first person action shooter games are the best for actually maintaining and enhancing your cognitive functions. One of the reasons for this is the degree of hand-to-eye coordination that they require, but the specific skills needed to excel at these games also lead to improved decision-making, visual acuity, spatial focus and spatial reasoning.
Managing chronic pain
If you are unfortunate enough to live with a condition that involves chronic pain, then it turns out that playing video games can be a real help in managing this. An experiment conducted by the Burn Centre at the University of Washington saw patients with serious burns asked to play a 3D virtual reality game called Snow World. The results indicated that the immersive nature of the game, coupled with the cheerful graphics, led them to forget about the pain – by distracting their minds. This is certainly preferable to taking pills to combat such conditions.
Improving memory and concentration
Video games can also be a very effective way of enhancing your concentration and memory levels, with a game such as poker at an online casino being one of the best for this. Poker is a lengthy game to play and one that requires you to plan ahead and follow what other players are doing, all of which are great for improving your levels of concentration. It also requires you to remember what cards are in play, which is excellent for making sure your memory stays sharp.
The idea that you might be able to lose weight by playing video games – traditionally considered to be amongst the most sedentary activities imaginable – might seem strange, but it is true. Nowadays there are video games on the market such as Just Dance, which was created for the Nintendo Wii device, that are designed specifically to encourage movement. As the title indicates this one is about dancing and can help you keep active and shed weight in a fun way.
Coping with setbacks
Games with multiple levels can have psychological health benefits, such as improving your levels of resilience to setbacks. After all, you will always hit a point in such a game where you do not have the skills to get any further, but the experience of hitting that limit and then going back to the game and breaking beyond it will help you cope better with rejections and other psychological blows in everyday life.
These health benefits are all real, but remember that there can be problems as well, such as damage to your eyesight, so keep your gaming time under reasonable control.