There’s no problem with having a favorite video game or preferred genre. You may even have a specific franchise or studio you refuse to go near. However, if you’re the type of gamer that chooses to only stick to what you’re familiar with, you could be losing out on a wide range of opportunities.
Video game topics span past just being an entertaining pastime for players. Many developers focus on creating an immersive experience that might educate, inspire, or challenge the thoughts and perceptions of the user. If you’re interested in trying out other games but worried about stepping out of your comfort zone, here are a few reasons to take that leap. You might not end up with a new favorite genre, but you can pick up some other crucial skill points along the way.
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1. Using Different Skill Sets
It may seem obvious but playing various video game genres gives you the opportunity to enhance new skills. Where some fields focus on quick reflexes and teamwork, others will challenge your survival and puzzle-solving abilities. Common skills you use in your daily life can even come into play, like organization and planning. Strategizing your game plan is going to be different for each game, so developing those various skill sets may come in handy later.
2. Expanding Your Community
Online games aren’t necessarily the only place you’re able to join a community. There are forums, local groups, and even tournaments and events you can visit to meet other people with similar interests. New games and genres give you the opportunity to connect with people you may never have crossed paths with otherwise. Even if you don’t stick with that particular category, these new relationships can introduce you to a wider range of interests, experiences, and maybe even some helpful tips for your favorite game.
3. Learning New Play Styles
Similar to how different genres expand your skills and abilities, they can also show you new play styles. For example, a horror game and an action game both require you to have fast reflexes to complete an objective. However, each game may need you to use those reflexes in a different way. Where you may need to be able to quickly hide or avoid monsters in the horror game, you’ll instead need to be more aggressive and take the first chance in an action game against an opponent. This is because you’re working against an AI in one and another online gamer in the other.
4. Mental Health Boost
Research has shown that playing video games can boost your mental health; they have the combined factor of enjoyment, communication with others, and stimulating brain activity. When you give your regular routine a switch up with a different genre, you can potentially increase the pleasure and focus you get from this pastime. Starting a new chapter within an activity you already enjoy can create excitement and anticipation, boosting serotonin and dopamine levels.
5. Deeper Genre Understanding
It may seem strange that playing a different type of game can give you a better understanding of what you’re used to. However, by expanding your knowledge in a game base, the benefits of a new skill and game style can be taken back to your usual setting and applied there. If you’re having difficulty with a level, switch out what you’re playing and come back after you’ve worked on something else.
6. Developing Creativity
Being an avid video game player can contribute to your imagination and creativity much like being a frequent reader. Both of these activities put you in a fictitious world, realistic or not, and can expand your inspiration and motivation to develop something on your own. These kinds of mentally stimulating pastimes are often recommended by counselors and mental health professionals from services like MyTherapist. It’s common for people that play video games regularly to attribute those skills later in life, either in their career paths or their hobbies.
7. Unexpected Skill Bridging
It’s already been established that a new genre can provide you with a new skill set, give you an insight into various playstyles, and provide you with a new outlook on your favorite genre.
After you’ve switched games and decided to come back to the level that gave you difficulty, you may find that those new skills can be applied in the area you struggled with. If you stay within your genre, you may be missing out on games that can be played in multiple ways – instead of using brute force, you could explore the area and find a way around a difficult boss or you may have the ability to unlock a path in a side quest that gives you the item needed to defeat your opponent. Developing those skills and recognizing similarities between genres gives you the upper hand.
Have you ever come home from a bad day at school or work, only to find that even your usual comfort game doesn’t seem to be relieving stress? Instead of relenting that the day is lost to negativity, try something new. If you’re used to high-intensity games, try one you would otherwise find monotonous; if you’re used to puzzle-breaking activities, immerse yourself in exploration instead. This kind of shift in your routine can provide that necessary breath of fresh air to take your mind off of the stressful moments in your day.
9. New Game Content
If you’re invested in a certain franchise, you may be used to the fact that they’ll switch up their genre of game. For example, if you’ve been a Mario Bros fan, you’ll notice that Mario Party, Mario Kart, and Paper Mario are all vastly different from the original Super Mario Bros game. Even party games can introduce new characters and background lore that you otherwise would have missed if you stuck to the traditional platformer.
10. Avoid Toxic Interaction
Players that frequent online competitive games like League of Legends or Fornite know that the communities can get “toxic” during a heated match. A toxic opponent or teammate is someone that’s constantly harassing and berating you, other players, or even the game itself – they could be criticizing your playstyle, talking trash to opponents, or constantly complaining about a new game mechanic. If you and your friends were hoping to enjoy a game night together, you don’t have to miss out just because of these trolls. Switching the type of game you’re playing can lighten the mood again, creating a better atmosphere for everyone involved.
While these may be far from the Ten Commandments of Gaming, trying something outside of your typical lineup can be a key to improvement. New genres help hone skills and strategizing abilities and they can even contribute to the expansion of your social circle. You could find enjoyment in a game you hadn’t previously considered, or you might break down a stigma about a community you’re unfamiliar with. If you need help convincing a friend to play one of your favorite games, this could even be the push they need to try out a new experience.