Gaming has been a favorite hobby for a long time. Many people only see he negatives of gaming and don't realize all the good it can do. Most of what I am going to talk about have been backed up with science, but before I go on, I would like to debunk one of the absolute biggest misconception of gaming. Violent video games makes you violent.
While there has been experiments that "proves" this with valid results, the way they went about it was all wrong. They only tested short term effects. They had a person play a violent video game, then stopped and tested for violence and aggression and to no surprise, those were up. However another experiment tested the long term effects. They got a group of people who already play violent video games regularly and a group that didn't, then showed them a set of pictures that would merit some emotional response, and both the gamers and non gamers had mostly the same response proving that violent video game don't make you violent over a long period of time. Now, with that out of the way, let's continue on.
1) Spatial Awareness
Many games (puzzle games in particular) help people grow in spatial awareness. Spatial awareness is crucial in gaming to help you know where to take cover if you need to or to be sure you don't walk off a cliff or ledge. This can carry over to help a person in the real world to be more aware of their surroundings.
Having to navigate huge maps like the one in Skyrim (above) can be difficult. but after a while, you start to get the hang of it. Along with large maps like the one in Skyrim comes a lot of location markers. You need to memorize what places are near a certain area on the map if you want to find it. I bet you can't guess what real world skill this helps with.Yup, map reading. While you won't be able to fast travel on a real world map, being able to learn to read a map is very useful.
3) Problem Solving
Games, especially ones in The Legend of Zelda franchise, are often know to have various puzzles one must solve to get from location to location. These puzzles often push the player to look for the not so obvious solution. In the real world, this can lead to gamers being able to figure things out that others can't because they looked at the situation with a more abstract point of view.
While yes many games take a fictional approach to things, some games actually have real world inspirations that you can learn from. Just take about any Assassin's Creed game. These game take place in big points in history, from the American Revolution to the time of swashbuckling and pirates, to the time of old Jerusalem, to the time of Pharaohs and pyramids. If you can't learn at least one thing from these games, then you must already be a scholar on history and historical cultures.
5) Reducing Risk Of Alzheimer's
Recent studies have found a link that playing playing video games (Specifically Super Mario 64) can help decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer's. The study showed that third-dimensional platformers can help growths in parts of the brain, specifically grey matter in the hippocampus, a vital neurological tissue the promotes memory building, and the loss of which is associated with many psychiatric diseases, such as Alzheimer's.
These are just a handful of the things I could find on the positive things video games can bring and I am sure there is a lot more out there. I hope this helps persuade people that video games aren't all bad. Did I miss anything that you think should've been included? Please let me know. Thanks for reading.