Games can be much more than a fun way of passing time on a boring day. They can actually serve a very important purpose of reducing stress and preventing burn out. I often find that taking a break from a stressful project to play a game can put me in a better mood and allow me to tackle the project more effectively later. The drudgery of a difficult task or project can depress you and make you feel that you are failing. Gaming can help alleviate some of these feelings and can relax you in much of the same way a recess from schoolwork helps students get refreshed .
The Little Achievements
The little victories that we achieve when playing games give us joy and confidence. The tiny virtual achievements may help us feel better about ourselves and our situation. It shows us that we can do what we put our mind to and this emotional state can be translated to more practical real world circumstances.
Strategizing and teamwork
Many games require some form of strategy or tactic in order to win. This is true for puzzle, action or even sports games. The player has to think about the moves as well as the repurcussions if a mistake is made. There are obvious parallels between this and life where planning is essential to projects. The more social games also require some form of interaction with friends in other to achieve objectives quicker. This encourages teamwork by emphasizing the increased power of a collective group over that of a single player.
Escape from uncomfortable situations
Sometimes reality can be harsh and ruthless. While we all have to accept this, gaming can be a brief distraction from the trials and tribulations of life. By escaping into another world you can temporarily shift your focus from your own shortcomings and problems and focus on something else. This distraction can be helpful if you are overwhelmed by the harsh realities of life and can help you keep it together.
Don’t overdo it
Like everything in life, moderation is a key factor. Despite the many benefits of gaming, playing too much can have negative side effects. Some games are very addictive and can distract you from work or other responsibilities. You need to be aware of the circumstances under which you can play and when it would be inappropriate to do so.
So the next time you play a game and feel like you are wasting time remember all the benefits of gaming. Also remember the consequences of playing too much. Games are successful when they are popular and they become popular when they are addictive. Game on responsibly.