For years video games have been regarded as a 'non physical' activity. Much like television programming itself, video games have become a staple cliché to fitness advocates in their lectures about exercising more often and becoming less sedentary. We've all heard it — move more, lose more. It is no secret that the world (the United States in particular) is becoming more and more overweight. While this has many contributing factors, and many consequences, the fact of the matter is that gamers are left with a stigma. A stereotypical statement like " stop playing video games you lazy gamer " isn't so uncommon any more.
Let us make no mistake about it, indeed video games are contributing to the obesity epidemic, but on the same token so is every other activity that stops you from doing a more physically challenging activity. Whether it is a video game, a television program, spending time in front of the PC screen ( like you are now ), reading the newspaper or magazine; all of these activities are stopping you from doing a more physical activity. On the flip side, all of these activities also have other benefits as well, albeit not many physical benefits.
Benefits of Video Games
Video games are not just a way to waste away the time, they also come with many up sides. Different game titles and genres offer various benefits to the gamer. Consider puzzle games like Soduko and Brain Age which exercise the brain instead of the body. As a family, playing video games as a group enhances the bonding experience and may make families' interactions with one another a more defining experience in young children's lives. Casual games like Bejeweled and Tetris have been known to appeal to more women than men, and regardless of the player's gender, they have a tendency to relieve stress. All video games can be used as a stress reliever, a getaway from the day to day stresses that life dishes out.
Someone told me once that a child that plays video games more often would have a better chance at becoming a successful pilot than someone who seldom picked up a controller. I'm not too sure how much truth there is to that statement, but it would make sense to me, as piloting a large aircraft is much like playing a video game simulator. However, even with all of these benefits, the stigma remains — gamers are lazy, overweight, and usually loners. While I can't speak for everyone, the majority of gamers that I know are not lazy, are not loners, and aren't any more overweight as a group when compared to my non-gamer group of friends.