Mental Health Benefits of Playing eSports
Video games have long had a bad rap. Whether it’s detractors calling out the negative impacts of too much screen time or censors arguing that titles are becoming too violent, video games have fought a constant uphill battle. Thankfully, video games are becoming more accepted as a valid art form. Furthermore, the mental health benefits of video games and esports are starting to come to light. Below, we explore 7 of the biggest benefits of playing esports.
1. Esports Encourage Connection
More of us than ever before are experiencing loneliness. However, in the digital age, there’s no reason for this. Esports and gaming platforms make it easy to connect with like-minded people. In fact, many of the most popular esports games have significant followings. Take League of Legends for example. With more than 150 million registered users, you won’t struggle to find an active community to engage with if you’re feeling the pangs of loneliness.
2. Gaming is a Stress Reliever
Video games are more realistic and immersive than ever. If you’re finding it hard to relax at the end of a long day, firing up the console and losing yourself in a fantasy world is one way to put the worries of real-life on pause and let your mind unwind for a bit.
3. Esports Allow Players to Express Themselves
Gaming has come a long way since the days of 8-bit platformers. Nowadays, you can customize in-game avatars with detailed skins and aesthetic upgrades. If you’re too shy to express yourself in everyday life, showcasing your true tastes in a virtual environment can be a first step toward gaining little more confidence in the real world.
4. It Gives Your Gray Matter a Workout
Video games require plenty of concentration to come out on top. Even a standard first-person shooter like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive calls for excellent hand-eye coordination, careful decision-making, and considered communication. When you’re playing a multiplayer game, cooperation is even more crucial. All of this combined gives your brain an essential workout that trounces any sudoku puzzle or Wordle challenge.
5. Gaming Can Improve Reflex Times
Unless you’re playing slow-paced games exclusively, you’ll know how vital quick reaction times are for coming out on top against an end-of-level boss. Playing action and strategy games can significantly improve reaction times, helping you make a decision more quickly. A recent study by the University of Rochester concluded that playing video games could speed up reaction times by as much as 25%. This has a direct impact on general awareness and can help boost confidence levels.
6. Find Your Voice
Modern video gaming isn’t just about mastery behind a keyboard. With streaming platforms like Twitch, you can showcase yourself, as much as your prowess at the latest first-person shooter or MOBA game. Starting up as a Twitch streamer is a great way of connecting with online communities, as well as putting your views and opinions out there.
7. Gaming Strengthens Social Skills
If you’re playing cooperative titles, gaming can significantly boost your social skills. Becoming part of a five-man Counter-Strike team or League of Legends guild will force you to interact with fellow players. Even if you’re the shy and retiring type, you’ll be more inclined to engage with strangers if you share a common interest. Playing alongside others also requires clear lines of communication. This will help boost confidence and make you more sure of yourself in everyday life. Want to see how the experts do it? Follow live CSGO matches on 1337Pro.
Most importantly, like anything in life, it is important to find the right balance in your gaming routine and not to play excessively, as that could have an impact on the quality time you spend with your family and friends. Simple rules like setting times for your gaming hobby and sticking to them, keeping your phone and computer devices out of your bedroom overnight and introducing health exercise routine regularly will help you achieve the right balance.
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