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Physical and Mental Benefits of VR Video Games

It’s become pretty common knowledge that video games give us a variety of benefits, from increased reflexes, quicker and more accurate decision making skills, and better hand eye coordination.

But how will VR affect us as we move into the next innovation in gaming? While many will claim that putting on the headset will negatively impact the world, there are some very clear health benefits to playing VR games.

Having Fun While Getting In Shape

VR is fun. Especially when playing on high end headsets, it’s amazing. Many (especially those that use the HTC Vive) require players to physically move around and interact with the digital world. It adds a whole new realm to playing games. You move your arms, walk around, dodge bullets and turn all about to drink in the whole environment.

Ladies and gentlemen, VR has the ability to do something mankind has been trying to do for decades: Make exercise fun–especially for gamers who don’t like to get in shape. I know I struggle to build up the energy to go for a jog or hit up the gym. But working out is a lot easier and more enjoyable if, instead of just moving around to get the blood pumping, I’m dodging bullets and shooting enemies out of the sky.

As the industry grows, developers are going to find even more ways to work out their players. Imagine doing yoga on the surface of mars, or participating in a VR version of Legends of the Hidden Temple. They can also include other exercise tools like an exercise bike or treadmill and us VR to make these much more fun.

Relaxation and Stress Reducer

Video games are a natural stress reliever and VR can bring that stress relief to more people. Most VR games have simpler interfaces and are easy to pick up for anybody. These simple controls can introduce more people to the joys of video games and their benefits.

What’s amazing about VR games is how it can be an escape for people. In a few seconds, you can be at the bottom of a calm ocean, watching a whale float by. The next minute, climbing a mountain, or sitting on the beach relaxing, or floating in space! Virtual relaxation games could become a huge part of the VR industry.

Other games give people creative outlets to their stress. Different therapeutic options become much more available with VR. People who relieve stress through creating art can create three dimensional art pieces easily. Others who love a good puzzle while find games for them. Gamers who want to just destroy things to relieve stress will have a blast using virtual tools of mass destruction.

Helping With Depression

An estimated 350 million people worldwide struggle with depression. It’s a complicated disease that doesn’t have a simple cure. But VR can help people cope with it and build up their emotional state. These games/simulations can help people with depression change how they view themselves, and teach them skills to become happy.

One study conducted placed people with depression in a VR environment. They are presented with a crying child and were told to comfort them. After, the roles are switched and the subject was put in the role of the child. Then, the subjects own words and actions were repeated back to them from the adult avatar. The study showed a significant change in patient behavior and how they viewed themselves.

Improved Self Confidence

One result of video games is improved confidence in players. It’s because as players overcome challenges in the game, they feel accomplished. VR adds to that feeling by helping the player see and believe their accomplishments even more. Combine the physical effort in a VR game, along with other challenges in video games, and that feeling of winning will be much more rewarding.

In addition to overcoming challenges is the additional benefit of endorphins from working out. Games that have the dual focus of exercise and solving problems at the same time could be huge confidence boosters for gamers everywhere. Plus, people who are physically in shape are more likely to be happy.

As VR becomes more popular, we’ll surely see more effects of it on mankind. What type of changes do you think it will have on us, physically, mentally and socially? Let us know in the comments below.

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The Author

Ben Allen

Ben Allen

Champion of Hyrule, defender of space, bane of demons, savior of light, and occasional pizza eater.