Can Playing Video Games Really Benefit Me?

Technology is an integral part of our lives. It has affected nearly every process that we go through and augmented our basic human functions in numerous ways. Historically, technology has been thought of as a detractor, as greater access to technology can create a greater disconnect with reality. Yes, too much dependence on technology can create harmful addictions, but in current times technology literally can be a game-changer.

As we navigate the pandemic, we are in need of outlets, virtual or otherwise. Fortunately, in recent years, studies have shown that responsible use of certain technology (i.e., video games) can offer a lot of good. Video games offer numerous ways to promote development within your recovery by creating alternative opportunities to participate in, experience, and manage challenges.


One of these opportunities comes in the form of a relatively new term called gamification. This term is the application of game structures, such as points, motor skills, and competition, to a more ordinary routine to give a feeling of progress and accomplishment.

The idea is to give you the incentive to pursue your goals when you normally wouldn’t. Gamification accomplishes this by giving you something to work towards. This kind of application is a new trend that is starting to gain traction in the mental health and addiction recovery world.

Play Therapy

Play therapy can be a great way to get a glimpse inside your mind. Placing you into a mindset of playing helps you shed the pressures from your daily life, offering a platform for you to freely express yourself. When focusing your energy on something like a video game, you can examine different behaviors and reactions within different contexts.

The same concept applies to teamwork. Now, with more and more games being offered online, you have plenty of choices to participate on a team or by yourself. Even recovery professionals can use the world of online and digital gaming to find a better approach to connecting with you.

Mental and Physical Benefits

It’s no secret that video games often have a bad reputation in the media. While the research behind this opinion holds some truth, there are also promising aspects of gaming. The goal is to participate in games that are designed to help you manage the struggles that come with mental health and addiction diseases.

For example, the avenues of virtual reality or augmented reality are especially intriguing. These kinds of games can offer you specific sensory stimulation, which can in turn offer increased engagement and therapeutic benefits. Games designed around cognitive-based therapy can offer you rewards and the satisfaction of progress, which can help build confidence while improving patience and rational thinking.

The right kind of video games can also improve motor functions. Similar to playing an instrument, playing video games helps improve your hand-eye coordination. These improvements will help to recover the health and activity within the brain by allowing new neurons to form — potentially improving the overall health of your brain as well as your moods and behaviors. Improved brain health can also help reduce stress and promote more emotional regulation.

Building Connections

Technology is a growing field of promise on how we can improve human interaction and experience. More specifically, gaming could become a vital tool to help your overall mental health and help you manage your addiction by offering a unique way to share experiences with others.

These shared experiences can create a bond through imagination that you might not have ever experienced before. Online gaming is also a great forum to motivate you to stay connected. You can connect with people of all ages — nieces, nephews, friends, family, and people you meet in recovery meetings.

Ration Your Playing Time

Too much gaming could have negative effects, promoting anxiety, anger, irrational behavior, and insomnia. You need to consider the kinds of games you play and how long you play when deciding to play a video game. There is no wrong answer — it’s up to you to monitor how you respond to a video game. Does it make you angry and stressed, or relaxed and joyous?

That said, video games such as Animal Crossing, Minecraft, and Terraria are played in peaceful settings that promote creativity, problem-solving, and community interaction. These kinds of games can offer a fun and alternative way to interact with friends while accomplishing the goals set within each game.

If played responsibly, evidence suggests that the responsible habits you develop within these games could rub off in your daily routine, offering you a greater sense of confidence, direction, and motivation. When you ration your gameplay, the game itself could be used as a nice reward after a day of hard work.

Under the current circumstances, you have likely come to rely on technology to perform most of your everyday interactions — work, meetings, and socializing. You might already be taking advantage of video games as an outlet to interact with friends and family. However, if you are starting to develop a dependence on any sort of technology that is interfering with your quality of life and recovery, from gaming to watching pornography, then it’s time to ask for help. True Recovery offers 24/7 care that will help you find the treatment you need. While True Recovery believes that there are many benefits offered in the virtual world, we also understand there are many pitfalls. True Recovery can help you manage how you use virtual outlets, so you can receive the maximum benefits from them. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.