The Upsides of Gaming: 4 Benefits and Ways Gaming Promotes Community

When we think of the typical gamer, a few images come to mind. One of which is the idea of a loner spending most of their time glued to a computer or television screen. For years, gaming has been synonymous with a lonely lifestyle and has been a wary road for parents to navigate, especially when it comes to teaching your child how to socialize during the formative childhood years.

Father and sons gaming and celebratingHowever, believe it or not, gaming isn’t all that bad for children. In the digital age, communicating using technology has become more and more common. Nowadays, without teaching children the dos and don’ts of the technological world, you could be setting them back in terms of socialization.

In 2021, gaming and the gaming communities that come with it have become a popular way for children to socialize. To that end, here are four ways that gaming promotes community.

4 Ways Gaming Increases Skills and Cultivates Community

1. Gaming can improve social skills.

According to the American Psychological Association, gaming is valuable for improving social skills, especially in children. While gaming can be a solo activity, multiplayer options have become a popular choice for helping children socialize.  

Along with this, gaming can also improve a child’s social skills in the more abstract and emotional sense. Multiplayer games can teach children empathy, compassion, and how to work with a team. Strategy games can improve communication and problem-solving skills that can benefit children in the long run when it comes to academics and other scholastic activities.

Furthermore, gaming can give children a safe space to be themselves. Finding an online community of people with similar interests can be great for a child’s personal development, as they can connect and communicate with others that share the same hobbies and passions. Not only will these social skills benefit children in the “real world,” but it may make them more confident to express themselves freely.

2. Gaming can connect people worldwide.

In 2020, the carpet was ripped out from under our feet as pandemic lockdowns halted social activities. Now in 2021, many people are healing from this desocialization and find it challenging to get back in the social world. However, those who participated in gaming communities may feel a bit more “at ease” about connecting with others.

Thanks to gaming communities like Reddit and Twitch, gamers—and people—have become more connected than ever and connected by the hobby they love. By joining gaming communities, children can connect with people from all over the world, and all from their own devices. While this thought can be a bit daunting, there are ways to monitor your child’s activity to ensure their safety online.

Friends gaming together

3. Gaming can provide a safe space for self-expression.

And as a kid, the thought of expressing yourself freely can be a bit scary. However, by joining a gaming community, children can have a place to express themselves in a supportive, like-minded, safe space. Furthermore, interacting in a gaming community takes the pressure off of typical socialization: children can decide who they want to talk to on their time.

Gaming communities can also be a great place for socially vulnerable children to make friends and connect with others. It has been shown that children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, insecure attachment styles, depressive tendencies, or social anxiety may benefit from a more easygoing, “on your own time” approach to socialization. By joining a gaming community, children may find it easier to be themselves in a virtual landscape and may even connect with children who are feeling the same way as them.

4. Gaming can encourage collaboration.

By joining gaming communities, your child can learn valuable lessons in collaboration. Whether it’s playing multiplayer games or simply participating in a group discussion on a forum, children can learn about the importance of working as a team and participating in collaborative conversations.

In many multiplayer games, each person will have a specific role or task that helps the team reach a common goal. For children, this can be an extremely important lesson to apply to everyday life. Not only will they learn to work together, but they’ll also learn how to communicate efficiently with their team members.

As a parent, allowing your child to dive into the world of gaming communities can be a bit intimidating. However, these communities have the capability to help your child grow. Whether it’s through improving social skills, helping them connect with peers, or encouraging effective communication and collaboration, gaming indeed has many upsides.

For more perspective, pore over the infographic below:

in infographic, courtesy of Norton, overviews what is a gaming community, common times, plus a flowchart to determine which gaming community is right for you

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Guest Blogger: Julianna MitchellGuest Blogger: Julianna Mitchell
Julianna is a writer, content creator, and Pittsburgh-native based in Los Angeles, CA. Along with her work for Heartmanity, you can find her words on Taylor Magazine and Her Campus Media. By day, she is a Content Writing Intern at Siege Media.

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills

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