Don’t let your grouchy significant other, parents, children, or job get in the way of another hour of your quest to rid London of Templars, take on strange (yet familiar) foes on Sanghelios and Genesis, or fight through a post-apocalyptic Boston — you’re simply doing it for our own health.
That’s one way to look at, or justify things, especially if you’re an avid gamer.
There’s a certain level of stigma that is associated with video games — a stigma that has been around since games themselves were conceived decades ago, and that has yet to completely dissolve. Though today’s games are more akin to interactive movies than to anything like the games of the 1980s and ’90s, people who aren’t interested in them still consider them to be nothing more than a time sink; a childish hobby or habit that some people never grew out of.
And yet, the gaming industry becomes bigger and better, year after year. Kids are growing up with video games on their computers, tablets, and smartphones, not just with consoles. Learning systems are being designed to mimic games, and there are more and more positive outcomes being attributed to gaming than anyone would have ever thought possible. Games are now an intrinsic part of our culture, and there’s no indication that they’re going to go away anytime soon.
And the good news is that games themselves actually offer a myriad of health benefits — in sharp contrast to what your parents probably told you growing up. So, now you have a little ammo to fire back when someone tells you that you’re playing too much, or when you hear that famous line, “you’re rotting your brain playing those things.”
Let them go back to watching the Kardashians, and keep soaking up the health benefits that video games present, including the following five.
1. They boost your memoryMan having fun playing video games | Source: Thinkstock
More and more studies are showing that video games are good for memory. Just recently, a study from the University of California-Irvine found that the hippocampus, the region associated with complex learning and memory, was altered by playing 3-D games. The memory improvement was fairly substantial, as high as 12% in some individuals. Though it’s not quite clear how or why these games are helping memory, researchers are excited about how their findings can be used to treat people suffering from memory and cognition issues.