What is it about online gaming that helps us become happier and enjoy a greater sense of mental wellbeing? According to scientists, it is a combination of developing cognitive, creative and social challenges that generate a good mood and make us more productive at work.
Let’s get this straight, this isn’t advocating locking yourself in your bedroom, plugging in the PC, putting your headphones on and preparing yourself for a marathon Fortnite effort. No, this is about how interacting and embracing video gaming can actually be a beneficial experience for your mind and spirit.
It has been widely reported by researchers that playing online video games could actually be psychologically beneficial, making gamers mentally healthier than non-gamers. The research found that there were many cognitive benefits to gaming including higher scores on perception tests, increased spatial cognition, ability to multitask, top-down attention (a surprising one if you’ve ever tried to draw someone away from their Assassin’s Creed) and cognitive flexibility.
There are also creative benefits to be gained from playing games instead of taking time out to watch television or do nothing. According to leading psychologist Jane McGonigal, playing games can be challenging because it is the energy expenditure of the challenge itself that can give the whole body a kind of energy boost. So with short periods of gaming, gamers are constantly developing their cognitive and creative capacity to find solutions to problems. This happens in most gaming genres, all the way from sandbox building game Minecraft to strategy-based card games such as blackjack and baccarat, which have increased in popularity thanks to online casinos such as Betfair, or even an action-packed shooter like Hitman Sniper.
Gaming can also be essential for nearly everyone in almost every social capacity because it allows different people with varying social and physical abilities to interact on an even platform. However, it’s not that online friendships are always real-life friendships, they certainly can be, but what they do, in context, is offer the same benefits to those experiencing it as those friendships might offer when having a coffee with someone. It becomes a shared experience, regardless of whether the gamer actually knows the person in the game or not.
How does gaming make you wealthier?
The answer to this depends on what you are looking to get out of gaming. Online gaming can certainly be an essential tool to mimic real-life situations because it rewards us when difficult levels are completed and enemies defeated, it encourages teamwork to complete missions and it helps the brain to produce dopamine, which is essential for getting things done. So it can make you more productive at work.
So there’s a very good reason why most modern offices are furnished with Xboxes and table football and staff are encouraged to use them in their breaks. It encourages improved skills, better moods for all, enhanced team-working skills and increased competition to keep employees motivated, all to the benefit of both staff and organisation. Gaming really can enhance both mental health and earning potential.