If you’ve ever been anything more than a casual gamer, you have been called lazy, a loser, a time waster or worse. Video game and the gamers who play them still conjure up a negative impressions for a large portion of society today. But there is good news!  The business of gaming, and some of the newly studied and confirmed benefits are beginning to change that stigma.

One recent study had gamers play 30 minutes a day (newbs) for 2 months and that alone resulted in improved mental capacity in a number or functions including memory, fine motor skills and strategic planning. That comes as no surprise to those of us who have worked our way through a God of War puzzle, mined innumerable bricks for a Minecraft fortress, or tinkered with the sensitivity settings of our scope in Call of Duty.

Games can also be educational. Though maybe not as common on consoles, venture into the world of mobile gaming and you will find tens or hundreds of thousands of educational apps. There are word puzzles, logic problems and plenty of other varieties that leave the gamer walking away with an enhanced vocabulary, a new way of problem solving, a better way to communicate or any number of other tangible skills.

Add to all these benefits, the fact that gaming is becoming a bigger business by the day. Those of us who grew up gaming are nostalgic for it and consuming as much as ever while those who are growing up now are firmly implanted in gaming culture as well. Ten years ago there were no PewDiewPie’s, no Ninja’s or tfue’s. Esports arenas didn’t exist and Twitch was not yet even a twinkle in the eye of Jeff Bezos.

Today, an astounding 60% of Americans play video games of some sort DAILY (according to ESA). The industry is expanding like never before from previously mentioned streamers to multi-million dollar tournaments, and sponsorships. The total consumer spend on the video game industry in 2017 was $36 Billion dollars. That’s a lot of DLC!

But gaming is not without fault. While many are able to game responsibly, it is important to remember that this particular hobby can become very addictive. Being sure to always game in moderation, and to diversify your list of daily activities can help to prevent some of the negative side effects that come along with gaming.

Share how gaming has been good for you in the comments below, any skills you have learned along the way or any good habits you’ve formed as a result!

Until next time…

Good Game!