If you’re a kid of the 80’s and 90’s, you would have been constantly told, that games are bad for you. “They wreck your eyesight, make you antisocial, dull your imagination and are a complete waste of time”. I am here to confirm, what you always knew in your heart, that those nay sayers were wrong. People are judgemental, and I am sure those people who said those things, had never picked up a controller or keyboard for gaming in their lives. Here are 8 things to say to them to open up their minds and show them the benefits and maybe convince them to give it a try before judging.
1. Strategic thinking and problem solving
Whether you’re building a farm or a kingdom, saving hostages while running away from terrorists or trying to kill the dragon for his loot in a game, you’re thinking, problem solving and being strategic. You see the problem, work out a strategy and execute it. If you fail, you keep trying different approaches/strategies until you find the right one to solve the problem at hand. These skills are highly transferable across industries in the real world and used in a range of occupations from business, teaching, construction, science and technology.
2. Making friends
Everyone has the potential to be good, but not all humans choose to live up to this potential. With this knowledge, whether you are 5 or 50, the thought of talking to random strangers to find a common ground and hopefully build a friendship is pretty daunting. In game world, whether its chat or talking to comrades in battle, there is plenty opportunity to bond and talk about things you love. And best of all there are plenty of willing listeners, as the first thing in common has already been established.
3. Stress relief
Life is hard and people can be awful to each other. Although you wouldn’t harm someone in real life, it is nice to take out your rage on a flesh eating zombie. The release helps you sleep better too.
4. Gives you confidence
Nothing makes you feel better or boosts your ego more than knowing you are better at something than someone else. Getting more kills in a game or finishing a game before all your friends definitely makes you feel good. The end result is confidence and a general feeling of wellbeing. Feeling good about yourself gives you more courage to try, and the more you try, the more you succeed. The more you succeed the more inclined you are to try new things and expand your horizons further. It’s a win win.
5. Creates spatial awareness
Hours of Tetris and the accompanying wonky thumbs, were not a waste of time, as our mothers warned. Instead it taught the skills to neatly pack many items into a confined space. One very good real world example is the skills you now have to fit the bulky second hand furniture, from your previous share house into the shoebox sized city apartment you now live in to be closer to work.
6. Increases the ability to multitask
First person shooter games require players to; listen to their team mates (usually via headset), safely maintain their immediate parameter while using multiple weapons, monitor health and ammunition supplies while watching the farther area of the screen for sneaky enemies and watching their partner’s back. Enough said!
7. Teaches you team building and leadership skills
In co-op combat games, you die quickly if you don’t listen or work together with your team and/or partner. MMO’s and MMORPG’s may require you to be part of a clan. If you participate and add value, your clan owner may make you clan admin, giving you all the rights that he has. With that power you can design and execute battle plans, allow or revoke clan member rights and even boot clan members for falling out of line. And if you don’t go mad with the power I would consider that a testament to your ability to lead without corruption.
8. Makes you happy
Whatever you play, games definitely have a positive impact in our daily lives. Some people love the outdoors, some people love to lift weights and some people love to game. If you get a complete sense of satisfaction and thoroughly enjoy gaming, dont let anyone take that from you. Continue to do what you love and just be happy.