Ladies- feeling down on yourself? Can’t seem to find motivation? Forgot how to flirt? Well, you might try picking up a new hobby: video games.
Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World and SuperBetter author Jane McGonigal draws on hundreds of studies to support her claim that gaming promotes confidence by tapping into three psychological strengths:
• Your ability to control your attention, and therefore your thoughts and feelings
• Your power to turn anyone into a potential ally, and to strengthen your existing relationships
• Your natural capacity to motivate yourself and super-charge your heroic qualities, like willpower, compassion, and determination
At this point you’re likely thinking, “That all sounds nice, but a little video-game induced dopamine rush isn’t going to change my life.” Actually, it can. The dopamine your brain produces during gaming increases the mind’s motivation for goal achievement. McGonigal writes:
“This helps explain why gamers never give up and why you can see a player trying to tackle the same stupid level fifty times in a row and they still have hope. ‘I think I’m gonna do it next time, I just gotta give it one more try.’ They don’t want to go to sleep, they don’t want to quit. The dopamine is really firing them up.”
But it doesn’t stop there. As you continue to attempt more and more challenging levels and games, your brain becomes programmed “to continue to think in that pattern,” says McGonigal. “So if you are playing a game and can step away and use that dopamine high to tackle a real-life challenge, that’s actually really productive, right?”
These productivity patterns result in an increase of confidence that flows into all areas of your life- even your flirting ability! McGonigal cites a recent Stanford Study, saying that if you play with an avatar that you consider powerful or attractive, you are more confident flirting afterward. Likewise, the study showed that playing with an avatar that resembles yourself can also make you more motivated to work out.
The benefits of gaming abound… So what are you waiting for? Get out there, pick up a controller, and conquer the world!