Why is online gaming a good hobby?
The last year has meant more time inside, and more free time. Some have taken up a language, knitting, yoga – myself? Binge watching Netflix became my new hobby. Something to do to relax and find escapism. I did not find I was getting any cognitive, motivational, or emotional benefits to hour upon hour of Criminal Minds. Tv is passive screen time. Then I downloaded an escape room game app and really enjoyed playing.
Ignore the negative comments, online gaming is not an immature hobby for kids that turns your brain to mush. Playing video games in a safe, virtual environment is currently one of the most widespread sources of entertainment, regardless of one’s culture, age and gender. Playtime is an integral part of our development as human beings, and that doesn’t just stop when we reach adulthood.
With so many exciting online games available, there is something for everyone to enjoy and good-quality video games offer lots of benefits.
Gaming provides mental exercise.
Playing online games keeps your mind active. Games that are immersive and require strategy help you improve and practice your problem-solving skills to win, they also require players to remember and take in a lot of information and process it quicker. Develop critical thinking. Regularly playing can help improve short and long-term memory. You can’t scroll through your phone, and you can’t half-pay attention, so it enhances concentration. Gamers multitask and have improved hand eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Gaming could become a career.
Professional gamers earn a lot of money. If you don’t want to jump on YouTube then the skills you develop when gaming can be transferable to real-world jobs that rely on analytical skills and strategic thinking.
Gaming gives you a sense of accomplishment.
When you complete a game level it is rewarding. Playing online games teaches you to try again even when you fail, you build perseverance to attain goals. Gaming at a healthy level helps to build self-confidence and self-esteem. Set time limits on how long you’ll play, I play for a half hour block.
Where is the best place to find online games?
Online gaming can put your computer at risk for viruses and spyware. It is important to then play games at a reputable source. For a safe social option Facebook offers the opportunity to play with friends. Yes, I like Scrabble. Large online game platforms like Steam overwhelm me and as a fan of simpler, retro games I prefer to use a site like Plays.org which has an extensive selection of games (about 100) rendered in mobile-friendly HTML5, so it offers cross-device gameplay. Players do not need to download software or make extra element purchases. The site is free and safe as you do not engage with fellow players (not to put a black mark on the gaming community or online friendships). Check out their classic game section (at the footer there is category-based navigation for the game collections).
The games work in most web browsers like Google, Firefox, Edge etc. The screens are not filled with annoying Ads and are playable in windows that fill 75/80% of the screen. Games have sounds but this is easily muted. My favourite is the retro feel Invace Spaders where you use the keyboard to navigate and space bar to shoot descending enemy spaceships. It is easy to play, easily scored and if players need it has instructive ‘how to play’ sections and reviews on the game pages. My son loves Battle Battle, a Pokémon inspired board game, a virtual battle game of chance. The goal of the game is to get your Pokemon-type character to the centre of the playing field before your competitor does. During each round you hide in a box and shoot at the box you think your competitor is hiding in. It has a colourful design (with basic graphics) and is fun to play. I won a round in a minute so like that the lack of complexity which makes it very replayable!
What games do you like playing online, send us over some easy play favourites and we will try and beat your score!