The Covid-19 pandemic has really impacted our way of life, causing a lot of disruptions in several areas such as business, entertainment and even lifestyle. As we stay indoors and do less during the quarantine period, many have taken on online games like online pokies, online multiplayers to mention but a few to keep themselves active.
Online gaming has grown drastically in these past several months with more people taking on the activity as way to keep themselves busy and in touch with friends and loved ones during the Covid period.
Based on a white paper by Lime Light, mobile phones still remain the primary gaming device followed by computers, gaming consoles and tablets. The gap further widened this year with the preference for mobile phones increasing 13 percent.
The same can be said for causal gamers, who take on the biggest percentage of the group seeing that games like Candy Crash, Angry Birds, and Spider Solitaire are among the most popularly played games worldwide. That also includes First-Person shooter games like Call of Duty, Destiny 2, Overwatch, and Fortnite which have increased in popularity by more than six percent in the past year.
However, though it is clear that online games have become a popular sensation for many, some still find them distracting and socially destructive but at the same time, one could say otherwise about the matter entirely.
Despite having some downsides to them, online games do actually have some enriching benefits to them, and today we get discuss more about that and how they have had a positive impact on many people since gaming offers an engaging distraction for those at home who are looking for social interaction during the pandemic period.
5 Reasons Why Online Games Are Great Way to Spend Your Time During the Quarantine Period
At the moment, there still isn’t enough evidence to offer a solid answer to whether if video games are bad for us but the good news is that most researchers are discovering that they can be good for us though one should remember that anything in excess can be harmful.
1. They help in exercising our brain
A recent study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus in Berlin, Germany, found that playing video games increases the grey matter our brain which helps refine learned and hardwired skills.
The study also found that playing video games proved beneficial to those who are disabled and mentally ill, as they helped improve their quality of life. Apart from that, they directly affect certain regions of the brain such as memory, spatial orientation, information organizations, and fine motor skills, which all contribute to healthy brain functions.
2. They help improve our decision making and problem solving skills
Online games, on several occasions have been used to teach problem solving and strategy skills to young kids and adults a like. When one looks at games like SimCity, which allows players to lay out and plan a city while thinking ahead about how their decisions and strategy will help or hurt the growth of their city.
This goes ahead to prove how games help teach problem solving skills to players such as resource management and risk assessment. It could be also one of the reasons as to why there has been increased numbers of people becoming innovative and problem solvers, offering different solutions to issues caused by the ongoing pandemic as they found themselves stuck at home most of the time during the quarantine period.
3. Video games can help in exercising our body
When one looks at Exergames like the Wii Fit on Nintendo, Dance Dance Revolution, which is all about showing off those dancing moves of yours, we can strongly argue that they don’t just help in making our brains active and smarter but also help us get in shape.
Exergames and fitness video games have revolutionized exercising, and have helped kids and young people remain active and in shape, which improves our body’s physical health in the long run more so during this pandemic period when we’re expected to remain indoors and exercise social distancing.
4. They help in treating depression and improving our social skills
Contrary to belief, most people have this stereotype notion about gamers being basement dwellers who are socially awkward which is totally not the case.
A recent study by researchers from three different institutions in the UK and Canada showed some interesting results regarding how common antisocial behaviour is among gamers. The study discovered that gamers who took part in live social environments were actually the most communicative and friendly people.
It was also revealed in another study that video games were instrumental in treating mental disorders like depression. The study, which was done by researchers in New Zealand, used a game called SPARX to provide therapy to over 168 teenagers who had previously shown signs of depression by offering them a more active and enjoyable form of therapy than regular counselling.
The study showed promising results as the game used for therapy involved creating avatars to rid the virtual world of enemies representing gloomy, negative thoughts, with every stage of the game also tackling general facts about depression including ways to relax and deal with negative emotions.
5. They may help in slowing down ageing
It’s a known fact that the human body continues to age every time we grow older, and aside from that, we know how important its to keep a healthy exercise routine so as to keep our bodies in good shape.
The same can be said for gaming, apart from improving our brain functions, eye coordination, and decision-making process, it can also help slow down ageing.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa showed that playing games helped reduce ageing. The study had 681 healthy people aged 50 and older play 10 hours of a certain video game for five to eight weeks.
It was later revealed by the researchers that ‘10 hours was enough’ to slow the decline by several years. “We saw a range across all our tests from a minimum of a year-and-a-half all the way up to about six-and-a-half years of recovery or improvement. From just 10 to 14 hours of training, that’s quite a lot of improvement”, the researchers said.
Performing any task that requires exercising your mind will help you stay sharper, and that includes video games too.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.