Video games are a heap of fun and a wonderful way to unwind, but they have more benefits than relieving stress.
Some games, even really simple ones like Tetris, have been shown to increase grey matter in the brain with consistent use. Strategy games like Starcraft increase mental flexibility, and you get benefits even from side-scrolling platformers like Mario.
I play a video game called Don’t Starve with some friends on most weekends, and I’m pretty sure I can feel a difference in my mental state after the weekends I skip it. Whether that’s more from the gaming or from the social fun, I’m not sure. It’s probably a mixture of the two. Regardless, I should get more gaming into my life.
You don’t need a console or even a computer to get the benefits of gaming. Your smartphone has more processing power and better graphics capabilities that console systems from just a few years ago. Though if it’s like mine it barely has enough storage space to hold multiple games. Check up on the handheld gaming revolution with our infographic on the rise of mobile gaming.