Xbox titles and other video games are primarily known for providing fun and an amusing diversion. By immersing themselves in escapism, whether it’s for a few minutes or several hours, players can enjoy the full entertainment experience.
Recent studies have shown that in the US the Xbox console is more popular than the Playstation, showing the popularity of the console. Non-players often look at gaming as being pure frivolity, but research has shown that use of an Xbox could offer so much more.
Sharpening Your Skills
It’s been argued for some time that playing video games can help with dexterity, but recent findings have also hinted at some benefits in cognitive performance. Different types of video games have been found to help different cognitive skills, such as puzzle games that help with knowledge and memory. That research would undoubtedly come as a surprise to those who take a more cynical view of gaming as a whole.
The studies are, however, being taken seriously by gamers and those looking for innovative therapy for patients with mental health issues or the elderly. As we have seen, the choice is there but some games are more accessible than others.
Rise of the Competition
For a few short years, PlayStation enjoyed a near monopoly of the burgeoning gaming market. The console was developed by Sony and the first release came in December of 1994.
The Sony PlayStation began to revolutionize the home entertainment market and it would be several years before it would see a tangible competitor. Microsoft took up the challenge and, by 2001, the Xbox was ready.
For 20 years, Microsoft and Sony have been engaged in a healthy rivalry. There is room for both gaming consoles in a huge market and all gamers will have their own preference. There are, however, good reasons why Xbox has its loyal supporters.
Global sales figures show that the PlayStation has an edge, but it should be remembered that the console enjoyed a significant head start. By June 2021, the Xbox One had sold over 50 million units worldwide and those are impressive numbers.
Both are key players in what is a highly successful industry with Xbox more than holding its own in this titanic battle.
Aside from the gaming giants Xbox and PlayStation, there is room for many smaller developers. Software producers are key players but there’s more than one way to make a living in this sector.
One area of video games that has seen huge success is the online casino industry with providers like 888 casino now being accessible on a variety of devices including mobile phones. The growth of mobile gaming has allowed online casinos the opportunity to grow and develop, with many providers creating mobile compatible apps to provide their players with convenience and easy accessibility.
The advent of social media and video sharing platforms has allowed for regular gamers to claim a slice of the pie. The more recognizable and engaging faces can now live stream new releases and established games so that consumers can decide whether they want to play themselves.
YouTubers in this sphere can get paid via views while sales of gaming titles can potentially return a lucrative affiliate income.
Elsewhere, the best players can also earn via professional tournaments. The eSports circuit has been growing since the start of the new millennium and the major events have life-changing prize funds at stake.
Benefits for All
The video game industry has many facets and the potential boost for players’ mental health is one of the newer discoveries. Those boosts can come in many ways and, in the case of Pokémon Go, the very fact that youngsters are getting active and out in the open air is seen as a huge advantage.
That release is however, a rare title and most games are played indoors at a console. While there are mobile titles, many involve playing on a static screen.
There is, however, an opportunity to meet new friends and likeminded people with most video games. Teaming up with colleagues and taking on opponents from all over the world can offer new mental health benefits.
Many games also offer the chance to use strategy and mental agility. It isn’t always a case of ‘who shoots first wins’ and even those military classics can have a strategic element.
Puzzle solving games are, by their very nature, titles that can boost cognitive faculties. Overall, there is a dual function in games that can offer an uplift in mood while also maintaining our mental agility.
Titles to Choose
We’ve seen that there is scope for games to tackle mental health issues, but which are the best titles? That question largely depends on the concerns of the individual as there are games that can be used to battle a number of symptoms.
For example, Celeste is a release where our eponymous hero has to overcome her anxiety in a quest to climb a mountain. In Hellblade: Senua’s Journey, the main character in the game has an enduring struggle with psychosis.
Other titles to consider in this genre include Psychonauts where the boy in the storyline has the power to project himself into the mental worlds of others. Once inside, he takes on the task of helping them to fight their demons.
All of those titles are available on the Xbox, and each has a different role to play in tackling a wide variety of mental health issues.
Keeping a Balance
Maintaining good mental health is all about striking a balance between game time and other activities. Staying in front of a screen for long periods of time is not recommended but there are clear benefits here.
Played in moderation, it is possible to gain an uplift from gaming while developing knowledge and increasing transferable skills.