Hi, me again. I’ve taken over Shelly’s blog to finally talk about something that really matters, gaming, and why it’s not only something that should be tolerated… It should actually be encouraged. I would even go as far as saying that gaming (in moderation of course) has helped me be a better father and husband. I know, I know… this sounds like propaganda. I can literally see Shelly rolling her eyes as she reads this. Okay, I know you don’t believe me yet, but you will in a few minutes. I heard that you guys like lists, so here are 5 reasons why you should encourage gaming, and even get started yourself.
Gaming can recharge and revitalise you.
It all starts with personality types, specifically being introverted, or extroverted. I’m not referring to how easily you can chat with people or how outgoing you are. That doesn’t actually have too much to do with extroversion, it’s much simpler than that. Extroverts get energised when they spend time with other people, introverts get energised when they spend time alone.
I’m an extreme introvert, but I can be talkative in the right circumstances. The problem is that my energy levels start to drop as soon as I’m around people. When I feel drained, I crawl into a shell (yes, I did have to throw in a Shelly pun). I don’t feel like talking or being around people, I get snappy and irritable, I’m not the father and husband I should be. Gaming allows me to recharge my batteries. It allows me to shift my focus outwards and spend time with my extroverted wife and play with my daughter.
The best thing about gaming is that it can recharge you whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. Introverts get to do something that allows them to spend time alone. Extroverts get to link up with their friends and feel like someone is sitting right next to them, when they’re halfway around the world. That’s an absolute must in our new world of self-isolation and lockdowns.
Recently a game developer passed away, so they created a digital version of him and had a funeral procession in-game. And can you believe that millions of people signed on and formed a virtual guard of honour! How’s that for community.
Gaming allows you to escape
So, this one is a bit of a double-edged sword, and why moderation is so important. You can disappear into another world where everything else disappears and it’s important to be able to escape sometimes. When I fire up the PlayStation, the bad day I had at work, the person that cut me off in traffic, all that disappears. When I come back, I’m not complaining and taking out my bad mood on my family. Instead, I’m talking about how beautiful the ending of NieR Automata was.
Gaming helped that little kid who was always alone and felt invisible, to feel like a hero and save a princess… Even though the princess he was looking for was in another castle. It helped the kid who was bullied feel as strong as a kung fu master. And those few hours in another world made this one just a little more bearable.
It can actually be affordable
Yes, I agree that gaming can be an expensive hobby. The PS5 is $400, a gaming computer is more than $2000, and we’re not even talking about the games. However, you get 50 hours out of a game, and only 2 hours from a movie. Then you’ll tell me that you have Netflix, but now we also have those for gaming. And some even work directly from your TV! Better yet, don’t pay anything. I found plays.org recently and not only was I hit in the nostalgia (yes, that’s a thing) when I found games I used to play as a kid but there were no ads or registration. I literally opened the site, clicked on a game, and started playing. And I spent more time than I would ever publicly admit landing planes on Flight Sim and serving customers in Open Restaurant.
It can strengthen your relationship
My brother is two years younger than me, we fought a lot when we were younger, and our fights always ended the same way. One of us would start gaming, the other would eventually pick up the other controller and join. 20 minutes later and it was if there had never been a fight. Gaming expands the things we’re able to do together. We can laugh at each other when we get a fright playing a horror game. We also have to communicate and strategise when playing co-op games like tank wars or Overcooked.
I don’t think I need to explain how good it feels when your partner goes out of their way to show an interest in the things that you like. When Shelly started making an effort to take an interest in something that I liked and looked for a way for us to spend more time together gaming I found myself subconsciously doing the same with her. This is how, even after 53 seasons, we’re still watching Grey’s Anatomy.
Gaming is something that you can get lost in, but we can get lost together. The best adventures, the most memorable stories and the funniest inside jokes come from the things we can do together.
It can actually help you with things outside of gaming
Gaming can be incredibly powerful when used correctly. You see, some of the things from a game are really helpful in the real world. Games can teach you how to play an instrument, I learnt the basics of playing drums from Band Hero. I burnt 350 calories in 20 minutes in Beat Saber without feeling like I was exercising.
I was surprised when I won my races when we went go-karting as a team-building event, even though I hadn’t done it before, all because it felt similar to my game. My soccer coach put me and a friend playing together because we actually carried over to the field the way we played FIFA together.
I’m not saying that I can join a SWAT team because of Call of Duty, but if Zombies were to invade I know exactly how to set up my plants. Ok, seriously though, I think we all knew this to some extent. We know that surgeons that are gamers make fewer mistakes and have more accuracy, you can train your brain, and VR games have helped people overcome PTSD.
Let’s sum it up
I always say to Shells that I don’t believe people can overreact. We just can’t see everything that they’re reacting to – everything that built up to that point. The same applies to gaming. On the surface, it may look like a waste of time, a hobby that doesn’t have any benefit, but it goes so much deeper than that. Gaming is something that’s deeply rooted and really important to us, and we want nothing more than to be able to share that with you.
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