According to the American Psychological Association, playing video games, including shooter games, can boost learning, health and social skills. Gaming may strengthen a range of cognitive skills such as spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception. And, there’s more in the study: it was found that playing FPS games improved a player's capacity to think about objects in three dimensions just as well as academic courses designed to enhance these same skills.
That’s all great and fine, but we can think of a couple of more reasons why gaming is good for you, besides being fun. Here are four.
Meet new people around the world
Way, way back in the day, the only way you’d meet new people from different parts of the country or world was to become pen pals with them. You’d send letters back and forth and talk about your personal lives, your city or town, that sort of thing. It’s only half-creepy (and just as slow) as it sounds. Gaming lets you converse with anyone you wouldn’t—or sometimes wouldn’t want to—normally talk to, whether that’s a friend or someone you’re playing against. Despite criticism that gaming isolates players, it’s the exact opposite. But you already knew that.
Communicate with friends
Again, gaming is super social. You ever pull an all-nighter? (We’re guessing yes). You were probably communicating with friends (whether that was for strategy or some trash-talking). Discord lets you talk and text via VoIP in a chat channel in the middle of action or when you’re planning your next move. Meanwhile, co-op gaming (also written as “cooperative gameplay,” probably by the same people who do research on gaming) lets you and your friends pass weapons, provide cover and cooperate (hence co-op in the name) during a game, either via text or via headphones with a mic by Antlion. In other words, you and your friends could be in the same room but you’re not. Who says that’s not communication?
Exercise your strategy skills
To those that don’t game, it might look like a bunch of running around, no rhyme or reason, lots of shooting, with an eventual score. You know, like soccer. Your gaming experience says otherwise. Gaming takes skill, coordination, and strategy to succeed. You’re always using your big brain to develop ways to outsmart and outwit friends. This could be during planning (again on your mic) but many times, it’s on the fly. It’s like a board game but your opponents are coming at you way quicker, in real-time, and they want to destroy you. Good thing you’ve managed to hone those skills for kills.
Blow off some steam
We can talk about game strategy or knowledge all day long, but at the end of the day? Gaming with friends lets you relax after a hard day’s work, after studying, or whatever is you do in life that isn’t fun. Sure, it’s about using your skills but it’s also a great way to hang out, socialize, and build friendships with people around the globe or from around the corner. Warm and fuzzy? Maybe. But remember what brought you to gaming to begin with. It’s fun. Right?