One of the main things you probably hear from your parents when you turn on your console or computer is that you should “go out and see your friends”. This is because one of the biggest misconceptions of gaming is that it is not a social activity, but you aren’t spending the time alone, you’re playing with those exact same friends online.
We all had to do this during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, so we’ve become pretty used to it now.
It probably causes a few discussions and arguments in your house, so we’ve put together some of the biggest bonuses gaming can have for your social skills.
It helps you learn to lose well
Ever got so mad at your sibling when you lose to them at Monopoly that you thought you would never play again? Maybe chucked a controller halfway across the room? Yeah, that happens. But gaming regularly helps you learn to lose well, and there is nothing quite like a sore loser.
It helps you build team working skills
Working in a team in an online game helps you build skills you need in life. Things like working in a team for a common goal, and sharing the glory when you win are things you will always need throughout your life.
It builds your confidence
Games challenge us and make us solve problems in different ways, you know that hard level it took you AGES to complete? Didn’t finally completing it make you feel amazing and that you could tackle the rest of the game?
The better we get at gaming, the more confidence we have in ourselves and our abilities. This new found confidence can help us outside of gaming in so many areas – meeting new people, trying out new things and even applying for jobs.
You can meet lots of new people in online games
Meeting new people is one of the most important things about online gaming and the social skills it builds. The best thing about that as well is that you are guaranteed to have at least a couple of things in common given you met doing the same hobby. However, if you are concerned that any of your online friends might not be who they seem, read this about how to stay safe online.
And watching Twitch streams
Twitch and YouTube live streaming is another great way to chat to new people about online gaming. You can meet and talk to new people in the chats and even have the opportunity to speak with your favourite gamers on the platforms. You can ask them questions about their game play to improve your own and generally have a space to enjoy your hobby in a different format, in a group setting.
And that’s all only when you play alone in your house
All of these are just when you play online but you’re still sitting playing alone. Of course, it doesn’t include when you have all your mates over for a tournament, or even just one or two for a bit of casual game-playing after school. It’s a great way to bond over something you have a shared love of, and even have the opportunity to talk about some important things in life. Many conversations can become a lot easier when you are occupied doing something else at the same time.
There’s also gaming events!
You’re playing games, loving life and finding your people in the online community. There’s also hundreds of events you can visit as a spectator or a player.
Gaming competitions, conventions and launch events allow people to meet in real life and share their love of gaming. You get to experience new places celebrating something you really love, with people that do too.
If you want to find out what gaming can do for your mental health, [read this], and if you’d like somewhere to talk about your love of gaming then join our community!
Want to learn more?
This article is part of our #GamersUnite series. Visit the hub for more advice, tips and ways to support other gamers.