On a neurological level, playing games for fun can do a lot more than keep us entertained. In the present, they can raise our emotions, reduce our boredom, and even foster more positive relationships with fellow players. Over time, they can also support our brain health. Discover the benefits of play, and playing for the sake of play, in this guide.
WHAT BENEFITS CAN BE EXPERIENCED FROM PLAYING GAMES?
According to Jane McGonigal, Game Designer, there’s a direct correlation between play and offsetting depression. In both circumstances, the same regions of the brain are affected: in play, these areas are hyperactivated and stimulated, while in depression, they are under stimulated.
Benefits from playing games include:
Heightened focus and concentration
Increased levels of learning
Induced feelings of happiness and excitement
Improved motivation levels
Reduced effects from depression
HOW TO EXPERIENCE THE BENEFITS OF PLAY AND PLAYING GAMES FOR FUN
For many of us, we associate play with childhood. Often, it takes having a family, or being around children, to rediscover the benefits of play. However, gaming and playing for fun are brilliant ways to improve brain health, reduce the effects of depression, and keep us feeling happy too.
Here are a few ideas of how you could experience play and make it a fun activity to enjoy more regularly:
Download games onto your phone or tablet
Search for a local games group to join
Invite your friends to a bingo night
Invest in a games console or a game suited to you
It’s also important to recognise that the gaming is for fun - it’s not an exercise or task to be completed. Give yourself permission to enjoy gaming, and find joy when playing, especially if playing with friends or family.