There are many expats who waste away the time by playing in casinos. While others are hooked on the traditional brick-and-mortar establishments, many expats are also into playing video and online games.
It is not surprising, since expatriates can often feel homesick and want to find ways to pass the time when feeling nostalgic. Most expats are also doing business in another country, so they may need to be in casinos for business related purposes.
Even if the most common consensus in a society is that online games and gambling, for that matter, are bad, these popular beliefs are often fueled by speculations and the media. Many studies, especially on video games, have proven that not all gaming is that bad. Like most things, it has its advantages and disadvantages. This holds true especially for expats since it’s a way for them to socialize with others and have fun when they’re feeling lonely.
In a study conducted by Qutee, a data-led discussion platform, several positives of gaming were discovered. The survey was participated by gamers from all over the world. 51% of participants hailed from the US, 19% from the UK, 4.48% from Canada, 4.09% from the Netherlands, and 3.28% from Australia.
Out of the 251 topics discussed, the most popular are community, friends, enjoyment, problems, hobbies, stress, and skills.
What does the poll say about the benefit of video gaming on an expat community?
89% of gamers believe that gaming is beneficial to society (including all expat communities) in ways that many may find disbelieving. This is especially true in today’s gamers who are diversifying and bringing different goals into the game, including finance and politics.
Video games are also perceived as a catalyst for social change. After all, the games prepare players to handle different emotional realities of life, such as bullying, love, or suicide, while bridging gaps.
Game developers are also encouraged to create games that have positive applications in the real world or those with a social impact.
Game expos and conventions also provide gamers who are also expats with the opportunity to talk, network, and share research with other players. This demonstrates what is called “serious gaming”.
Improved emotional wellbeing
40% of poll participants say that improved emotional wellbeing is one of the most important benefits of gaming.
A paper that explores Self-Determination Theory describes human motivation and fulfillment to be linked to autonomy, competence, and relatedness. These domains are activated when playing video games. It also has an impact on the player themselves.
Although the level of improvement depends on a player’s attitude about the game, the fact remains that playing online activated the feelings of autonomy and competence that led to improved wellbeing.
In a society where 1 in 5 people in America have mental health issues each year, improved emotional well-being is a serious benefit. So, go ahead, play video games or play blackjack online for real money and experience a difference. There are benefits to this too that will be discussed in a little bit.
No violence or anti-social behavior
It’s a popular belief that playing video games leads to violence and people becoming anti-social. Why bother leaving the comforts of their home if they can easily entertain themselves right there?
But 93% of Qutee poll participants claimed that it is only the media’s obsession of linking violence to video games that fueled the misconception.
In fact, 66% say they made up to 5 friends while playing video games and 37% say they made more than 5 friends. The numbers definitely dispute any claims of anti-social behavior.
Social impact of gaming on expats
It is a fact that gaming activities come with their share of pros and cons. But if you focus on the positive social impact rather than the negative side of things, you will see that there are advantages to gaming especially to expatriates living out of their comfort zone.
Housie, for example, provides female players with a safe night time alternative to going to the pub and is a major part of their social lives.
Along with battens-up, it also an important means of raising money for the community, especially the Maori communities.
Racing, on the other hand, allows someone with a strong interest in horses or racing a hobby and a focus on what they enjoy doing.
Then, there are casinos and gaming machines with high entertainment value. They provide focus for a range of social events, especially those that are held by community groups.
Gaming also offers significant returns to the expat community. This includes economic contribution, profits gained, and funding for community purposes.
Clearly, gaming is not all that bad.