Given the popularity of video gaming and how it has become one of the most prominent and profitable branches of global entertainment, many neurological studies have looked at its impact on the development of the brain and whether it contributes to our overall mental health. Some of this research has been groundbreaking and surprising in equal measure, and despite some negatives, there are positives to look at, too.

1. Turning Your Hobby Into Your Job

Video gaming has been a benefactor of global interconnectivity. Before the existence of digital gaming, there were limited avenues where the world’s best gamers could face off against each other. However, now that we have various social media streaming services, social networks, and efficient video gaming online services, tournaments against the best players have fuelled a sharp rise in the number of video gamers looking to turn their hobby into a full-time profession.

The idea that eSports (professional video gaming) could be a multi-million dollar career would have been laughed at 20 years ago. However, as the internet has completely transformed our society into a completely different world than just a couple of decades ago, eSports has become one of the most prominent sub-brackets of the video gaming industry. This popularity has been solidified and further helped by the emergence and existence of betting markets that underpin the popularity of these colossal eSports tournaments.

Although betting on professional video gaming has only emerged as a genuine contender to traditional gambling industries over the last half-decade, the market is experiencing growth like few other gambling markets. Esports betting odds for matches and tournaments mirror a lot of professional sports. For instance, some people place a bet on individual games or find markets for outright winners. Due to its immense popularity, fans analyze teams and tournaments on social media sites like YouTube.

2. Social Benefits

While eSports tournaments are bringing millions together from the far reaches of the globe, video gaming, in general, enhances our social life too. XBOX and PlayStation consoles brought considerable innovation into this sector. Once the internet permeated the home console industry, millions were battling it online by playing their chosen game. Sony and Microsoft have been locking horns in this field for over a decade, with both companies making billions of dollars in profit throughout this period.

For those who play online, having the ability to speak to people you’re playing against or join a party with your friends was a colossal innovation. This created vast communities of people who play their console games online while socializing and bonding while playing team games against teams of other people from around the globe. It is one of the reasons many studies believe that playing video games can make people happier.

Regarding mental focus, socializing with friends and playing competitive online games is a straightforward way our brains stay sharp, and our mental focus improves. With thousands of potential video gaming titles, you can solve puzzles, play long-form story games, and get to know professional sports teams better by playing FIFA, NBA, or NFL Madden. This is just the tip of the iceberg; the possibilities are extensive.

3. Relaxation

Striking a balance between all the components we discussed today is the main takeaway. Although video gaming has a lot of positives, like anything in life, if we do too much of it, it can start to hurt us. Implementing video gaming into your schedule for an allotted period during any given week alongside a healthy diet, active lifestyle, and socializing with friends can be part of a more extensive package that helps your brain relax. A whole host of games test your mental sharpness, too.

Routine, better sleeping patterns, and better diets all contribute massively to being able to relax more. However, playing video games, especially with friends, is how millions of people choose to unwind. As the internet has now provided a foundation for millions of people to do this without having to leave their homes, it is the added home comfort and being able to speak to our friends via our game or console that helps quell any anxieties, and by focussing on the game or conversation at hand, our brain is occupied enough to alleviate a lot of the stress we build up throughout the day or week and vent it positively. Subsequently, a relaxed brain and mind help to channel mental focus, too.