Games could even help treat depression and anxiety, says Professor Rutger Engels. In his view, games can sometimes help just as well as regular therapy. He developed a depressed digital girlfriend, a digital haunted house and a meditative deep-sea dive in virtual reality. While games are generally not going to replace actual therapy sessions, they can provide a supportive role. For example, to keep anxiety complaints under control or to have a digital talking partner to discuss problems. For example, some companies are increasingly using virtual reality programs to inform clients about their fear of heights or spiders, you can go for for finding one according to your interest. They have wide variety which can help you fight your depression.
- Games improve your cognitive functions
It is common knowledge that playing games helps improve cognitive functions, such as hand-eye coordination. That is not surprising: in games you often have to perform very precise actions, and that also at exactly the right time. As a result, you will become increasingly trained in using the controller with your hands. In fact, research shows that surgeons who play games in their spare time make fewer mistakes during operations! By playing for more than three hours every week, they keep their hand-eye coordination sharp. By playing a game just before an operation, they even work more precisely and faster.
Spatial insight also improves by playing games, as can be read. Most games contain an extensive game world (in two or three dimensions) where you as a player have to work your way through. You must learn how your presence relates to the game world, and also try to remember the layout of your environment so that you can find your way back. Many games also contain maps showing the layout of a game world; so you also learn to read maps. In line with this, it also appears that playing games is good for training the memory.
Finally, you will also improve your skills in solving problems creatively when playing games. Almost every game will present you with one or more problems, sometimes even with several solutions. In this way you learn to think creatively in order to find the right – or the best – solution. The research presented shows that this applies not only to children, but also to students, for example. So playing games keeps you sharp and creative.
Games can be good for your health
Although this does not apply to all games, some games are indeed good for health. In hospitals and institutions, various rehabilitation resources are being developed that are somewhat similar to computer games, for example to restore the strength of operated body parts.
But you can also play “healthy” games in the living room. Consider, for example, the recently released Nintendo Switch game Ring Fit Adventure, in which you playfully do all kinds of exercises with a kind of pilates ring, various motion-sensitive games for Xbox Kinect or a swinging workout with the Just Dance games.