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Health Benefits of Gaming

by Marcus Clarke(more info)

listed in mind matters, originally published in issue 250 - November 2018

Gaming is a hobby that is often unjustly maligned. However, despite its bad rep, gaming can actually be very good for you. So, how is this?

Firstly, gaming allows you to train your brain. Research has shown that playing games can strengthen certain areas of your brain and increase grey matter in these areas; for example, the areas associated with skill such as spatial awareness and planning. As well as this, and this is particularly true of 3D platform games for some strange reason, playing games can help improve your memory. Games and all gamers know this instinctively, can also provide a sense of catharsis, and so can help to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.

Secondly, gaming has a multitude of medical applications. It has shown promise in treatment of the elderly, for example, as playing video games appears to reduce the rate at which the elderly experience cognitive decline, and also increase the subjective sense of wellbeing amongst patients. Playing games can also help people to recuperate more quickly, as studies into both trauma and post-op patients has shown: they recover more quickly and are also less likely to experience flashbacks to the event. There have also been promising results in treating some long-term conditions and attention disorders.

Gaming may also be able to help you become fitter. Exergaming, which involves interacting with the game with your body (think Wii Fit), can help people leave a sedentary lifestyle behind, and some are even speculating that it will replace the gym in the next few decades. Since it involves movement (sports and dancing games are popular), exergaming can help improve your cardovascular fitness, and it can also be incredibly fun!

So, gaming can have a bad rep. But mostly, as we have seen, this is unjustified. Gaming can make you healthier, can make you smarter, and it can help you get better more quickly after an illness. What’s not to like?!

To find out more about the health benefits of gaming, see the informative infographic below from our partners at Computer Planet.

 

updated-health-benefits-gaming

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About Marcus Clarke

Marcus Clarke is the community and content manager at computerplanet.co.uk who design and build custom gaming PCs, CAD workstations and desktop computers.

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