Battling the Stigma of Gaming

Video games are not only a great form of entertainment but they can teach you some important skills as well. Despite what people may think, most video games actually promote prosocial behaviors like sharing, teamwork, and cooperation. Of course, different types of games have various ways they can improve your cognitive function. For example, role-playing and strategy games increase your problem-solving skills. On the other hand, first-person shoots improve your visual-spatial skills.

In most cases, the gamer stereotypes don’t describe what gamers actually look like and act. People think that they are slackers who don’t have any interest in real life, eat unhealthy, and spend nearly all of their days slouched over their keyboards. Because of this, parents discourage their kids from playing video games, thinking that it won’t provide them with any real skills and that they will make them lazy.

Although video games are known for having a positive impact of children and young adults, most people still consider it just a hobby that doesn’t provide any education, social or personal benefits. In a 2013 study published by the American Psychological Association, it was concluded that playing video games can improve a number of cognitive skills like perception, reasoning, spatial navigation, and memory. It was found that they can have a positive impact on education and career development, especially in fields like engineering, mathematics, technology, and science.

Additionally, the study revealed that simple games that can be played quickly make people relaxed and may even help decrease anxiety. But instead of trying to understand how and which video games can be beneficial to young people, most choose to criticize them. Another common concern is that they contain too much violence and may lead to increased aggression and risky behavior in kids and young adults. Since there are some studies that actually link them to increased aggression, this may be a cause for concern.

However, simply because it can negatively affect your kid doesn’t mean that it should. As a parent you need to inform yourself on how violence in video games can affect your children. On top of that, you shouldn’t try to ban certain games. Instead, it’s much better to play them with your kids and talk to them to figure out if it has any type of effect on their mood. In case you also find out your children are neglecting their responsibilities in order to play video games maybe it’s time that you intervene. But if they are doing all of their chores and performing well academically and socially, there is no reason for them not to play video games in their spare time. After all, it’s an extremely exciting form of entertainment.

Today, there are more than 1.2 billion people worldwide who play video games, so it’s probably time people get a new perspective on this activity. Yes, there are some people who are literally addicted to playing video games and spend most of their time playing them to the point that it ruins their lives. However, this is not how a typical gamer acts, but actually represents a very small group of people. Just because someone considers playing video games their hobby doesn’t mean they should be judged in any way, since it most likely doesn’t have a negative effect on their lives.

On the contrary, these people may perform better in various areas of life as a result of playing video games. After all, apart from improving cognitive skills they also increase self-motivation since they teach us we always get rewards for positive actions. In multiplayer games, people also get a chance to learn how to solve problems by working together with a group of people. The pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to playing video games, which is why the ignorant social stigma surrounding them needs to be removed.

Filed under: Life

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