There’s no question that playing video games is a popular pastime. But what many people don’t realize is that playing video games can have some surprising benefits. In fact, there are now studies that suggest playing video games may have health benefits as well. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why playing video games may be good for you after all.
Benefits of playing video games
It can boost serotonin levels
Studies have shown that playing video games can lead to an increase in the release of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating mood and is associated with feelings of happiness and well-being. So, by increasing serotonin levels, playing video games may help to improve mood and reduce stress levels. There are even legit games that pay real money with which you can increase your serotonin levels. Additionally, games that require strategic thinking may help to keep the brain active and prevent age-related mental decline.
Why serotonin is crucial
Serotonin levels dictate our moods. When serotonin is low, we feel anxious and stressed. When it’s high, we feel happy and content. Therefore, anything that can help to regulate serotonin levels is likely to have a positive effect on our mental health.
It may help treat depression
Depression is a serious mental health condition that can have a profound effect on every aspect of a person’s life. While there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for depression, some studies have found that playing video games may help to alleviate symptoms in some people. For example, one study found that people with treatment-resistant depression who played the game “Spore” showed significant reductions in depressive symptoms after just four weeks.
It can improve problem-solving skills
In addition to boosting serotonin levels, playing video games may also help to improve problem-solving skills. One study found that young adults who played action video games made fewer errors and adopted a more flexible thinking style when faced with new problems. Another study found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who played video games showed improved brain function and performed better on tests of attention and impulsivity control.
It can help you connect with others
In our increasingly digital world, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone. But playing video games can help you connect with others, even if you’re not in the same room. There are now many multiplayer games available that allow you to play with friends or strangers from all over the world. And, thanks to the rise of social media, it’s easier than ever to stay connected with friends and family members who live far away. For example, you can play games like Words With Friends or Candy Crush with friends and family members who live in other countries.
Improve your hand-eye coordination
Playing video games can also help to improve your hand-eye coordination. This is because most games require players to rapidly process information and react accordingly. One study found that people who played action video games had improved visual attention and were better able to track multiple objects on a screen. Additionally, another study found that surgeons who played video games made 37% fewer errors when operating on patients. And, despite what your parents may have told you, playing video games can actually improve your vision. One study found that people who played action games for at least 30 minutes a day had better vision than those who didn’t play any games at all. Action games require quick reflexes and split-second decisions, which may help to train the brain to process visual information more quickly.
It can increase your creativity
Playing video games may also help to increase your creativity. One study found that people who played action video games showed increased creativity in tasks that required them to come up with new ideas. Another study found that children who played “Minecraft” showed increased creativity in terms of both problem-solving and imagination. Additionally, video games such as Sims and Animal Crossing can teach players how to design and manage virtual worlds, which may help to foster creative thinking.
It can improve your memory
Playing video games can also help to improve your memory. One study found that people who played “Super Mario 64” had increased gray matter in the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for memory and spatial navigation. Another study found that people who played “Call of Duty” improved their working memory and sustained attention. Additionally, action games have been found to improve so-called “episodic memory,” which is the ability to remember specific events. This is likely due to the fact that action games require players to remember complex maps and navigate their way around them.
Memory games are a category of video games that specifically focus on improving memory. One study found that people who played “Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day” showed improved working memory, visuospatial ability, and mathematical skills. Another study found that people who played the memory game “ Lumosity” also showed improved memory, attention, flexibility, and problem-solving skills. You can find memory games on most gaming platforms, including smartphones, computers, and consoles. However, make sure you’re careful about playing video games for too long.
It can decrease stress levels
Playing video games can also help to decrease stress levels. One study found that people who played casual video games for 20 minutes had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol immediately afterward. Additionally, another study found that people who played the game “Plants vs. Zombies” for 10 minutes had lower levels of cortisol and self-reported higher levels of fun and relaxation. Games that require strategic thinking have also been found to help reduce stress, likely because they provide a sense of control. Additionally, games that allow players to be creative and build virtual worlds can also help decrease stress levels by providing an outlet for self-expression.
Playing video games has many benefits, including improving your memory, hand-eye coordination, and creativity. Additionally, it can also help to reduce stress levels. So, next time you’re feeling stressed out or down, consider picking up a controller and playing your favourite game. Who knows, you might just feel better afterward.
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