Despite the naysayers, video games will not rot our brains, they won’t turn us into raving monsters (well, not all of us anyway), and they aren’t a waste of time.

For many of us, video games are a passion, whether we have been playing them since the early days of Pong and video arcade cabinets or whether we are newbies to the hobby thanks to the high-definition allure of the PS4 and the Xbox One. We understand the benefits to our lives, so while non-gamers will witter on with their negative viewpoints on the gaming world, we can confidently carry on playing games regardless. It’s because of our love for them.

But why do we love them so much? What is it that causes us to rush home from work to play our favorite titles? You can answer that yourself, of course, assuming that you are a gamer. But let’s think about it a little here, and ask the question…

Are these the reasons why we love playing video games?

Is it because we can live a virtual life that can’t so easily be achieved in the real world?

There are some experiences that will never be achieved in the real world. Slaying dragons in Skyrim, battling zombie Nazis in Wolfenstein, and sitting on the sofa in The Sims 4, are all experiences that we never get to experience in real life. Okay, well maybe not that last one – we were trying to be funny!

And there are those experiences that we can do in real life but are probably not recommended unless we want to bring ourselves into the attention of the law. Drifting in Madalin Stunt Cars 2, robbing banks in Payday, and committing a crime a minute in Grand Theft Auto, are all experiences that are best experienced while clutching a games pad in our hands. We can live a life that is massively different from our own, escaping into worlds and experiences that can excite and thrill us, and keep us playing long past our bedtimes!

Is it because we can destress from the things that bother us?

Life is stressful; you don’t need us to tell you that. Your boss can be an ass at work. You endure the daily commutes to and from work. You have a hundred and one financial obligations. It’s tough, and to ensure that we don’t go stir crazy, we have to find ways to manage the stress of modern life. Talking about it is one way. Actively finding ways to deal with our stressors is another. But there are also times when we need to distract ourselves from stress, as by doing so, we can give ourselves a mental break from the factors that are weighing us down. And guess what? Research suggests that video games are great stress relievers.

Sitting back after a long and stressful day to play your favorite titles is okay then, whether it’s on your 4K television or sitting with your phone in the palm of your hands playing Candy Crush and the like. On second thoughts, running out of moves when you only have one more piece of candy to collect can probably add to your stress levels, so you might want to choose a different title if you value your phone and any nearby windows!

Is it because we can create friendships with others?

Team games are not strictly solo affairs, as multiplayer gaming is huge. From the warzones of Call of Duty and Battlefield to the fantasy landscapes of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls Online, you don’t have to be alone. By interacting with other players, be it through a headset or your keyboard, you can work together, share thoughts and ideas, and yes, even make friends! That’s one in the eye for those naysayers who criticize video games as being an entirely antisocial affair.

Of course, we should always make the effort to be with people in the real world, but for those of us who want to talk to people from around the world, and for any of us who struggle in some social situations, video games are a fantastic asset to our lives. And hey, as well as making friendships online, you might actually find love too! Check out the examples in the linked article!

So, are those the reasons why we love playing video games? Yes, yes, and yes! Well, they are three of the reasons why anyway. You might have your own reasons, and that’s perfectly okay, whether you’re a hardcore gamer or somebody who enjoys gaming as an occasional pastime. 

Gamer, we salute you! And happy gaming!

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