Video games are primarily a recreational activity. Almost all games are developed with the intention of entertaining the player. However, that does not mean that its use is limited to fun. Video games can also provide effective therapeutic tools for medical and psychological providers.
Practitioners have been integrating toys and entertainment into their treatment plans for hundreds of years, especially when working with pediatric patients. As a newer technology, video games have been implemented less than other gaming methods, but their use in the field is steadily increasing as the benefits of their implementation are highlighted in ongoing studies.
10 Performance in certain gaming skills can monitor symptoms
Although a player’s skill and success at gaming tasks varies from person to person, their individual performance may show patterns. Multiple studies have looked at the use of commercial video games as tools to monitor the status of patients. One, in particular, focused on the use of the solitaire game. cell free to monitor cognitive function in elderly patients without intruding on their daily activities.
The repeated and supervised administration of the same level or task in video games has the potential to help in the continuous evaluation of symptoms for various groups of patients.
9 The players’ reactions to the circumstances of the game can help in the evaluation
Another way that video games can be used to help professionals as a therapeutic tool is in diagnostic evaluations. An article on the use of video games in psychotherapeutic treatment describes the multiple uses that games can have in that environment.
A patient’s reactions to game events and circumstances could be used to determine details of their cognitive processing, such as frustration tolerance, memory, and motor skills. Your effectiveness in the game and progress through tasks can also help the Provider determine your ability to solve problems with improvisation.
8 Games can improve visuomotor controls
Video games, by their nature, require players to have a certain level of hand-eye coordination. However, playing them can also improve the player’s ability in that area. A 2016 psychological science study found that even as little as five hours of playing an action game could improve patients’ measured visuomotor skills and reaction to visual input.
By that logic, consistent play of high-intensity games with fast-paced mechanics, such as first-person shooters or driving games, would help players continue to develop and improve their visual-motor control.
7 Exposure in the game can improve the development of communication skills
A review of several years of studies on video games and their applicability in the field of health revealed that games can help in the development of multiple types of communication skills. In one case, providing prior exposure to the task of selecting options from an on-screen menu in a video game helped patients with nonverbal disabilities learn to use communication technology devices.
Other observed cases showed that the games’ pacing, storytelling, and visual instruction made them ideal tools for enhancing children’s development of essential skills through play.
6 Play maintains physical safety in triggering situations
For many people, the difficult situations explored in popular video games can be triggers, either due to mental health issues or prior trauma. On the other hand, some see this content as an opportunity to review disturbing material while maintaining a sense of safety. Video games provide immersive environments that allow the player to feel part of the story.
However, they remain physically safe in their own environment, regardless of what happens within the game. This inherent ability to opt out or walk away from the game setting can make skittish gamers feel safer when playing more intense titles.
Gambling has always been a somewhat social activity, dating back to the days of arcades. As cooperative games continue to progress and increase in quality, their popularity among couples and close relationships is also growing. Many gaming couples have spoken about how the time they spend gaming together and their shared interest in the hobby have been the building blocks of their relationships.
Cooperative games require players to work together and communicate effectively to succeed in their tasks and missions. Gamers have praised recent titles like two are required for its relationship-focused cooperative gameplay.
4 Games provide an immersive distraction from physical circumstances
Any gamer will tell you that one of the beneficial properties of video games is the element of escapism. The inherent immersive qualities of games can distract the player from real-life circumstances that he may wish to avoid.
An article in the 2006 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Anesthesia showed that playing a handheld video game reduced pre-surgery anxiety in children more effectively than medication. In moderation, the deviation from reality that video games provide can be beneficial for people with many types of problems.
3 Challenging games Combat perfectionism
For those experiencing perfectionism anxiety, video games can provide a safe space to experience failure. Although the stakes may seem intense in-game, having to try a level or boss again doesn’t have impactful consequences in real life. They can continue to try as many times as necessary to progress through the game.
Many gamers love demanding titles, such as the roguelike genre or FromSoftware’s works, precisely because of this process, exalting the sense of victory they feel when overcoming a challenge after repeated attempts.
two Narratives surrounding personal struggles provide solidarity
For developers and gamers alike, the popularity of games that focus on one-on-one battles shows that they’re not alone. titles like light blue, grays, OmoriY night in the woods they tell the stories of their protagonists dealing with mental illness.
Players who have experienced similar issues can relate to and see themselves in the characters and their emotional journeys. As a result, these games can inspire players to confront their inner demons with the same voracity that they apply to boss battles and complex levels.
Some of the most important factors for any type of recovery are a consistent support system and a sense of community. Games can be a gateway to these things, as many gamers forge strong social groups through their shared interests. Whether it’s through in-game chats in online multiplayer titles or through the fandom around their favorite games, gamers can build relationships based on their love of gaming.
Online gaming, especially, can be an important social tool for those who struggle with in-person interaction or can’t leave their homes.
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