In this article, we will discuss 17 health and spiritual benefits of Bible study with games.
- Break the stereotype that video games are a waste of time and energy
- Make you realize they are not typical games for pleasure and entertainment
- Encourage you to play video games with health and faith in mind
Let’s dive right in.
1. Bible Games Relieve Stress
What does psychology say?
Video games give you instant pleasure.
Suppose you’re playing a game about the Garden of Eden. Colorful trees and flowers. Kind animals. A breathtaking landscape of mountains. Delicious fruits. Name it all!
Your eyes melt, and your mouth salivates with these amazing wonders of God’s creation. With all these, you want to experience the perfect paradise at first hand.
What makes you feel this way?
According to an article by Healthy Game, your brain releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine. It goes into the brain’s pleasure center, nucleus accumbens.
Now, how about when you overcome a challenging round? Isn’t it fulfilling?
Responsible for this is the triumph circuit, the brain’s reward for engagement. It reduces stress.
Studies can prove.
Very Well Mind surveyed 1,614 video game players. It was to determine if computer games could be a tool for stress recovery. Based on the results, games helped players cope after exposure to stress and strain.
Meanwhile, the Journal of Adolescent published a study of 1,254 children. They came from two American states. After playing video games, more players learned to manage their anger and stress.
2. You Have Fun and Entertainment
You can play a Bible game with your family and friends.
When obstacles give you a thrill, you all laugh, giggle or scream like crazy. Thus, the experience becomes more fun than when you play alone.
Aside from this, you enjoy exploring a different world. Strange creatures all around. Unique environment. A new way of life.
With these, you take on a role you could never imagine doing in real life. For instance, by playing A Journey Towards Jesus, you become an instant superhero. You help Sara meet Jesus for healing.
Besides, you have freedom and control. The game gives you a wide range of choices, but you only have to choose one. It’s exciting to discover how this decision turns out at the end of the round.
Research can tell.
In 2015, Media Effects Research Laboratory examined people’s experiences with video games.
Based on the results, video games gave players enriching and gratifying experiences.
From this, Mary Beth Oliver said, “games have the potential to be as meaningful to players as others.” They are “more esteemed forms of entertainment, such as literature or cinema.”
3. Your Brain Gets Some Exercise
Let’s ask science.
Medical News Today says that video games increase the size of your right hippocampus.
This organ of the brain handles visuospatial skills. It helps you identify visual and spatial relationships among objects.
You experience it when you play David vs. Goliath: A Righteous Tale. There’s a part where you practice slinging stones like targeting the dart. With this, you pay attention to speed and distance.
Besides, playing video games involves conscious thinking, reasoning, and remembering. Dr. Marc Palaus considered them a “perfect recipe for strengthening our cognitive skills.” And you don’t even notice it.
In connection, VeryWellMind notes that video games sharpen cognitive abilities. Reaction speed is one of these. As such, you think fast and master problem-solving.
A Journey Towards Jesus is the perfect game to exercise these skills. As mentioned earlier, you play the role of Sara, who has been sick for years.
Your mission includes answering thousands of questions and solving challenges. Hence, your memory, critical thinking, and decision-making skills improve.
Let’s back it up with case studies.
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona asked volunteers to play Super Mario 64. The goal was to induce structural changes in their brains. In particular, it concerned the executive function and spatial memory.
Based on the results, video games enhanced their working memory.
Max Planck Institute for Human Development obtained the same result. So did Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus.
But they also discovered something new. That is, playing video games for at least 30 minutes a day improves health and well-being.
4. Your Concentration Improves
How is it so?
Do you notice how your brain focuses on critical visual information when you play a video game? While doing so, you block out less important information. We call it selective visual attention.
As you focus on this selected information, you pay attention to the details. Hence, you’re more likely to avoid mistakes such as misreading a question on a Bible trivia game. Not reading it well leads to wrong answers.
One more thing: your attention span extends. For instance, you started playing at 8:00. Next thing you know, it’s already 11:00. Yet, you never got bored and didn’t notice the quick passing of time.
With this level of focus and span of attention, you also develop mental grit. That is, you endure challenges with a patient yet uncompromising spirit.
Here’s living proof!
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience discovered that an hour with video games improves focus.
They came up with this conclusion after examining 29 male students. This number comprised expert and non-expert players.
The non-experts had less than half a year of gaming experience. Meanwhile, the experts had at least two years.
Based on the results, expert gamers had more brain activity compared to non-experts. It was because they had laser focus during the game.
5. You Learn to Think Critically
What does it mean?
When you play a Bible trivia game, you encounter tricky questions.
For example, “According to Proverbs, a virtuous woman’s price is above what?” The choices are coin, rubies, emeralds, and saying. What’s your answer?
If you’re not familiar with this verse, you will guess. With this, rubies and emeralds are two potential answers.
But thinking again, you know that ruby is more expensive than emerald. True enough, it is the correct answer based on Proverbs 31.
Now, the point is, video games challenge your critical thinking skills. You have to read between the lines. Why? A literal interpretation can solve not all questions.
Here’s a survey.
British Journal of Educational Technology surveyed 121 adults. The goal was to determine how video games develop critical thinking.
The results concluded that both gamers and non-gamers had established critical thinking disposition.
Yet, gamers performed better because of their exposure to problem-solving and strategy-making challenges.
6. Playing Triggers Your Imagination and Creativity
When you play an adventure game, you’re in a different reality.
For instance, Guardians of Ancora sets you on various places in the Bible to discover Jesus. The beautiful structures and landscapes stimulate your imagination.
With today’s advanced graphics and animation technology, your playing experience becomes surreal. You feel like you’re in the actual places you see in your game.
Now, imagination translates to creativity and resourcefulness. By forming images, ideas, and sensations in your brain, you create something new out of the things you have.
For instance, you get amazed by Noah’s ark in your game. After playing, you try to assemble a boat with improvised materials.
Research claims it.
Linda Jackson studied five hundred 12-year-old children. She wanted to find a link between video gaming and creativity.
She had them play a series of video games. Then, they wrote stories and drew pictures. Also, she asked them to do non-gaming activities on cell phones, the Internet, and computers.
After playing video games, the kids proved to be more creative.
7. You Become More Competent
What does it mean?
Like sports, video games teach you hard work, discipline, determination, and perseverance.
Why hard work and discipline? Any video game requires time and effort to learn.
Let’s take Heroes: The Bible Trivia Game as an example. To get to a higher level, you undergo trial and error in answering the challenging questions.
By playing daily, you get the hang of it. You master the techniques and strategies to answer questions the quickest possible.
Moving on, why determination and perseverance? If you have a goal, you will do everything to keep the fire burning.
For instance, you want to be the next Heroes champion. With this, everyday practice is an understatement.
For this, you challenge yourself to play with your family and friends to become better. You go the extra mile to become the best gamer.
What study supports this argument?
Matthew Barr examined the effects of commercial video games on high education students.
He divided the students into two groups. One group played video games under controlled conditions for eight weeks.
After the period, video games improved the students’ communication ability, adaptability, and resourcefulness. They developed competent graduate attributes.
8. You Learn to Manage Your Emotions
How is it?
Playing a video game regulates your mood.
After a tough working day, play a quick game. No matter how short it is, it does wonder. It puts you in a comfortable zone where you set aside things that distract you.
Unfortunately, most video games trigger aggression and violence. It results in fear, anger, pain, frustration, and sadness.
This condition lights up your amygdala, the brain’s organ handling negative emotions.
Good news! It’s not the case with playing a Bible game. As an educational and spiritual activity, it doesn’t hurt your ego. Neither does it stimulate your hyper tendencies.
Instead, it reminds you of Jesus’ spiritual lessons. One of these is the value of temperance. With this, you learn to control your impulse and think twice before you react or speak.
This research says it all!
Children’s Hospital Boston observed kids with extreme anger and hostility. It was to determine how video gaming could help them control their emotions.
According to Dr. Joseph Gonzales-Heydrich, these children had explosive behaviors. They resisted psychotherapy and anger-management techniques. Yet, they would spend hours trying to master a computer game.
With this, the researchers took the opportunity to let participants play a video game.
In the game, they had to shoot down enemy spaceships while avoiding friendly ships. To track their heart rate, the researchers attached monitors to their fingers.
When their heart rate went above average, they would lose the ability to shoot at their enemies. So, to win the game, they had to keep calm.
Based on the observation, the players’ heart rates improved with each round of the game. To conclude, they learned to regulate their impulsive emotions.
9. Your Social Skills Improve
This is how it does.
First, a video game provides you a fun and engaging means to connect with people. Through its multiplayer mode, you can play with your family members or friends.
If you’re an introvert, playing with people motivates you to open up. You get to talk more and express your feelings. As time goes by, you overcome social anxiety.
Second, you develop the skill of cooperation. For instance, you form teams and alliances to work together on a specific goal.
Finally, there’s an opportunity to lead. It takes excellent social networking skills to deal with different personalities. With this, you have to keep your teammates united despite the difficulties.
Here are some studies.
Mark Griffith contradicted the stereotype that video games promote isolation.
One of his studies targeted a quarter of 11,000 video game players. According to them, connecting with other players was their favorite part of a game. What they liked was the opportunity to socialize and meet new friends.
In another study, 912 participants from 45 countries played role-playing video games. They did it for around 22 hours a week. After the period, they concluded that the games were social and interactive.
10. You Build Good Relationships
Let’s dissect it.
First, playing a video game with your family and friends makes a bonding experience. You burst out in excitement or pressure, depending on the challenges you encounter.
Also, by winning and losing together, you share your experiences. Hence, you get to know each other deeper, making your relationship more intimate.
Second, tricky questions and challenging missions develop your critical and analytical skills. That is, you learn to create effective strategies to win.
It manifests in how you manage your relationships. These include your family, work organization, church ministries, and other social circles. With this, you lead with sound judgment, intelligent decisions, and strategic plans. These yield positive results.
Finally, by playing a role in an adventure, you develop empathy. For instance, you do everything to get Sara healed by Jesus in A Journey Towards Jesus.
With this, you become sensitive to the needs of people around you. You find ways to help them as much as you can.
Let’s prove this point with research.
Amanda Lenhart examined how video games help teenage boys create and maintain friendships.
Based on her findings, more than half of the participants made new friends online. Meanwhile, a quarter of them reported giving a new friend their gaming handles. These would serve as their contact information.
11. You Express Yourself Without Much Talking
Some people find it difficult to express their thoughts and feelings.
For instance, Mandryk said that kids don’t sit down on a video chat to have a conversation with each other. Instead, they play and do things together.
Playing a game is one of the ways they can express themselves well. In playing Solomon’s Temple, they can talk and laugh while building structures.
12. Bad Vices Don’t Get in Your Way
You may be wondering, “But isn’t a video game addicting too that it can be another form of vice?”
First, let’s define vice. Dictionaries summarize it as immoral or wicked behavior, often involving crime. Second, while there’s unhealthy video gaming, there’s also a healthy one.
Do these make sense?
Now, we are talking about Bible games. They’re not like any other video games with violent entertainment.
Since a Bible game is educational and spiritual, it teaches you good morals. It diverts your mind from vain and immorality. Hence, you are less likely to engage in gambling, drinking alcohol, smoking, and other vices.
Instead, you commit to a different kind of vice – a healthy one. And this addiction leads you to something good – knowing Jesus and growing in Him.
13. You Learn the Value of Sportsmanship
As you always hear from athletes, sportsmanship is one of the essential values in playing.
Likewise, you learn to welcome defeat in video gaming the same way you rejoice in your victory.
Not all the time, you win. Sometimes, you have to accept there’s someone better than you. Or, you’re not that good enough yet.
The good thing about defeat is that it reminds you of the value of consistency and competence. That is, never stop improving yourself no matter how good you become.
14. Games Shed Light on the Bible and Provide You With Knowledge
Playing Bible games is never a substitute for reading and studying the Bible. Yet, it motivates you to spend time on it.
For instance, a Bible trivia game asks you questions that demand biblical knowledge. Likewise, an action-type Bible game takes you on adventures. These demand knowledge of the characters and their stories.
If you don’t know even the basics, how will you understand what you’re playing? As such, you’re compelled to open your Bible to find the answers.
As you progress on your game, you get to read your Bible more often than usual. Besides, it inspires you to study the book in detail with a gospel minister.
15. The Experience Motivates You to Pray More
As you play, you learn about how your favorite biblical heroes prayed.
For instance, remember Jesus’ prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane. It demonstrated humility and absolute reliance. Despite His divine nature, He sought guidance from the Father.
Daniel was another prayerful man. Did you know that he prayed three times daily? It was to the extent of annoying some people enough to trick him.
But this habit served him well. For instance, he was able to let King Nebuchadnezzar remember his forgotten dream. Also, he interpreted it with great wisdom after spending prayerful days and nights.
These and many other biblical characters modeled true prayer. They inspire you to pray with diligence, too.
16. Gaming Enriches Your Faith in God
Playing a Bible game walks you through the lives of faithful prophets, kings, leaders, and the like.
From their stories, you realize they had also experienced the best and worst of life as we do. But what has kept them strong was their faith in God.
Take, for example, Job. Not only did he suffer from a severe disease, but he also lost his family and wealth. Also, his friends mocked him, telling him everything was his fault.
But despite all this, he never questioned nor blamed God. His faith never wavered, knowing it was only a character test. Soon, he recovered from his physical illness, obtained even greater wealth and had more children.
With this inspiration, you realize God’s faithfulness even when things get rough. In turn, your faith in Him increases. No matter what lies ahead, you know you’re secure in Him.
17. Ministry Interests You
By playing a Bible game, you get a glimpse of Jesus’ ministry on earth.
In particular, you see how He cared for the sick. You watch Him teach people lessons from the Scriptures. Also, you witness how He trained His disciples for evangelism.
These and many more inspire you to be active in your church ministry as well.
With this, you don’t want only to sit there, singing songs and listening to sermons. Instead, you want to join a church program relevant to your interests. Here, you maximize and cultivate your skills and talents.
Indeed, this initiative helps improve your church services. By using your gifts, God opens doors for you to reach more people. In turn, it hastens His work of evangelism.
What Are Your Thoughts?
What do you think of this article?
What are your takeaways from these seventeen benefits of playing Bible games? Which one is most relevant to you? What are your experiences related to it?
Finally, what other scientific and spiritual benefits do you have in mind?