Gaming is like any other hobby at its core. There are things that are great for you, and there are drawbacks. Athletics are great for overall health and fitness, but there are stresses on body parts and joints that can end in chronic pain as one gets older. Gaming and other more intellectual hobbies are great for exercising your mind. The drawback is those activities are less active and can lead to other types of problems. In this article, we will examine both the pluses and perils of gaming and let you determine whether these risks outweighed the rewards.
The Hand is Quicker than the Eye
This is a classic, but still compelling. People who game with a mouse and keyboard or controller have higher hand-eye coordination than people who dont. Its actually on par with people who play musical instruments and sports. Put a gamer playing something highly technical that requires a lot of high speed and precision button pushing, and it can be a mesmerizing sight to see. This can come at a cost, however. Repetitive stress injuries are easy to come by in the gaming world. When gaming goes overboard, you can develop inflamed tendons in your thumb and index finger, as well as Carpal tunnel and even tennis elbow. Game with moderation, and make sure to rest your hands once in a while.
One of the upsides to gaming is there is plenty of opportunities to hang out with others who enjoy gaming. There are message boards, voice chats, and text chats dedicated to gaming, and whether you like first-person shooters or tabletop role-playing, you can easily find people who love the same type of games you do. The drawback to this is since all this is available on your computer or phone, you dont have to leave the house to get social interaction, which can lead to problems dealing with people who dont share your interests. Remember, there are physical humans on the other side of the gaming headsets, so try and get out in public to meet up once in a while.
Its a Mental Game
Gaming is a mental exercise. Multiple studies describe gaming as a mental training regimen for memory, concentration, and the brains ability to process audio and visual cues. Its not a passive hobby when it comes to brain activity. There are rules you need to remember actively, moves to learn, patterns to memorize, and strategies to consider. There are new games that combine all this and physical activity as well, so gaming is going a long way to improve the lives of gamers. There are still drawbacks, though. While some games do encourage movement, most do not, so the hobby is pretty sedentary.
There are big health risks that come with sitting for extended periods of time, as well as just exposure to the blue light of monitors and cell phones. A sedentary lifestyle often leads to obesity, which increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Even if you arent overweight, sitting for too long and too often can lead to blood clots. In some extreme cases, people can forget to eat and disrupt sleep patterns or ignore personal hygiene. These things arent too common, but its good to keep in mind. Always keep your gaming balanced with the rest of your life.