7 Reasons You Should Make Gaming Your New Hobby
Here's why you should consider gaming...even as an adult...
Gaming: the practice or activity of playing computer or video games.
When most people think of gaming, their minds typically land on the idea of a young "nerdy" boy that stares at his computer screen shooting imaginary guns at aliens. While this may be true in some instances, gaming has evolved over the years and expanded it's audiences beyond the kids of the middle school classrooms.
There is nothing quite like booting up your gaming console or PC at the end of a long day and immersing yourself into a game you enjoy. Below I've outlined 7 reasons why you should consider making gaming your new hobby...even as an adult.
1. There's Something For Everyone
Does gaming sound interesting to you, but you're not sure what style game you think you'd prefer or where to start? I felt the same way. Growing up I usually picked out the games with the most beautiful packaging and hoped I would enjoy it after breaking into the box. Luckily you don't have to rely on reading through the back of the physical copy of games anymore to understand the game's concept. Currently, there are thousands of content creators on websites like YouTube and Twitch where you can watch other's gameplay to determine what style game you're most interested in. I've found this to be the best way to find new games to try. There are games ranging from first person shooters, real time strategy, role playing, to your standard puzzle games. I like a variety of games, but found that I prefer multi-player shooters. So, find what interests you and test out a few games. You'll be sure to find something you enjoy.
2. There's a System For Every Budget
As a new gamer, you might be overwhelmed by the different consoles and systems to game on. As a starter, if you already have a PC or smart phone there are many games that can be installed for free. However, if you're looking into making gaming a long-term hobby and have some extra cash you can invest in a console like the well known Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch OR you can opt to buy or build your own gaming PC. I recently built my first gaming PC and it was the best decision I ever made when it came to gaming. You can read more about my PC build here.
3. Another Way to Be Social
There's a common misconception that gamers like to be alone in a dark room staring mindlessly into their screen. And while this may be true for some, I've found that most gamers appreciate the increased social interaction that they have with friends and the ability to meet new people online. Gaming with friends is a great way to connect during a busy work week when you're not feeling extroverted enough to leave your house, but still want to feel like you're getting in some human interaction outside of work. Gaming has allowed me to meet so many amazing people - specifically through Twitch, a live-streaming platform for gamers and other lifestyle casters that supports building communities around a shared and stream-able interest. I've joined a few communities of like-minded individuals where we get to play games together while enjoying each other's company. So, whether you and your friends are looking to start something new together or you're looking to make new friends, gaming is a great place to start.
4. Improve The Way You Work
Did you know that gaming can positively impact the way your perform at work? Video games have the ability to place a user into a situation where they must test their quick thinking skills, teamwork, communication, reaction time, and more. Multi-player games specifically can improve your communication skills to be succinct when your team only has seconds to survive in the virtual world.
"The ability to assimilate information, react swiftly and co-ordinate actions whilst remaining calm under pressure are often attributes of people that are good at gaming," a Royal Air Force spokesperson tells the BBC.
Games like Valorant require precise communication, strategy, and problem solving in real time (among other things like reaction time and good aim - both of which I could use more practice with), often times with a team, therefore improving your in-office skills.
5. Remove Negative Stress
Gaming has always been a great stress relief for me. After a long day at work, nothing beats turning on your PC and hanging out with friends while playing a fun game. It's a great way to disconnect from reality while still feeling like you're socializing and learning something new. Some people enjoy binge watching Netflix, while I prefer trying out new strategies in my favorite game.
6. Promote Creativity
If first person shooters aren't really your thing, you can relax with a more stress free, creative game like Animal Crossing or Minecraft. Both games allow users to build and create among other stress-free activities that make them less intense, while still having the benefit of playing with friends.
7. Learn Something New
Gaming obviously has a tie-in with technology and that big connection has allowed me to learn a lot about the tools I use when gaming. Without my initial interest in gaming, I would not have immersed myself into learning more about how a computer works and the optimal settings for specific games and functions that I wanted to perform on my PC. As you progress on your gaming timeline, you'll become more and more interested in how to make the games your playing perform optimally. No one likes when a game freezes or has a slow frame rate, so understanding the tech behind your gaming system is another fun and interesting part of taking on gaming as a hobby.
Although I've been playing videos since I was young, I never would have thought to consider it a "hobby" until recently. Gaming has allowed me to meet some amazing people, learn new skills, and have something to look forward to after a long day. If you're in need of a new hobby, give gaming a try...you might be surprised with what you find!