How Does Gaming Improve Social Skills?

How Does Gaming Improve Social Skills?

social skills for gamers

How Does Gaming Improve Social Skills?


Gaming provides opportunities to explore and practice various skills in an easygoing, casual manner, and is a unique way for teens to connect socially. Video games can assist with the improvement of social skills of children, particularly in children who have difficulty socializing, particularly on the autism spectrum. Social interactions within video games can also help children on the autism spectrum sharpen critical thinking skills. Research has found that playing video games, particularly ones that are social and cooperative, may result in greater prosocial behaviors among children (behaviors that are positive, beneficial, and designed to foster social acceptance and friendship). The shared experiences provided by social games may result in youth being more likely to help each other, whether in an online or in real-world setting.In addition, social video games may increase players contact with people from different regions and cultures--an important factor that contributes to developing empathy and forming identity.   


Playing video games in group settings can provide a semistructured, nonthreatening environment that allows autistic children to develop and practice their social skills. Online video games can enable players to speak with others and form friendships on the current ability level, even if they are emotionally or physically unable to leave the house. Video games and other online spaces are safe spaces for people who are vulnerable because they enable people to connect whenever they wish, with little to no immediate pressure to respond, and without the need for them to be in the same physical space as others. People who play contemporary games, particularly online games, are highly social.   

In fact, studies show that a lot of people that met through playing games online actually ended up hanging out with these people. The same study also found that almost eight-in-ten teens who played games online said playing games with friends made them feel more connected with one another. The research also found that youths who played games were able to connect with family members and friends in person.   

Many games are designed for friends and are targeted at children who might be experiencing some level of social anxiety, giving them an outlet for greater interaction with others. Research suggests that video games can provide a variety of social benefits, and some types of games can even help improve social skills for children who are struggling socially, like those who are on the autism spectrum.   


Playing video games, including violent shooting games, can improve kids learning, health, and social skills, according to a research review in the journal American Psychologist. An increasing number of studies find playing video games, including shooter games, can boost learning, health and social skills. While one commonly held belief holds that playing video games is intellectually lazy, according to multiple studies reviewed in this paper, playing these games may in fact boost a number of cognitive skills, such as spatial navigation, reasoning, memory, and perception. 

Playing is also an activity that may help players improve leadership skills, hand-eye coordination, vision, increase self-esteem, and a host of other benefits. For instance, playing games such as World of Warcraft (WOW) may help gamers enhance their social skills. Other studies in the field describe how games may contribute to developing leadership skills, as well as feelings of kinship and teamwork.


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