Did you know that there are over 2.5 billion gamers in the world? That’s one-third of the world’s population playing video games on a regular basis. It’s an incredible figure, and by all accounts, one that is set to further increase over the coming years and decades.

But you know what’s even more interesting is that gaming is moving out of the basement and dark bedrooms and into the living rooms of our lives. Gaming is becoming a more socially acceptable pastime now and is no longer perceived as that waste-of-time hobby that parents of bygone days once looked down their noses. These days, it’s increasingly likely that parents play games as often as their children.

But why is it more socially acceptable? Is it because we all love our smartphones, which make it easier to play on the go? Or is it that game developers’ marketing efforts are getting better? While both are possibly true, the real reason gaming is becoming more acceptable is that we now understand video games aren’t bad for you. Indeed, there’s more and more evidence that regular gaming is good for you.

So, with that in mind, we’re taking a look at the real-world scenarios where gaming skills can prove to be pretty useful.

At Parties

Despite what non-gamers believe, people who play video games are not loners. Sure, some like to spend time alone completing level after level of their favorite game, but the vast majority of gamers like to play in a social setting. That social setting could be with friends in the house or more likely, with other players online.

Online gaming, in particular, teaches us how to interact and work together with strangers or how to mingle. So, the next time you’re at a party, those confident folks walking up and talking to complete strangers are probably the ones that play Counter-Strike or World of Warcraft at home. And speaking of confidence.

At the Interview

Gaming teaches a player to be confident in their skills while at the same time not bragging about those they don’t have. As any gamer will tell you, there’s no point in bluffing about your abilities when it’s simple to spot a faker once the game starts. Instead, they are confident in the skills they have but honest about those they lack.

And this is a recruiter or hiring manager’s dream. To interview a candidate for a job who knows their worth yet is honest enough to admit that they need to improve in certain areas is the stuff of dreams. Hire them now!

At the Gaming Table

Okay, so yes, cards is gaming of a kind, but we’re not talking about online cards here. Instead, we’re talking about the real-world version that you play at in-home games with your buddies. To any gamer who also plays cards, it’s quite clear that you can use your gaming skills to improve your poker game, but for others, the connection might be a little harder to make. Nevertheless, pretty much every skill that gaming teaches you can be of significant benefit to you.

Perhaps the most important one is that of strategic thinking. Gaming teaches you to plan ahead and expect the unexpected. It’s one of the cornerstones of successful card-playing, and a skill that any pro will tell you is crucial to master. Cards is something akin to chess with specific outcomes possible based on particular moves or cards dealt. So, most players adopt a strategy (much like you would in a game of StarCraft) and stick to it until it is necessary to change.

So, for those of you that don’t play cards, maybe you should start.

When Someone Needs Help

Did you know that gaming makes you more courageous? Well, it does when you’re playing the game, but it also does in real life, too. Gamers are more likely to step up and be have-a-go heroes in real life than non-gamers.

It’s possibly down to the link between social conscience and gaming. In a survey, 76 percent of gamers agreed that being socially responsible is one of the most important things in life. A pretty high percentage for a group of people that according to the popular theory are “socially dysfunctional.”

These socially responsible people are, therefore, more likely to step in should they see a person bullied or someone mean to another person. So, your gaming habit could be one of the reasons that you stand up for others. That’s a pretty amazing life skill right there.

In Personal Relationships

Patience is a virtue is what they say, but very few of us indeed possess much of it in the real world. Check out all the people pushing you out of the way on your commute to work tomorrow, and you’ll see what we mean. But what has this to do with relationships? The simple answer to that is everything.

Relationships are based on give and take and more than a healthy dose of patience. And patience is a skill we learn from the endless times we fail at a game only to get up, dust ourselves off (metaphorically speaking, of course) and try again. Yes, gamers often have incredible levels of patience, an attribute that can help in so many areas of life, but in particular, interpersonal relationships.

Show us a gamer that has tried (and failed) to complete Super Mario Odyssey, and we’ll show you a person who has healthy relationships with those close to them. Yes, despite contrary popular opinion, gaming is good for interpersonal relationships.

So, as you can see, not only is gaming fun and good for you, but it also helps by teaching you some valuable life skills. Whether it’s confidence in your skills, a little help with personal relationships aiding in breaking the ice at social gatherings, there’s no doubt that gaming has some pretty nifty benefits. Now, we’re off to apply for a new job and maybe attend a few parties to see if our skills are up to the task.