3 Ways That Gaming Has Improved My Life For The Better

This is a picture of a Nintendo Switch Console with blue and red Joy-Cons and Fortnite loading on the screen. Alongside it is a pink and purple Xbox One controller.

Gaming has been a big part of my life. I've spent a large chunk of my life playing video games and whilst to many gaming is well, just that, to me it's much more. Today I thought I'd chat a little bit about how gaming has improved my life for the better. Now I know that might sound like a bit of a bold and out there claim, but please, hear me out.

It's helped to improve my hand-eye coordination

I've talked about this before but I have Dyspraxia, a developmental coordination disorder. A lot of people think that it just consists of a lot of clumsiness. Whilst clumsiness is a part of it, it can affect those who have it in many different ways. For me personally, I struggle with so many things. These include the likes of visual perception, directions, spatial awareness and one of my biggest issues, coordination. Over the last two years, I've started actively playing the likes of Fortnite, Overwatch and COD. Since then I've noticed a definite improvement to my hand-eye coordination as well as my reflexes. Am I like an absolute god playing? Hell no. Previously I'd get myself down and worked up over the fact that I'm at a massive disadvantage compared to the average gamer in terms of coordination. However, compared to two years ago I've come on leaps and bounds. 

That's one other thing I wanna say, gaming isn't all about how good you are, it's about having fun. I've somewhat accepted that I realistically can't and probably will never be able to compare myself to the average Joe, never mind the average pro. If I do I'll just drive myself mad and into a really down mood. However, I can recognise my own self-improvement and celebrate my own personal gaming wins. 

Does it matter that I'm slower to progress and behind many in terms of ability? Does it hell! Not only that, we all have different abilities, skills and talents. Whilst I might massively lack skill in one area like coordination, I could have a big advantage in another area when it comes to other types of games. For example, I am massively creative, I have bundles of determination as well as having a unique way of problem-solving as I've had to adapt in life. So yeah, in some ways having Dyspraxia can actually be an advantage. But yeah, in terms of my coordination, gaming has definitely helped me to improve.

Gaming has been there during dark times as a result of my depression

At times I can suffer from really bad depression. It tends to creep up on me like an absolute monster. Honestly? After years of suffering, you'd think I'd be pretty used to it by now. But that's the thing with suffering from poor mental health, it's unpredictable. It can be surprisingly difficult to deal with. Personally I don't find that there's a perfect formula when it comes to tackling it. For me, it's basically a case of, just try and plod on. 

One of my main methods of tackling poor MH is to use self-care techniques. These basically consist of distracting myself and trying to do things that I enjoy. One of the things that I really enjoy in life is gaming. Whether it's having a good rage on Fortnite, chilling with Stardew Valley or scaring myself silly with Resident Evil BioHazard or the Blair Witch game, I love a good gaming session. There's just something about getting lost in a virtual world or story that I adore. Maybe it's the distraction from real-life issues that hooks me? Or perhaps it's the fact that even for a split second I can just escape those pesky thoughts and worries? Gaming is honestly one of those saviours in life that has helped to keep me sane, even during the most difficult and testing times. 

Gaming has not only helped my confidence but it's also been a gateway for friendships

Although gaming with others isn't everyone's cup of tea it's a truly great way to boost your confidence. Not only that but you can even make some good online pals from gaming. Don't get me wrong there's a truly toxic side to online gaming with a lot of crazy cats online ready to hurl abuse at you before you can even say diddly squat. However, there's also a whole community of utterly lovely folk out there who are ready to play and share your interests. 

I personally love gaming with my other half Pete and my real-life best buddy Marc but I've also made some pretty great online gaming buddies. Take my pal Michael for example. We started playing Fortnite together and since we've also gone on to play other games like Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing. Nowadays we don't just play games together, we have at length conversations and discuss our other interests. Oh and we basically roast each other frequently which is fun. So yeah, you truly can make friends from gaming online. 

My only advice? As always, be careful with who you engage with online and obviously keep yourself safe. There are lots of good like-minded people online but there are also a few bad eggs. Steer clear of these baddies and if you encounter one, try not to let it taint your online gaming experience. Trust me, not everyone is like these trolls.

Has gaming improved your life? If so, I'd love to know how!
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