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Digital Gaming Mental Health

Is Gaming Bad for Your Mental Health?

You’ve probably heard this a lot from your parents or teachers, the idea that gaming is bad for your mental health. Well we’ve debunked some myths about gaming, and this is a pretty big one. So how can it be good for you? Read on to find out more.

How can gaming be positive for your mental health?

Loneliness

A popular use for online gaming is the ability to use it to combat feelings of loneliness. During the pandemic, you might have found that you spent more time gaming online than you used to as a way to talk to and spend time with friends that you would have otherwise seen at school. Well, it turns out that it is a pretty effective method of combating loneliness and improving general feelings of happiness according to research carried out by Oxford University. So maybe show your parents this when they say that gaming isn’t good for you.

Social skills

During the pandemic, we all had to stay at home a lot more than we usually would have to. Without being able to go and see mates in the park, at school, at work or in our homes, there was very little choice for how to hang out with friends. The options were basically a millionth zoom quiz or gaming. So it’s not surprising that playing games online is good for our social skills. It can help build new friendships and relationships with people all over the world who share a common interest, or just hang out with people already in our lives. Either way, it’s a win.

Emotional Resilience (learning to lose) 

One thing that’s a guarantee when it comes to gaming is that at some point or another, you are going to lose. Well, learning to lose graciously is a really important emotional and social skill that we all have to learn at some point. Being a bad loser will certainly lose you a lot of friends. Learning how to pick yourself up after failing at something is a crucial part of life, so keep that in mind the next time someone beats you.

Sense of achievement 

Every game you’ll ever play has a goal; a reason to want to win. Whether it’s an individual battle or race, or part of a longer storyline, there will be plenty of opportunities to pursue within a game. Sure, sometimes you won’t reach it, or maybe not in the way you want, but having something to strive towards is always going to be a part of whatever your favourite game is. A victory of any size is a victory all the same.

Conclusion

So, you’ve definitely got a few reasons why gaming is good for your mental health to back you up next time one of your parents tells you to give it up. But, there is always the danger of too much of a good thing. Remember, whether you consider gaming a passing task you do every now and then, or if you think of yourself as a serious hobbyist, when the fun stops, give yourself a break from it. 

Want to know more about what gaming can do for you? Find out all about it on our gaming hub here.

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This article is part of our #GamersUnite series. Visit the hub for more advice, tips and ways to support other gamers.

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