Health and Wellness in Gaming

Published on January 19th, 2022 at 3:52 PM

Gaming and Esports, much like any other sport or hobby, require self-control and balance in all aspects of life in order to be successful and have fun while participating in these activities. Gaming can often be clouded by negative stigmas, but as our understanding of the benefits of esports continues to grow, more and more schools and institutions are beginning to incorporate esports into their programming. According to a recent NPR article, more than 170 colleges and universities have created esports teams with more than $16 million being offered in esports scholarships. High schools and middle schools across the country have started to develop their esports programs as well, with some of the big high school tournaments having hundreds of schools across the country facing off in various esports titles.

For young gamers playing esports recreationally or competitively, mental health and wellness are crucial to maintain a work-play balance and prevent gaming from negatively affecting other aspects of their lives. “Some of the negative aspects that parents really notice are [young gamers] may start to lose interest in having a good relationship with other family members, or disengaging from other activities they used to find enjoyment from”, says Hannah Dam, the Resources Manager at Healthy Gamer. “Say they used to go play tennis a lot and now they no longer think it's interesting and they spend a lot more time indoors. Other examples include slips in grades and declining motivation.”

Healthy Gamer is the leading online mental health resource provider for the internet generation, and Hannah Dam is in charge of many of the Healthy Gamer Programs like their family support program which helps connect parents and children who are struggling with issues such as video game addiction or screen time management. “I think a lot of the parents in our programs are very scared of what they don't understand. We try to bridge that gap in understanding and so parents and families can realize that sometimes it's not just a game - it's where people feel most safe, comfortable, and able to be themselves,” says Dam.

Esports have been shown to have a variety of positive effects on cognitive development for children. According to a study from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, people who played video games growing up as kids show improved capacity in their working memory when compared to those who didn’t play video games. “Gaming gives kids a safe space to be who they want to be without fear of judgement,” says Dam. “Being able to interact with friends that support you for who you are is incredibly validating. It provides them with a sense of community in connecting with people who have similar interests. It also provides them with a sense of achievement and challenge that's to their own tastes.”

Healthy Gamer offers a wide variety of individual coaching, parent group coaching, and educational content for gamers of all ages and parents! For more information on Healthy Gamer programs or how to get a 20% discount through GGLeagues visit: