7 Reasons Why It’s OK to Play Smartphone Games

Conventional wisdom suggests that time spent playing smartphone games is time wasted. The common perception is that few casual games exercise the brain and, if there is any physical activity involved, it’s usually a workout for your thumbs and not much else.

But wait a second. Haven’t studies consistently shown that the benefits of video gaming far outweigh the perceived negatives? If that’s the case for video games, then shouldn’t smartphone games be viewed the same way? The truth is, there are some very good reasons why it’s perfectly OK to pick up your smartphone and spend a few minutes knocking down pigs or playing Words With Friends. Here are just a few examples:

1. Smartphone games teach problem solving
Smartphone games teach us to think. There are dozens of smartphone games that are specifically geared towards learning, but even the most basic games such as Cut the Rope teach us to think logically and quickly process large amounts of data. Rather than passively absorbing content from, say, a TV show, a smartphone game requires the player’s constant input to tell the story.

2. Smartphone games are social
The stereotype of the smartphone gamer as a socially awkward adolescent is as outdated as Space Invaders. Many smartphone games have thriving online and offline fan-bases, and a community component that strongly encourages social interaction.

3. Smartphone games provide positive reinforcement
Most smartphone games are designed to allow players to succeed and be rewarded for that success. Different skill levels and a risk-and-reward gaming culture mean that we are not afraid to fail and will take a few chances in order to achieve our ultimate goal.

4. Smartphone games improve hand-eye coordination
Smartphone games help improve hand-eye coordination. Even if you have no desire to be a surgeon or a watch-maker, good hand-eye coordination is an invaluable skill to have.

5. Smartphone games teach strategic thinking
Smartphone games teach us to think objectively about both the games themselves and our own performance. We get instant feedback on our decisions and quickly learn our strengths and weaknesses.

6. Smartphone games help you relax
Having a tough day at work or just need a few minutes to recharge? A quick 15 minutes playing Temple Run or Minecraft can be just what the doctor ordered. Relax, put your feet up, beat your top score, and return to work happy and refreshed!

7. Smartphone games bring families together
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Smartphone games aren’t just for teens. Ask your kids to teach you a few skills or, better still, get to a level of expertise where you can take them on and beat them at their own game. Smartphones games may never replace Monopoly or Clue on Family Game Night but they can be just as much fun!

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