Do what makes you happy. How many times have you heard this statement from the very same people who tell you to stop playing video games because it’s bad for you? Well, if you can relate then read on; there’s some good news coming right up.
Our author here, Jacek Michałski, is an expert that consults operators in Poland’s iGaming industry about video games and mental health. According to the marketing team at Zet Casino, it’s helped them in understanding the importance of delivering good quality games.
The video game industry has exploded over recent years and was already reaping in $108.9 billion annually by the end of 2017. By the end of 2019, it increased to $152 billion. It wouldn’t have been the case if it was an unpleasant experience. Then again, not all nice things are necessarily good for you.
Fortunately, video gaming has excellent benefits to your mental health, and we’ll take a look at these exciting facts.
What Happens When I Play Video Games?
According to the highly respected researcher, Nick Yee, three significant aspects come into play when you indulge in your favourite video game. It stimulates your need for achievement¹, creates an environment where you can socialize² and in which you can immerse yourself and create a different persona³.
These three components are what are called the ‘motivational aspects’ of why players flock back to their online world and communities. If you’re a highly competitive personality type, the sense of achievement when reaching higher levels will no doubt have a positive effect on your happiness. Accompanied by a wild soundtrack that celebrates every victory with you, it can lift your spirits in no time.
Forming connections with other like-minded players will give you a sense of belonging and fulfil the need to socialise. With modern technology, video gaming isn’t a solo sport anymore. It’s a highly interactive pass time with online communities that form strong virtual bonds and connections. Creating a different online persona (or avatar) allows you to escape reality and immerse yourself into another character.
What Is the Psychology Behind Video Games?
Concerned parents have bought every book on why children shouldn’t play video games. Extensive research into the matter has found that in a controlled environment, the good outweighs the bad.
According to the American Psychological Association, regular video gaming leads to increased engagement, concentration, better health and social behaviour. The psychologist recommends mental health video games for children and adults with dyslexia and learning difficulties.
Studies have shown that children who regularly played mental health games had increased problem-solving skills. The strategy that you need to apply while playing certain action-adventure or simulator games improves your skills and enhances creativity. On top of that, it also promotes relaxation, improves your mood and deters anxiety.
Endorphins and Its Effect on How You Feel
Playing action-adventure games releases endorphins which leads to a feeling of happiness and euphoria. It acts on your brain’s opiate receptors whenever you participate in activities that you enjoy. When endorphins are released, it boosts your overall feeling of well-being and pleasure.
A study completed at the University of California has proven that playing 3D video games holds a direct positive influence in your hippocampus. It’s the part of your brain where short term memories transform into long term memories. It’s vital to note from these formal studies that 2D gaming didn’t produce the same results.
The next time somebody warns you against playing video games, you can share some of these exciting facts with them. Science, like technology, is forever making discoveries, and millions of gamers globally couldn’t be happier.
Now you can grab that console and have some guilt-free fun, knowing that you’re indeed playing towards a happier and healthier lifestyle. Always remember to keep moderation in mind and don’t neglect a balanced routine of physical exercise. All the virtual running you’re doing on your PC or mobile screen doesn’t replace it.