Why You Need to Rethink Your Opinion on Video Games

¨They rot your brain. They make you lazy. They are so harmful. ¨ These are all common things said about video games, but how true are these statements? Video games often receive hate and are labeled as a waste of time or harmful. As someone who plays video games quite frequently, I was curious to see how video games are really affecting me. I think video games often get a bad name for no reason.  After some research, I felt like it was my duty to share the information on why video games are beneficial to us. 

Whether it’s playing Angry Birds or Call of Duty, your brain is constantly functioning at a high rate. This helps you in many ways, including the increase of gray matter in your brain. According to Geico, ¨ Studies have shown that playing video games regularly may increase gray matter in the brain and boost brain connectivity.¨ With the increase of gray matter, this can help muscle control, memories, perception, and spatial navigation. Also, playing video games that require multi-tasking and focus may be a great way to keep your brain young. Keeping your brain active and young can help you better respond to things like strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and head trauma from falls. As you get older, many of these things are common.

Not only can video games improve your brain expansion, but they can improve your mental health. For many people, video games are a perfect break from a reality filled with deadlines, stress, and responsibilities. People play them because they are fun, interesting and a way to relax. According to a new study, researchers in the U.K. interviewed 1,000 video game enthusiasts between the ages of 18 and 30 and asked them why they play. 55 percent of them said the games help them to “unwind and relieve stress”, 47 percent stated that the games helped them see their lives in a more positive light, 37 percent said gaming improved their confidence, 27 percent said that gaming helped them solve a mental health issue or concern. With better mental health, you have clearer thinking, increased self-esteem, reduced anxiety, and improvement in relationships. 

Along with mental benefits, there can be financial benefits. There are plenty of jobs in the gaming market in various fields. Game developers employ thousands of people, so do esports tournament companies and esports teams. Also, there are streamers who stream their gameplay to an audience on YouTube and Twitch. According to Cyberathletiks, ¨On average, professional gamers earn between $1,000 and $5,000 per month, or, between $12,000 and $60,000 per year. To add on, with a large subscription base and consistent, high-quality gameplay, you have the potential to earn tens of thousands of dollars per month.¨ The rate streamers get paid for sponsored streams ranges from 1¢ to $1 per viewer per hour. If you get 10,000 viewers, that’s $100 to $10,000 per hour of gameplay. While it is really hard to go pro, there’s always that chance if you work hard enough for it.  What might just seem like a stupid game can make you some serious money. 

As you can see, people’s opinions on video games are commonly distorted and imprecise. I believe that everyone that has played video games can agree with me that it helps us get through our daily lives. I am a better person thanks to video games, and I feel like they can help many others as well. It can be used as a distraction and a diversion to the problems we all face. They can expand our minds, expand our memory, and even help better our mental health. To add on, a career can also be developed whether it’s a streamer, video game designer, esports player, or much more. So next time you see someone playing video games, you should think twice about your perspective on it.

Saeed Harinandan

Hi, My name is Saeed Harinandan and I am a 17-year-old senior from Queens NY. For fun, I like to spend time with my family and friends and do activities like going to the movies, playing video games, or playing sports. I use journalism as a side passion to utilize my voice and inform readers about what’s going on in the world.