Ten Reasons Why Gaming is Good For You

Pull up a chair, grab your controller, and let me share with you a journey, a story of how the pixelated world of video games became my sanctuary, my tranquil haven in a world often full of chaos.

Once upon a time, life tossed me into the swirling whirlpool of anxiety. The relentless tides of worry and stress kept me from finding my footing. Anxiety dragged me down. The weight of it crushed me mentally and physically, forcing the life out of my lungs, out of my soul.

That was until I found my lifeboat—gaming. Like a skilled character in an RPG, I discovered I could not only navigate my anxiety but level up my mental health, thanks to the magic of video games.

Gaming was my health potion, replenishing my mental and emotional reserves. It was my in-game map, guiding me through the convoluted labyrinth of stress to a place of calm. Each game became a training level, equipping me with the power-ups and tools necessary to handle real-life challenges.

I know what you’re thinking. Games, good for you? It sounds like I just did a cheat code, right? But hear me out! In this guide, we’ll drop into ten game-changing arenas, where we’ll explore:

  • Cognitive benefits of gaming: Mastering puzzles in Zelda isn’t just for fun—it’s a brain boost!
  • Emotional benefits of gaming: Turns out, blasting aliens or creating worlds can be quite the stress reliever.
  • Social aspects of gaming: Who knew ‘squadding’ up in Fortnite could teach us a thing or two about friendship?
  • Physical benefits of gaming: Wii Sports was onto something—moving and gaming can go hand in hand.
  • Mental health benefits of gaming: Gaming can be a balm for the soul—yes, you heard it right.
  • Educational benefits of gaming: Learn history in Civilization? Count me in.
  • Personal development benefits: Dark Souls is tough, but it teaches you to be tougher.
  • Real world skills through gaming: Resource management in Stardew Valley equals budgeting skills for life.
  • Cultural understanding through gaming: It’s a global game lobby out there, and we’re all invited.
  • Therapeutic use of games: From ADHD to anxiety, games are taking on a new role.

So, are you ready to press ‘Start’ and begin this adventure? Dive into this world with me and let’s debunk the myth that video games are mere child’s play. Let’s gear up, power up, and reveal how gaming can be the extra life we need in this real-life game. Keep on reading and let’s level up together!

1. Cognitive Benefits of Gaming

Ever find yourself stuck on a challenging level, the kind where you need to decipher a complex puzzle or execute a perfect sequence of actions to progress? You know, like those tricky shrines in “Breath of the Wild” or those perplexing portals in “Portal 2”. It’s frustrating, right? But as you twist your brain around these puzzles, something amazing is happening. You’re leveling up your real-life problem-solving skills! 1

Improved Problem-Solving Skills

When I was grappling with my anxiety, video games became my unexpected therapy. As I ventured into these complex gaming realms, I found myself facing challenges and puzzles that required serious brainpower. It was like going on a raid in “Destiny” where each step demands strategy, tactics, and quick decision-making. In that pixelated universe, I realized, my mind wasn’t idle; it was active, thriving, and evolving.

Enhanced Multitasking Skills

Gaming isn’t just about button mashing; it’s a juggling act, much like playing “StarCraft II” or “Overwatch” where you have to manage resources, keep an eye on your team, and make real-time strategic decisions. This gaming multitasking transfers to real life. I found that managing my anxiety and daily tasks became a lot like managing my in-game missions, helping me handle multiple situations at once with relative ease. 2

2. Emotional Benefits of Gaming

Gaming is the balm for the soul you never knew you needed. It was for me, at least. In my journey grappling with anxiety, the realm of gaming served as an emotional safe haven.

Gaming and Stress Relief

Sometimes, life can feel like you’re stuck on Dark Souls’ infamous Ornstein and Smough boss fight—overwhelming and stressful. During these times, I found solace in the simplicity of games like “Stardew Valley” or the chaos of “DOOM”. These digital worlds became my playgrounds, where I could vent, relax, and come back to reality feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the boss fight of life. 3

Gaming Boosts Creativity

Creativity was my secret weapon against anxiety. And you know what’s a powerhouse of creativity? Gaming. It’s like stepping into “Minecraft” or “Dreams” where you’re given a vast canvas and infinite building blocks. This virtual creative freedom translated into real-world imaginative thinking, boosting my resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

3. Social Aspects of Gaming

Gaming is not the solo, isolating endeavor that it’s often made out to be. It’s a party, a meet-up, a gathering of like-minded individuals. Just like how I found support in my guild during my World of Warcraft days when I was coping with anxiety.

Online Communities and Social Skills

Remember those intense sessions in “Among Us” or the cooperative missions in “Sea of Thieves”? The conversations, the strategies, the laughs and even the heated debates, they all contribute to fostering our social skills. Gaming provides a shared experience, much like attending a sports game or a concert, but from the comfort of our couch.

4. Physical Benefits of Gaming

You’re probably wondering how on earth gaming could ever have physical benefits. Well, remember that time you were totally absorbed in a Wii Sports tennis match, or the hours you spent dancing away with Just Dance?

Hand-Eye Coordination

Any FPS gamer knows how vital quick reflexes and precision are. Whether you’re lining up that perfect headshot in “Call of Duty” or flawlessly parrying in “Dark Souls”, hand-eye coordination is key. Research suggests this keen coordination might transfer outside the gaming world too, potentially making us more skilled in activities that require fine motor skills and quick reactions.

Physical Fitness through Active Gaming

Nintendo was onto something when they released Wii Sports and the more recent Ring Fit Adventure. These games get us moving and shaking, turning our living rooms into fitness studios. In my battle against anxiety, these physically engaging games were my morning jog, my yoga session, my peaceful start to the day.

5. Mental Health Benefits of Gaming

Gaming was my therapist when I needed it the most. It was there for me, offering respite from anxiety and presenting a world where I was in control. But it isn’t just my personal experience; there’s actual science behind this.

Positive Impact on Mental Health

Studies suggest that video games can serve as a form of digital therapy, helping manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. These games can act as a space for mindfulness, much like the soothing island life in “Animal Crossing”, or a source of motivation and achievement, like hitting that high score in “Beat Saber”.

6. Educational Benefits of Gaming

There’s no rule that says learning has to be dull. In fact, gaming showed me that learning could be as exciting as unlocking a secret level or mastering a new spell.

Learning Through Gaming

Ever wonder about the historical accuracy of your civilization in “Civilization VI”? Or ponder over the economy and resource management strategies in “SimCity”? Games are treasure troves of knowledge, cloaked in fun and interactivity. They can introduce complex topics like history, economics, science, and even programming in an engaging and digestible way. As a gamer dealing with anxiety, diving into these intricacies felt like a rewarding escape and an engaging learning experience.

7. Gaming Aiding in Personal Development

Gaming has a magical way of teaching us about life, without us even realizing it. It’s like a friendly tutorial level, but for real-life challenges.

Building Resilience

Remember those frustratingly tough boss fights, like that pesky Valkyrie Queen in “God of War”? These challenges force us to learn, adapt, and grow to overcome them. Similarly, in life, we face our own versions of tough boss fights. The resilience I developed in-game helped me stand tall against anxiety and learn to cope with it effectively.

8. Real World Skills through Gaming

What if I told you that being the mayor of your “Animal Crossing” village or managing your resources in “Stardew Valley” can teach you essential real-world skills?

Resource Management

Games often revolve around the effective management of resources, be it money, materials, or even time. Managing resources in games might just make us better equipped to handle our finances and time in reality. When dealing with anxiety, this sort of in-game practice became a valuable lesson in managing my real-world tasks and commitments.

9. Gaming and Cultural Understanding

Gaming servers are like a melting pot of cultures. From “Overwatch” to “Fortnite”, you’re constantly interacting with people from different corners of the world.

Global Connectivity and Cultural Exchange

Through gaming, I found a community that transcended borders, where cultural exchange was as common as trading loot. This global perspective opened my eyes to new viewpoints and helped me develop empathy and understanding, critical tools in my journey of managing anxiety.

10. Therapeutic Use of Games

We’ve all experienced it—those moments of peace, focus, and tranquility while engrossed in a game. But did you know that games are now actively being used for therapy?

Games as Digital Therapy

Research is increasingly suggesting that video games can be used as a form of therapy. Certain games are designed with mental health in mind, while others naturally possess therapeutic qualities. In my own journey, I found games like “Journey” and “Celeste” that don’t just offer an escape but also tackle mental health themes directly, subtly helping players like me navigate their personal challenges.

ADHD and Autism

Therapeutic gaming is not limited to anxiety and depression. Games are being utilized to help manage and improve symptoms in conditions like ADHD and Autism. “Minecraft”, for example, is often praised for its potential therapeutic benefits for Autistic children. This goes to show the incredible potential gaming holds as a force for good.


As we’ve journeyed through this realm of pixels and polygons, we’ve uncovered the magic of gaming, haven’t we? We’ve seen that it’s not just a diversion, but an incredibly powerful tool that can aid us in multiple aspects of life—just like it aided me in my battle against anxiety.

Here’s a quick respawn point to the key takeaways from our adventure:

  • Cognitive Benefits: Gaming enhances a range of cognitive abilities, such as problem-solving, spatial awareness, and strategic thinking.
  • Social Aspects: Contrary to the stereotypes, gaming fosters strong social connections and skills, creating a sense of belonging.
  • Physical Benefits: Believe it or not, gaming can improve hand-eye coordination and physical fitness, particularly with active gaming.
  • Mental Health: Video games can have a positive impact on mental health, helping manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Educational Potential: Gaming can introduce complex topics like history, economics, science, and even programming in an engaging way.
  • Real-World Skills: Gaming scenarios often revolve around effective resource management—skills that can translate to real-world situations.

Just like me, you might find in gaming not only a source of entertainment, but also a companion, a healer, and a teacher. It’s time we redefine gaming, not as a “waste of time,” but as a wellspring of potential benefits.

Now that we’ve reached the end of this chapter, the next quest awaits you. Don’t forget to check out the “What Next?” section for your next action points, and continue leveling up in your gaming journey!

What Next?

In every epic quest, there’s always the next step, the actionable path forward. We don’t just want you to read this article, we want you to level up, take charge, and implement the wisdom you’ve gained. So, let’s take a look at what you can do next:

  • Discover Your Genre: Whether it’s strategy, RPG, FPS, or a calming simulation, find a game genre that resonates with you and dive into it. You never know, your next therapeutic adventure could be just a title away!
  • Connect With Others: Join an online gaming community, participate in forums, or simply team up with your friends for some co-op play. Use gaming as a platform to forge friendships, learn from others, and enhance your social skills.
  • Play Actively: Try out some active games like Ring Fit Adventure, Just Dance, or even Pokemon Go. They’re not just fun, they’re a unique way of staying fit!
  • Learn While You Game: The next time you’re setting up a civilization in “Civilization VI” or managing your resources in “Stardew Valley”, take a moment to appreciate the real-life knowledge you’re gaining and think about how you can apply these lessons in your life.
  • Use Games Therapeutically: If you’re facing stress, anxiety, or any other mental health issue, consider using games as a form of therapy. Seek out games that focus on mental health themes or simply provide a peaceful, relaxing experience.

Now, my fellow gamer, it’s time to take these points and put them into action. Remember, in the grand game of life, you’re the hero of your own story, and every step you take is XP gained!


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Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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