Why Gaming is Good for You

So, after reading that title, half of you are probably already either thinking “hell yes, it is!” while the other half are shaking your heads, thinking I’m being all biased again. To all of you, I say, just wait and read my argument before either agreeing or disagreeing with my claim.

Gaming takes various forms, and, in this instance, I am referring specifically to computer or console games. You know, those things that your parents never wanted you to play so much. As our population ages, avid gamers like myself are well into our thirties, some even forties or fifties and many have children of their own. I wonder, how many of are doomed to repeat the mistakes of your parents and insist that gaming is not how your children should be spending their time? And how many are enjoying that sweet feeling of finally being the grown-up and allowing your kids to game as much as they want? If I put much stock in anonymous self-reports, I’d post a poll. But I don’t, so I won’t.

Here’s the thing. Whichever side you come down on, the fact is that the engagement of our brains and fine motor skills in gaming is so unbelievably good for the body and mind. Now, let me get this out of the way first. Kids, and adults, need to physically exercise. Your gaming time should not be interfering with a healthy lifestyle of daily exercise, plenty of sleep and eating healthy, nutritious foods. I am not advocating for an unhealthy, couch-potato lifestyle, where your fingers on the laptop or controller are the only things getting a physical workout. Ok, got it? Right, moving on.

Gaming compared with watching television is a far superior way of spending your time. Watching TV just doesn’t engage your mind or concentration the way gaming does. When gaming you are in control of the action, thinking, planning, making decisions, learning, problem solving, troubleshooting, all while becoming immersed in a fully interactive story. This requires your brain to work incredibly hard, which is fabulous exercise for your glorious grey matter.

Something most people don’t consider when gaming until their hands and fingers start to hurt from a super long session, is how it works out your fine motor skills. Sure, some pure button mashing games are the exception, but most games today require you to think, press certain buttons and often within a very short time frame. You find if you play a game long enough and often enough, this reaction almost becomes a reflex. That’s your motor skills getting sharper.

Truthfully, I could write an entire essay on this topic and I’m fairly certain others have. But if you’ll all excuse me, I have some gaming to get back to…

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