Author: Greenlight Digital (i): Contact: greenlightdigital.com
Table of contents and important points:
Experienced psychologists and doctors point out the benefits of gaming, especially during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Gaming connects people – every second gamer plays with their real friends and 28% of internet users play games to meet new people.
Playing improves cognitive skills – a third of players play because they like to challenge themselves. Gambling can teach cognitive skills and improve players’ ability to make informed rational decisions.
Currys PC World and AMD have teamed up with veteran psychologists and medical professionals to uncover the benefits of gaming – especially during the pandemic.
Revealed: The emotional, social and developmental benefits of games
- 28% of internet users play games to meet new people
- A third of players say they play because they like to challenge themselves.
- There are 20,000 gaming jobs in the UK which offer many career opportunities in the industry
- We spoke to three experts in the field who shared their insights into the gaming industry
There are many negative misconceptions about games, many of which are far from the truth. A new study turns stereotypes on their head and shows the emotional, social and developmental advantages of games. Dr. Rachel Kowert, research director of Take This – a not-for-profit mental health organization; Dr. Matthew Barr, Lecturer in Game Studies at the University of Glasgow; and Noel McDermott, psychotherapist and host of The Well-Being Show podcast, share their thoughts and insights. Here are some of the highlights:
Playing can increase mental well-being and help with feelings of loneliness
- Thanks to well-designed storylines and lifelike graphics, games are the perfect form of escapism.
- 34% of players see the feeling of being immersed in a game as the main motivation to play.
- The global gaming population is likely to have increased 4% since the Covid-19 outbreak.
Especially in challenging times, activities that create a positive distraction and allow a person to take a back seat to their worries can have a positive effect on mental wellbeing. Gaming is a great example of this and offers an immersive experience that can mentally transport you into another world.
“Video games are good at bringing gamers into the state of optimal experience that psychologists refer to as ‘flow’ by providing an appropriate balance between challenge and performance. It’s the feeling of being ‘in the zone’ that you are in being totally in the zone with the task at hand and you are at the top of your game. This in turn makes the players feel good. “
This is because the feeling of reward releases feel-good hormones called dopamine, which improve the player’s mood. Additionally, gaming can provide meditative benefits by keeping yourself fully occupied with the goals of the game.
“The gameplay can also teach skills that have long been associated with increased happiness and longer life satisfaction, including openness to experience, self-care, a sense of growth, solution-oriented thinking, mindfulness, perseverance, self-discovery, and resilience.”
Games can nurture and build new relationships
- Half of the players play with their real friends.
- 28% of internet users play games to meet new people.
- One in three internet users in the UK say the main reason they play is to have fun with people they know.
Contrary to popular belief, gaming can be a social activity. Many games offer multiplayer modes or are designed to be played in teams. They offer individuals the opportunity to team up with their existing friends or meet new people virtually – anywhere in the world.
“Games, especially online, can provide immeasurable benefits for lonely and isolated people. They provide safe social contact and a place to develop skills. These skills can be a dire self-esteem.”
Research found that 60% of gamers say they have played more games with social elements since the pandemic began, suggesting that gambling can play a positive and crucial role in connecting people at a time when face-to-face contact isn’t is always possible.
“Shared experiences, such as playing together, have been linked to increased self-esteem and belonging, and decreased feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation.”
Playing can teach life skills and cognitive skills
- There are 20,000 gaming jobs in the UK which offer many opportunities for a career in gaming.
- Minecraft: Education Edition has geography, history, engineering, and physics applications.
- A third of players say they play because they like to challenge themselves.
While gaming can provide a fun form of entertainment, it can also aid the player’s cognitive development. For example, many titles include problem solving, strategy, and multitasking, among others.
“Games are fantastic learning tools, especially for children, because they are so engaging. Video games are also great tools for developing cognitive skills as they offer a range of different challenges in a single room.”
Gameplay has been linked to improving a number of cognitive skills, including:
- Improved creative thinking
- solve problems
- time management
- Leadership skills
- set goals
- take initiative
- Make a decision
- Perseverance in the face of difficult challenges.
It is estimated that children ages 12-15 spend an average of 11.6 hours per week playing games. Since gaming is such a popular hobby, it is encouraging to note that it can be effectively used as a teaching tool to teach a wide range of skills and knowledge. Additionally, with year-on-year growth (and an estimated value of £ 3.86 billion in 2020), the games industry could also open doors for careers in the industry.
“We all learn new skills through practice, whether you’re learning to play an instrument or training to get better at sports. Learning from a video game is no different – you’re constantly training skills whether you’re solving puzzles or use your communication and language skills to talk to your fellow players and develop strategies. “
Game myths debunked
- 52% of Britons play video games, which shows their popularity and prevalence in daily life
- Gaming is the nation’s second most popular pastime after television
- Britons spend an average of 7 hours a week playing games, which is only a third of the time they spend watching TV (22.5 hours).
Over the years gaming has been linked to negative stereotypes and behaviors such as laziness, violence, and isolation. There is little evidence that these are correct. Instead, in many cases gambling can be more beneficial than harmful to the player’s health, development, and social skills. With more than half of Britons, it’s evident that for many, gambling is just a part of modern life.
“There’s no evidence that playing online games negatively affects our ability to socialize. However, research has found that playing games with our online friends can strengthen our offline friendships and relationships. “
Another problem that is common is the amount of time people spend playing and whether or not games are addictive. Barr explains the subject.
“People talk about gamblers becoming addicted to games without really thinking about what that word means in a clinical sense. We don’t even bump an eyelid when someone is so absorbed in a book that they sit there and read for hours.” but somehow this type of behavior is perceived as problematic when it comes to gaming. “
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Journal: Disabled World. Language: English. Author: Greenlight Digital. Electronic publication date: 2020-12-04. Last revised date: 2020-12-04. Reference title: “Emotional, social and developmental advantages of playing”, source: Emotional, social and developmental advantages of playing. Summary: Experienced psychologists and doctors point out the benefits of gaming, especially during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Retrieved on December 4th, 2020 from https://www.disabled-world.com/entertainment/games/covid-gaming.php – reference category number: DW # 320-13903.
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