A 2021 study claims that video games could help manage anger and stress.
That is one of the benefits of Bible study with games too. But aside from that, what else?
In this article, discover 17 of them in health and spiritual aspects.
Let’s dive in!
1) Bible Games Help Relieve Stress
What does psychology say?
Video games give you instant pleasure.
Suppose you’re playing a game about the Garden of Eden.
Seeing the beautiful wonders of God’s creeation, your eyes gets mesmerized and your mouth salivates as if you want to see them in person.
What makes you feel this way?
Well, your brain releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine. It goes into your brain’s pleasure center called nucleus accumbens 1.
Now, how about when you overcome a challenging round?
Responsible for this is the triumph circuit, the brain’s reward for engagement. It reduces stress.
Studies can prove.
A 2020 survey on 1,614 video game players aimed 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 2.
Meanwhile, the Journal of Adolescent Health published a study on 1,254 children from 2 states of America. After playing video games, more players learned to manage their anger and stress 3.
2) They Provide Fun and Entertainment
In playing a Bible game with your family and friends, you laugh, giggle, or even scream when you encounter difficult obstacles.
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 options, but you have to choose only 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 4.
Based on the results, video games gave players enriching and gratifying experiences.
On this note, Mary Beth Oliver, a professor and a director, 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.
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 5.
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 [your] cognitive skills.” And you don’t even notice it.
In addition, video games sharpen cognitive abilities such as reaction speed. This means being able to think fast and master problem-solving.
A Journey Towards Jesus is the perfect game to exercise these skills.
In helping Sara find Jesus, your mission includes answering thousands of questions and solving challenges. As such, your memory, critical thinking, and decision-making skills improve.
Let’s prove it with case studies.
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona asked volunteers to play Super Mario 64 6.
The goal was to induce structural changes in their brains concerning the executive function and spatial memory.
Based on the results, video games enhanced their working memory.
Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus obtained the same result.
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. With this, you’re more likely to avoid mistakes such as misreading a question on a Bible trivia game, which 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 and maintain a calm yet uncompromising spirit.
Here’s living proof!
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience discovered that an hour with video games improves focus 7.
They came up with this conclusion after examining 29 male students, comprising expert and non-expert players.
The non-experts had less than half a year of gaming experience while the experts had at least 2 years.
Based on the results, expert gamers had more brain activity compared to non-experts because they had laser focus during the game.
5) You Learn to Think Critically
What does it mean?
A Bible trivia game involves tricky questions.
Suppose the question is “According to Proverbs, a virtuous woman’s price is above what?” The choices are coins, rubies, emeralds, and sayings.
If you’re not familiar with this verse, you will most likely guess the answer. Rubies and emeralds are the 2 most potential answers.
But thinking again, you know that ruby is more expensive than emerald. And that’s actually the correct answer based on Proverbs 31.
Now, the point is that video games challenge your critical thinking skills. You have to read between the lines because not all questions have literal implications.
Here’s a survey.
British Journal of Educational Technology surveyed 121 adults to determine how video games develop critical thinking 8.
The results concluded that both gamers and non-gamers had established critical thinking disposition. But gamers performed better because of their exposure to problem-solving and strategy-making challenges.
6) Playing Triggers Your Imagination and Creativity
Playing an adventure game makes you feel like you’re in a different reality.
For instance, the game Guardians of Ancora sets you in 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. It feels like you’re in the actual places that you see in the game.
Imagination translates to creativity and resourcefulness. By forming images, ideas, and sensations in your brain, you create something new out of the existing things.
For instance, after being fascinated by Noah’s ark in your game, you wanted to try assembling a boat yourself using improvised materials.
Research claims it.
A team of researchers studied 500 12-year-old children to find a link between video gaming and creativity 9.
They had them play a series of video games, write stories, and draw pictures. They also asked them to do non-gaming activities on mobile phones 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.
In the case of Heroes: The Bible Trivia Game, to get to a higher level, you undergo trial and error in answering the challenging questions.
But by playing every day, you will get the hang of it. You will master the techniques and strategies to answer questions the quickest possible.
If you have a goal, you will do everything to keep the fire burning.
Suppose you want to be the next Heroes champion, daily self-practice is an understatement.
You will go to the extent of challenging yourself to play with your family and friends to become better. You will 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 10.
He divided the students into 2 groups, one of which played video games under controlled conditions for 8 weeks.
Based on the results, 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.
No matter how short it is, it does wonders. It puts you in a comfortable zone to set aside things that distract you.
Unfortunately, most video games trigger aggression and violence. They promote fear, anger, pain, frustration, and sadness.
This condition lights up your amygdala, the brain’s organ that handles emotions.
Good news! It’s not the case with playing Bible games. 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 impulses and think twice before reacting or speaking.
This research says it all!
Boston Children’s Hospital observed kids with extreme anger and hostility to determine how video gaming could help them control their emotions 11.
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 the 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 oxymeters 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. They learned to regulate their impulsive emotions.
9) Your Social Skills Improve
This is how it works.
First, a video game provides you with 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, a professor at Nottingham Trent University, contradicted the stereotype that video games promote isolation 12.
One of his studies targeted a quarter of 11,000 video game players. Based on the results, connecting with other players was their favorite part of any 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 for about 22 hours a week. After the period, they concluded that the games were social and interactive 13.
10) You Build Good Relationships
Let’s dissect it.
First, playing a video game with your family and friends creates 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. This helps 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 relationships in the family, at work, and in church. With this, you lead with sound judgment, intelligent decisions, and strategic plans.
Finally, by playing a role in an adventure, you develop empathy. For instance, in the game A Journey Towards Jesus, you’ll do everything to get Sara healed by 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 14.
Based on her findings, more than half of the participants made new friends online. Also, a quarter of them reported sharing their contact information with them.
11) You Express Yourself Without Much Talking
Some people find it difficult to express their thoughts and feelings.
For instance, Regan Mandryk, a computer science professor, 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 15.
Playing a game is one of the ways they can express themselves well. In playing Solomon’s Temple, for instance, they express their excitement while building structures.
12) Bad Vices Don’t Get in Your Way
You may be wondering, “But isn’t a video game also addicting that it can become another form of vice?”
First, vice is defined as an “immoral or wicked behavior,” often involving crime 16. Second, while there’s unhealthy video gaming, there’s also a healthy one.
Fortunately, since a Bible game is educational and spiritual, it doesn’t promote violence. It teaches good morals. It diverts your mind from vain and immorality.
With this, you are less likely to engage in gambling, drinking alcohol, smoking, and other vices.
In a sense, you’re engaging into a healthy kind of vice. 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.
The same applies to video gaming. You have to accept defeat no matter how painful it may be at times.
Not all the time you win. Sometimes, you have to accept that there’s someone better than you.
The good thing about defeat is that it reminds you of the value of consistency and competence. It keeps you wanting to improve yourself no matter how good you think you become.
14) You Are Being Led to the Bible
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. Similarly, an action-type Bible game takes you on adventures. These demand knowledge of the characters and their stories.
If you don’t know the basics, how will you understand what you’re playing? So, you really have to open your Bible to find the answers.
As you progress on your game, you get to read your Bible more often than usual. It inspires you to study the book in detail with a gospel minister.
15) You Get Motivated to Pray More
As you play, you learn about how your favorite biblical heroes prayed.
For instance, Jesus’ prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane demonstrated humility and absolute reliance. Despite His divine nature, He sought guidance from the Father.
Daniel was another prayerful man. He would pray 3 times a day to the extent of annoying some people, who later tricked him.
But this habit served him well. For instance, he let King Nebuchadnezzar remember his forgotten dream. He interpreted it with divine 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) Your Faith in God Deepens
Playing a Bible game walks you through the lives of faithful prophets, kings, leaders, and the like.
From their stories, you realize they have also experienced the best and worst of life as we do. But what kept them strong was their faith in God.
Take, for example, Job. He not only suffered from a severe disease but also lost his family and wealth. His friends even mocked him, telling him that everything was his fault.
But despite all this, he never questioned nor blamed God. His faith never wavered, knowing it was only a test of character. Soon, he recovered from his physical illness, obtained even greater wealth, and had more children.
With this inspiration, you prove 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) You Become Interested in Doing Ministry
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.
You’re not contented with just sitting there singing songs and listening to sermons. Instead, you want to join a church program relevant to your interests. By doing so, you get to 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 out to more people. In turn, it hastens His work of evangelism.
What Are Your Thoughts?
What are your takeaways from these 17 benefits of playing Bible games? Which one is most relevant to you?
Also, what other scientific and spiritual benefits do you have in mind?
Share your thoughts by commenting below.REFERENCES
- Kabir L., 2021, Healthy Gamer
- Elizabeth Scott, 2020, Very Well Mind
- Science Daily, 2007
- Matt Swayne, 2015, Penn State University
- Hannah Nichols, 2023, Medical News Today
- Chrissy Sexton, 2023, Earth
- Neuroscience, 2023
- British Journal of Educational Technology, 2011
- Linda Jackson, Edward Witt, et al., 2012, Science Direct
- Matthew Barr, 2017, Research Gate
- Boston Children’s Hospital, 2023
- Bryan Lufkin, 2020, BBC Worklife
- Helena Cole and Mark D. Griffiths, 2007, National Library of Medicine
- Amanda Lenhart, 2015, Pew Research Center
- CBC News, 2020
- Google’s English Dictionary