As research suggests , the type of people playing video games these days … well, there really isn’t a “type” anymore. Everyone and their mom plays video games. Literally. Here’s a list of five reasons why so many mothers have begun to embrace video games. If you’ve yet to join the club , what’re you waiting for?
1. Family time
What better way to connect with the kids than to engage in their favorite hobby? Gaming isn’t a one-size-fits all activity, and if you look through enough titles, you’re bound to find something Mom, Dad and possibly even Grandma can enjoy (or at least tolerate for the sake of sneaking in some good ol’ family time). If looking at a Strategy Guide feels like cheating, you can always use a second pair of eyes to hunt down some of those pesky hidden objects. Just be careful of those backseat hidden-object finders!
Best of all, there’s even a little research that supports the idea of using video games to bond. Goldsmiths University published the results of a survey last year, which found 32 percent of parents play casual games with their kids, and 80 percent of those rate it as “quality time.” Grandparents are also getting in on the causal gaming trend in order to connect with their grandkids, so video games are definitely multigenerational!
2. Getting-Away-From-Family time
Maybe you just came home from work and don’t want to deal with the kids (boyfriend or husband included). Or maybe you’ve already dealt with the cootie-warding rituals, made dinner, and cleaned up the crayon marks on the walls and now you just need to be done for the day. Whatever your reason may be, there’s nothing wrong with putting on some headphones and letting the relaxing sounds of puzzle-solving carry you away from the world for a few hours. Have a fresh, lemon-infused glass of water, too. You’ve earned it!
3. Mobile gaming lets you play on the move
We know you don’t get too many breaks. Life is a heck of a thing to happen to a person, after all. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a game or two while the kids have a day at the park. The iPhone might not be traditional playground equipment, but no one ever said you couldn’t bring your own toys to the park. Just be careful of letting a good game get the best of you. Get too hooked and the kids might be ready to leave before you are!
4. Video games relieve stress
Alright, so you finally got some time to yourself. You’re a little wound up, and the knot in your shoulder has been around for a week. You could go to the local wine spa for a Merlot massage, but that’s not typically a budget-friendly option. Also, your city might not have a local wine spa.
We’re willing to bet you have access to a video game, though, and those are a pretty good way to relieve stress without having to justify huge financial expenses. An article from PsychCentral cites a study that found playing some video games may reduce cortisol levels.
But what is cortisol, and why do you want to reduce it? Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress and in moderate levels, it’s good for motivation. In excess, however, it leads to all the usual symptoms associated with stress such as tense muscles, exhaustion and an increased risk of screaming your head off at someone. The study found individuals who played a game that involved clicking on smiling faces experienced a 17 percent reduction in stress levels! We’ll admit it’s a little difficult to completely replicate that exact experiment in everyday life, but the researchers suggested the game led people to focus on the positive things in life. You know what else does that? Fun things! So, play a video game and remember to pay particular attention to the smiling reflection in your computer screen.
Plus, with Time Management games like Spa Mania, you can still get the spa experience without the drain on your wallet!
5. Need entertainment, why not video games?
Going outside on a semi-frequent basis is generally good for you, but Mother Nature isn’t always very accommodating. Fact: The sun stops being fun when temperatures eclipse 100 degrees. If there’s a heat wave taking over your city, video games let you sit back in the comfort of your own, (hopefully) air-conditioned, home. There are also rainy days, snow days and the infamous “I just don’t feel like it” days. There’s nothing wrong with sitting back and enjoying some quality entertainment from the comfort of your favorite recliner.
But the best reason we have for why moms should play video games: “Why not?”