My husband loves his video games. He could play them all day, and he has on occasion.
People ask me now and then, “How do you put up with his video gaming?” “Does he really play video games every day?” and other random questions that display their disapproval.
My question for these people is, would you ask these questions if he spent the same amount of time and energy on watching tv or reading? Many of the people who ask me these things have spouses that love to watch TV or read. And they themselves like to do these things too.
“But that’s different…” They will say. And yes, that is absolutely correct. Playing video games forces the user to use their brain significantly more than a TV watcher or reader.
Here are just a few benefits a person can experience from playing video games that watching tv and reading just don’t offer.
Better and faster decision making. New information is being displayed at a fast pace during a video game that a player will need to adapt to. In one study, players who often played fast-paced games were 25% faster in reacting to questions about an image than non-players. 
Stress Reduction. Video games can sometimes be stressful. Especially if you choose a horror game or you have a hard time getting past a level. However, when you are enjoying yourself while working out your brain, stress relief is very likely. It’s easy to drift off while watching tv and think about the stressful day you just had at work, but that is hard to do with the amount of attention you need to give a video game. A study was done that tracked players over 6 months and measured heart rates. They found that certain games reduced adrenaline response by over 50%. 
Slow the Aging Process. Video games involve a lot of problem-solving, memory, and puzzle components. These have a great benefit to the aging of your brain by keeping it sharp. Older people who play video games see increased cognitive functioning that lasts for years.
Video games can also improve vision, memory, and with the right games, help you be a little more active than sitting with a book or movie.
“Video games are just for nerds who can’t make friends!” Ummm, no. Not even at all true. There are a lot of people who suffer from social anxiety who maybe don’t have a lot of friends who do enjoy video games, but they aren’t the only ones. In fact, playing video games that involve coordination with other players can help a person become more comfortable speaking with other people and befriending them. 
Because multi-player video games have become so popular lately, gamers are often playing with friends of theirs about 70% of the time.  Sometimes new social connections can occur thanks to video games. Have you ever made a friend while reading a book? My husband plays with his friends who sometimes bring their friends into a game. He has met quite a few people this way!
Some genres of games may actually help a person in their career. Games that encourage leadership can help a person develop leadership traits in their real-life. I see this in my husband. He often takes on a leadership role with his friends when deciding on strategies in their game. Last year he was promoted to a leadership position at work and is currently working towards another promotion that I am certain he will get when the opportunity is presented. Also, improvising constantly in games can help train you to be faster on your feet at work if a crisis occurs. 
“What if he turns you kids into gamers? ugh!” No “ugh” from me here! Video games can be very beneficial for kids! Of course, we would not let a 5-year-old play GTA or Five Nights at Freddy’s, but the right games have many benefits.
They encourage kids to exercise. Games that play on a Wii system or something like Dance Dance Revolution have your children up and moving. Not only this but if your children play a sports game, this could create an interest in trying these sports in real life. 
Children learn to choose how to spend their time. Giving your child the option to play video games is beneficial. Preventing your child from playing the ways they prefer gives them the message that you do not trust them to make good decisions or to control their life. Giving your child this freedom helps them learn what is best for them when it comes to how they spend their free time. 
Children can learn social skills. Multi-player games, especially those that connect many people from all over, can help a child learn important social skills. A person has to understand the etiquette or the culture and follow said etiquette to be able to have good relationships in any environment, on or off-line. When you meet a potential friend, learning about them and their game and goals while they learn about yours is very similar to real-world interactions when you are making friends. And depending on how well that goes, players can put you on their “friends” list, or they can block you. These games offer children the chance to experiment with their behavior and personality where there are no real-world consequences if things do not go well. 
An appreciation for history. You heard that right! More and more games and becoming historically accurate and use real historical events to base stories on. This can cause a child to become interested in learning more about the world they are immersed in.
So yes, my future children can totally be influenced by their father’s love of video games. And if they want to play them and are age appropriate, they have my blessing.
“But what about you?” “Don’t you wish he would spend more time with you?” No. Not really. And I don’t say this because I don’t want to spend time with him. I say this because we DO spend time together. We spend plenty of time together and we do things together. But having separate hobbies is just fine, and honestly, important for a relationship.
While he plays his video games, I write in my blog or do some sewing. If I want his attention, I tell him, and he stops his game. Sometimes I do feel like he might play a game too much. Especially when he first gets a new game, and there have been fights about that, but what married couple doesn’t fight about small stuff now and then? But in the grand scheme of things, his hobby is no less important than anyone else’s. And I happily support his video gaming because I know all the benefits he gets out of it, and sometimes I have a lot of fun watching him play or teasing him while he plays if he loses or says something ridiculous and lame about the game.
So next time you’re spouse is watching TV or reading, remember, mine is also finding entertainment in a mostly seated position, but he is also doing some self-improvement at the same time. Don’t be so smug!