Are video games good for your mental health?
There are several misconceptions associated with video games and their impact on mental health. Video games have many benefits, including developing complex problem-solving skills and promoting social interaction.
According to a report published in the JMIR Serious Games journal, the impact of commercial video games on depression, anxiety, and other health concerns was positive.
The results were more positive for people that couldn’t access other types of treatment due to cost or location. Video games tend to be more affordable and accessible than traditional mental health services, which may help more people get essential care.
While video games won’t replace traditional therapy, it does act as helpful addiction. This gives the world’s 2.7 billion gamers an emotional wellness benefit.
While there is multiple research available that proves video games are good for your mental health, there are some that paint an opposite picture.
In this article, we decided to compile a list of reasons to answer the question, “are video games good for your mental health?”. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Benefits of video games
Playing video games has numerous benefits for your mental health. They are quickly becoming one of the most popular methods for relieving stress.
Not only you can play video games but now you can also develop your very own mobile games suited for every mood, genre, and device.
Here are some of the most common benefits of video games on your mental health.
While playing video games, almost every part of your brain is helping you achieve higher levels of thinking. Depending on the game’s complexity, you may have to think, strategize, and analyze quickly. Video games require the deeper part of your brain to work, this improves your development and critical thinking skills.
Feeling of accomplishment
Video games have goals and objectives that players have to achieve. After achieving them, they bring you a lot of satisfaction, which plays a crucial part in improving your overall well-being. This sense of achievement is magnified when you are playing games that offer trophies, badges, and prizes for specific achievements, goals, and objectives.
Mental health recovery
Playing video games also help with recovery from various trauma by acting as a distraction from pain and psychological trauma. Video games also help people who are dealing with mental disorders like anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Online video games that involve multiplayer participation are good for social interaction done virtually over the internet. In fast-paced game settings, you’ll need to learn who to trust and who to leave behind within the game. Multiplayer games also encourage cooperation. Online video games also work as low-stakes environments to test out talking and fostering relationships with new people.
Whenever you fail in something, it can be quite frustrating. Video games help gamers to learn how to cope with failure and keep trying. This is an important tool especially for children to learn and use as they get older. The will to not give up and keep trying, again and again, is something that will benefit at every stage of life.
Playing video games boosts your mood and has a lasting effect. Whether you are using video games to spend time with your friends or to release some stress, it’s a handy and safe tool for that purpose.
Strategic video games
Role-playing and other strategic games can help strengthen problem-solving skills. There’s very little research that says violent video games are bad for mental health. However, video games that encourage decision-making and critical thinking are beneficial for your mental health.
Setting limits for yourself
While video games aren’t bad for your mental health, becoming addicted to them can be dangerous for it. Spending too much time on video games can lead to isolation. When you feel that you are using video games as an escape from the real world, you might need to slow down.
Playing with friends
Make your video game experience fun by playing them with your friends. There are several online gaming communities that you can join, play video games, and make new friends as well. Gaming time with your friends can help with socialization, relaxation, and stress management.
Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone, you can also develop your own smartphone games and play them with your friends anywhere, anytime you want.
While video games do have a positive effect on your mental health, it does come with some side effects as well. Playing an excessive amount of video games isn’t good. More than 10 hours of gaming per week is considered excessive and can have the following effects on you:
- Having anxious feelings
- Unable to sleep
- Distancing yourself from social circles
Another troubling issue is when gamers start using video games as a means to escape the real world. This type of behavior can lead to video game addiction.