Video games can very often be regarded as immature, or bad for physical and mental health due to sitting and violent imagery. As a result, it makes the whole storytelling aspect of the medium under-appreciated.

The truth is games are no different than movies or books in a way because popular blockbusters typically overshadow the more artistic and philosophical games. Call of Duty had more sales than Bioshock for example despite the fact that both games are first-person shooters. However, Call of Duty is made to be competitive and for players to play against one another, whereas Bioshock told a gripping story with a deeper meaning. Of course, there are instances where an artistic game like God of War, Last of Us, or Witcher 3, also ends up with a massive player base, but these are all single-player games. In other words, the player engagement eventually drops down in favour of multi-player online competitive games.

Clearly, there is nothing wrong with playing online games, in moderation, of course, it’s just that a true cultural value of the games does not get enough attention because of them. So, let’s explore how games can have a positive impact and how they help us grow.  

We learn through play

We learn a lot more subconsciously than by actively focusing on what we are reading for example. In other words, games can create an ideal learning experience, because your goal is not directly to learn new things, but to complete a quest, or solve a puzzle, or achieve something. Players learn a lot about, history, mythology, crafting, and survival by playing video games, and anyone who is not a native speaker of the English language usually picks up a lot of new words and phrases just from games. So, while kids at school are wondering when will I apply the lessons I am learning here, the game provides perfect simulation of how those skills can come in handy.,   

Asking ourselves tough questions

A whole lot of games have players choose between different dialogue options and different in-game choices. These are often not good vs. evil, these are tough decisions in which someone always ends up getting hurt, and it is a difficult choice to make when you are emotionally invested. So, in a sense, you discover things about yourself and how you handle the tough choices. 

Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking 

Finally, well-designed games help the player develop some of the important skills like cooperation, creativity and problem-solving. Since games require players to work together, coordinate, solve puzzles, strategize or apply some out of the box thinking in order to overcome the challenge and progress further in the game. These are skills that people need in general as they are good for developing higher intelligence, and learning how to interact with strangers. In other words, games are good mental gymnastics and can help timid individuals socialize more.        

Whether you are interested in history, science, or art, museums are always an amazing cultural experience. It is even better when they are free and available to anyone. Luckily, London has a full variety of museums with free entries to choose from.