19 Unbelievable Health Benefits of Playing Video Games

(Last Updated On: September 27, 2018)

How could sitting on a couch for hours staring at a computer or phone screen playing video games be healthy? This has got to be a joke that video games are healthy for your mind to play. Usually, people who play video games are irresponsible and lazy, right? Isn’t this the stereotype you hold of someone who plays video games all day. Because they don’t have a job so they sit around at their parent’s house and play video games all day. What about the people or engineers that design the video games, engineering degrees and they have to know something about Surely, they cannot be considered lazy people because they have 4-year college degrees and they have to have some knowledge of computers and programming. But then there may be a healthy side to video games if you do not play them too much.

Some of the objects in the video games move at lightning speed and the player of the game has to have quick reflexes and outstanding eye to hand coordination. If you want to become a master video game player you have to be able to be aggressive and stay one step ahead of your virtual enemy who will take you out without blinking an eye. Then if your playing against a human component this brings in a whole new set of challenges. Can you beat the opponent and are your skills better than your opponents? Now, you have to be quicker than the virtual enemy and the human challenger you are playing against. If you really think about it some of the more complex video games could be challenging. They will keep your mind and reflexes in top working order. A healthy diversion once and awhile may be good for you once and awhile. To escape for an hour or two from the pressures of life and enjoy some downtime with some close friends or family members.

1) Coordination Exploder

Playing video games may improve coordination

Playing video games may improve coordination between the brain, eyes, and hands. You are not just staring into a virtual world of nothingness when you play video games. There is a lot of stimuli competing for your attention when you play video games. You have text beaming at you constantly and you have voices talking to you from every corner of the screen. Don’t forget you have traps, bombs. spaceships, holograms popping up constantly at different times and places while you are playing the video game. You cannot let your mind fall into the pattern of thinking that the same distractions will pop up at the same time and in the same order as the last game. They will come at you unexpectedly constantly trying to throw you off so you lose your edge and ultimately lose the video game.

2) Decisions, Decisions and Guess what more Decisions

make the decision and have confidence

If you lack confidence in your decision-making process or you have trouble making decisions because you are indecisive. In the typical video game, you constantly have to be thinking and you need to make split-second decisions and you do not have time to consider options. You just have to make the decision and have confidence that it is the right one. As you progress to the next higher levels you will observe that you have been making the right decisions all the time. If you make the wrong decision then you will be eliminated from the video game. Life has much more serious consequences for the wrong decisions then a video game has. The point is you will learn to have confidence in your ability to make the right decisions and quickly. You will have confidence in your ability to make decisions forcefully and stick to them. This part of a video game is healthy for you from an emotional as well as well-being perspective.

3) Chess Anyone

Playing a video game is like playing a game of chess

Playing a video game is like playing a game of chess. On the chessboard, you have to know what each chess piece can do and how it moves. You must beware of the power of each chess piece as well as the piece’s inherent value in your game. You do not want to lose the valuable pieces because this will deteriorate your mobility to act offensively and react defensively to your opponent. You have to memorize all these components of the game to master it. Playing video games is the same challenge.

You need to memorize how the keys on the keyboard will move your characters across the fields you are playing in. If you move the wrong way you will lose your hero, character, vehicle or spaceship whatever object or person you are controlling with the keyboard. You make the wrong offensive move and you could be eliminated from moving to the next level. Again, you make a defensive move but the wrong one and you will lose the game. You must develop a good, sharp memory when playing video games. Especially if you play the same video game time and time again. Each time you play the game you will remember new moves, new traps, where the enemy is, and what the predictable action of the enemy will be.

4) Attention Getter

video games is that they will never let your mind get placid or bored

One healthy thing you will find about video games is that they will never let your mind get placid or bored. There is constant and changing action at high speeds throughout the whole video game experience. If you lose focus or you take your mind off the action for a split second you just lost the video game. Just think if this happens to you when you are about to complete the last level of the game.

Your mind will be actively engaged throughout the whole game and this allows your attention and powers of concentration to grow strong. Your attention span will increase and it will discipline your mind to stay attuned to one task at a time for an extended period of time. You will learn to concentrate so effectively that distractions will no longer be able to distract you. You will learn to become singular and attentive to one task for long periods of time. Your mind will adjust to becoming alert and constantly be evaluating the thousands of options presented to it throughout the video game. Your concentration and attention abilities will increase and become second nature to you as you master playing video games. You can apply these new found skills to other areas of life and be successful in life.

5) The Question is to Learn or not to Learn

video games to teach children cognitive and creative skills

It is said that modern educational systems use video games to teach children cognitive and creative skills. Adults can improve these skills as well when playing video games. These video games are a fun way for children to learn, writing, math, science and art skills through the gene of video games. They can play videos games to learn how to add, subtract, divide, and multiply. They can be a form of healthy learning for kids. They can learn math and have fun at the same time. What a combination they can have fun and learn constructively at the same time. It will sharpen their minds and increase their creative skills. Kids are fast moving and exploring all the time. Video games will supply them with action and fun exploring new cognitive skills.

6) Depression Be Gone

playing video games can help with depression

There is some possible proof that playing video games can help with depression and mental anguish. They say that people with “type A” personalities who are more prone to suffer from depression; they can be helped to overcome depression by playing video games. The fast-moving constant action of video games allows them to let out their frustration and anger in a positive way instead of destructive ways.

They go into active impasse mode when they play video games. They release their frustrations out on the game and get the satisfaction of moving to the next level. It has been shown that they release the fear, anger, and aggression. They have shown noticeable improvement in their symptoms of depression, in other words, they improve. This is a great benefit of video games it helps depressed people to heal and return to normal mental health. It is like they go to a fast-action therapy session and they come away a healthier person. They don’t have to talk during the session they just play.

7) Brain Flame On

playing video games develop their brain stimulators

It may be true that people who play video games have faster-acting brains than those who do not. What this translates to is that video gamers have faster brain speeds than those who do not play video games. The people who play video games develop their brain stimulators to process information faster than people who do not play video games. They process information faster due to the fact that they have to process non-stop action when playing video games.

8) Become a Video Socialite

playing video games sharpens social skills

This one seems like a stretch but playing video games sharpens social skills among people playing the same video game. It is reported that people who play video games will talk to each other while engaging in the action of the video game. Thus they become friends with people they do not really know and their old friends become closer.

So, video gamers can develop meaningful relationships while playing video games. I find this difficult to believe that people can develop any meaningful relationships while playing video games. You are too busy concentrating on the game to have any significant interaction with those you are playing with or against.

9) Perform Surgery

become a better surgeon by playing video games

Now, they are claiming those surgeons who play video games for 3 hours a day make fewer errors in surgery than those surgeons who do not play video games. So it is better if surgeons play video games because they will be more skilled in performing surgery. I take issue with this because how can a surgeon become a better surgeon by playing video games. You become a better surgeon by going to medical school, perform surgeries not by watching video games. This is one health benefit I cannot see.

10) Keener Eyesight

video games can improve eyesight

There may be some validity that video games can improve eyesight. In tests, it was determined that people who played a fair amount of video games were able to tell the different shades of gay than those who did not. People with “lazy eyes” were told to cover up the good eye and use the lazy eye to watch the video game. This means the eye became active and could see normally like the other eye.

11) Career Booster

develop the skill for you

This is a stretch, to say the least. But it is noted that you may be able to get a promotion on your job if you play video games. How do you get a promotion you ask? Because in video games where you need to find solutions to help communities survive or solve a problem the video community needs a leader. If you are a successful leader it will develop the skill for you. So, the next time your office has a crisis and you lead the workforce to find a solution you may be promoted to management. This is a fantasy that will likely not happen. Either you have natural leadership skills or you don’t.

12) History Buff

learning history when they have been exposed to historical video game

Video games that use real historical characters and settings seem to spark interest in children to study more about history. The kids play the historical video games and become fascinated by the culture and the events the game is set in. Parents have noticed their children have become more interested in learning history when they have been exposed to historical video games.

13) Sportsman Paradise

Video games do involve the whole body experience

This health benefit makes sense. Video games do involve the whole body experience. Children who have played tennis, volleyball, basketball, and baseball video games have translated that interest to the real sports they have played in video games. They have become more physically active in these games. I can see this happening, kids play these video games then they will want to go out and play the real sports games they have been playing on the computer.

14) Intelligent Boosters

video brain games longer could this intelligence enhancement

It has been reviewed and tested that players over 50 years old who played brain games on the computer; actually improved their cognitive abilities and these positive changes lasted for several years. If these older citizens play these video brain games longer could this intelligence enhancement last beyond just a few years to the rest of their natural lives?

15) Painkillers

video games can relieve pain

This is a dream health benefit that video games can relieve pain. It is said they have a pain-killing effect in the higher cognitive functions of the brain. They have been known to be good post injury therapy for people. The prediction is that in hospitals video games will be as common as hand sanitizers for recovery therapies for patients. The day that will happen will never come. Video games cannot relieve pain.

16) Balancing for MS Patients

Balancing for MS Patients

It is said that many medications administered to MS patients for balancing issues have not worked. So in one study they put MS patients on a balancing board and had them physically interact with video games. Their balance improved. There is not a lot of solid clinical evidence to support this health claim.

17) Supports Autism

 people with autism when playing video games with others will interact socially more

This is absolutely not true. They say that people with autism when playing video games with others will interact socially more with their video peers. They celebrate victories with their fellow video layers which run contrary to what people with autism will usually do and that is withdrawn socially. In a study, people with autism interacting socially with multiple participants playing video games. This needs a lot more research to prove these conclusions to be true. I have an adult autistic son and you can’t get him near a video game. The fast-moving action would overwhelm and he would not know how to play the video game anyway. This health benefit is absolutely unrealistic.

18) Bullies Beware

bullies who play videoo games showed remorse for their bullying behavior

This is truly a scientific stretch. According, to one study bullies who played video games, played both parts the one doing the bullying and the one bullying. They showed remorse for their bullying behavior and because of this, the bullies will not bully. A bully will bully whether it be in the virtual world or the world and they will show no remorse in either world.

19) Cravings Stopped

lost the desire to engage in these vices after playing a video game

People who had vices for overeating, smoking and drinking lost the desire to engage in these vices after playing a video game. The desires were reduced by 24% in people who participated in the research. This is inconclusive evidence to say this is a proven health benefit of video games.

Conclusion:

There has been 19 health benefits listed from playing video games. A few of them have been exhibited in research. Others seem very unlikely that video games would provide those specific health benefits. Some of the benefits listed make sense but others just seem to be really unrealistic and they have not been proven to be true. There is no logical connection between some of the health benefits related to video games.

 

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Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.