Parents and teachers often go on and on about how gaming and online friends are a waste of time and that they will bring you nothing, and I must agree that taking gaming to an extreme can be a waste of time. But not all gaming can be considered a waste, and are some real skills to take out of it.
An example of an extreme situation is when people will miss out on meals or school and spend 10 plus hours on a game doing nothing, this is a bit of a waste and yes if you enjoy gaming then it could bring you great joy and happiness. But to this end, you have sat down for ages, missed out on a proper meal and the chances are you have done nothing good for your posture too.
The advantages of gaming
There are quite a few benefits to gaming that many people may not realise, one of these is hand eye coordination, whether you play on a controller or keyboard and mouse. When playing games, you have to have good hand eye coordination to be able to move in the game like you envision in your head, a brilliant example of this are any movement based games with fast paced action where making a wrong move could mean dying in game.
Another major skill young people can learn from gaming is strategy, and in pretty much any game you play there is some sort of strategy that goes into them. Whether you are playing a more realistic game based around strategy and strategy only or playing a game where you run around with a gun and try to kill enemy players, there is still a level of strategy that goes into them as even with the games that seem like they take no strategy like the call of duty games, you still have to actively think and strategise about what the best equipment (gun) you want to use with what attachments on what map and then think about where you want to be on that map. When you tally it up, it really does add up, the amount of strategy that one needs in order to play these games well.
To back this up with my own experience I like to play a game called Rainbow Six Siege, this game is a first person shooter game based around counter terrorism, you get to play as specialist operators from around the world, all with specialist gadgets and guns, for this game you get to customise your guns with attachments which all do different thing like a foregrip will improve the stability making you more accurate, this means that you have to strategise to see what range your gun will perform best and then optimise it to make the gun the best at the ranges you want it to be. Once you have done this, you then go into a game and get to choose what room in the building you will be securing for a vantage point, once you have chosen this you then have to secure the room with reinforcement and other things like cameras, razor wire, and you also have to watch out for enemy drones as they will be coming to try to find where you are. Once that is all done, you and your 4 teammates now have to defend against 5 enemy attackers to try to eliminate you all and take over the room you are defending. You have to use strategy to predict where they will be coming from so you can outsmart them and consequently eliminate them before they eliminate you. Now this is a simplified version as it would take me forever to explain every detail about the game. But even from this you can see how much strategy and thought has to go into some games.
One last advantage of gaming I will tell you is that it can teach Life skills to young people like problem solving or map reading. Most games out there have a mini map, this is a small personal map that shows the players position in the games location. It also allows them to see themselves on a larger map, this means that in some games they can figure out where they need to go to get to somewhere important. And there are many games that require problem solving and this is an essential skill people need to learn. A game I play that has helped me improve my problem-solving skills is a game called Scrap Mechanic which is a game about making things and it requires the ability to think and problem solve. With this game I have been able to see myself further my problem-solving capabilities.
So, after taking in these points I have made, and being reminded that there are still more to make, gaming isn’t such a bad thing after all, I can help develop many skills and as a bonus young people can have fun whilst developing these skills. So, when you next see an article saying that gaming encourages violence or other things like it, just remember games can teach young people some amazing skills and lead them to make new friends with similar interests too.