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We’ve told you before and we’ll tell you again: video games can be good for you. Too much of anything isn’t good for anyone, but when played in moderation along with other healthy lifestyle habits, gaming has proven to be good for youth (and adults too). We went to the American Psychological Association to get the cold hard facts, and here’s what we found out.

Play is a form for gaining emotional mastery. It’s a kind of practice for being an adult through simulation of different situations and trying out different behaviors. Video games are a form of practice interaction. The technology involved can provide in-depth simulations for multiple settings. We learn things about emotions like anxiety, pain, loss, growth, and joy.

Gaming also helps promote cognitive skills. Both youth and adults get to practice attention and focus, spatial reasoning and visual processing, and enhanced mental rotation abilities. Our brains get to understand setting and accomplishing goals, too. Continually working towards a goal despite setbacks is a great way to practice perseverance through adversity in both gaming and real world settings.

Finally, gaming creates connections. Whether playing at home or online, you can learn how to act in social settings. Everything from kindness to communicating a plan can be involved in the gaming world. Game leadership can help set someone up for future civic engagement such as organizing groups.

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