You’ve probably heard this a lot from your parents or teachers, the idea that gaming is bad for your mental health. Well we’ve debunked some myths about gaming, and this is a pretty big one. So how can it be good for you? Read on to find out more.

How can gaming be positive for your mental health?

Loneliness

A popular use for online gaming is the ability to use it to combat feelings of loneliness. During the pandemic, you might have found that you spent more time gaming online than you used to as a way to talk to and spend time with friends that you would have otherwise seen at school. Well, it turns out that it is a pretty effective method of combating loneliness and improving general feelings of happiness according to research carried out by Oxford University. So maybe show your parents this when they say that gaming isn’t good for you.

Social skills

During the pandemic, we all had to stay at home a lot more than we usually would have to. Without being able to go and see mates in the park, at school, at work or in our homes, there was very little choice for how to hang out with friends. The options were basically a millionth zoom quiz or gaming. So it’s not surprising that playing games online is good for our social skills. It can help build new friendships and relationships with people all over the world who share a common interest, or just hang out with people already in our lives. Either way, it’s a win.

Emotional Resilience (learning to lose) 

One thing that’s a guarantee when it comes to gaming is that at some point or another, you are going to lose. Well, learning to lose graciously is a really important emotional and social skill that we all have to learn at some point. Being a bad loser will certainly lose you a lot of friends. Learning how to pick yourself up after failing at something is a crucial part of life, so keep that in mind the next time someone beats you.

Sense of achievement 

Every game you’ll ever play has a goal; a reason to want to win. Whether it’s an individual battle or race, or part of a longer storyline, there will be plenty of opportunities to pursue within a game. Sure, sometimes you won’t reach it, or maybe not in the way you want, but having something to strive towards is always going to be a part of whatever your favourite game is. A victory of any size is a victory all the same.

Conclusion

So, you’ve definitely got a few reasons why gaming is good for your mental health to back you up next time one of your parents tells you to give it up. But, there is always the danger of too much of a good thing. Remember, whether you consider gaming a passing task you do every now and then, or if you think of yourself as a serious hobbyist, when the fun stops, give yourself a break from it. 

Want to know more about what gaming can do for you? Find out all about it on our gaming hub here.

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For many people, gaming isn’t just entertainment for them, it is a part of their lives every day allowing them to relax, socialise with their friends or just find some escapism.

You may hear that playing games is a waste of time and that your time would be better spent outside with your friends, but it turns out that playing games can teach you a lot, and a lot of these skills can be used in ‘real-life’ circumstances too. Whether you are just playing to relax or grinding hard to become better at a competitive game, you are learning transferable skills that will be useful in your academic studies or in a future workplace.

Each of these are seen as ‘soft-skills’, meaning the way we adapt to different moments, work with other people, solve problems and make decisions. Soft skills are typically seen as more important in many different industries and roles.

Sometimes a game gives us an opportunity to practice skills and learn lessons we normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to in real-life. There is even evidence that playing games has positive effects on your exams too!?

There are loads of skills that players learn during gameplay and we’ve come up with 5 nearly all gamers will develop that will help you to be successful in life.

Creativity

Gaming isn’t just about fighting and using weapons against one another, it can be a place to build, explore and design.

A recent study has shown that games such as Minecraft help players to foster creative skills such as thinking outside the box and using their imagination to generate new ideas. Games where you have the freedom to explore unique worlds, expand your vision, and face challenges can help you to be creative.

But what good is creativity in the ‘real’ world?

Being creative helps you to view and solve problems in loads of different ways, it allows you to become more innovative in our thinking, come up with new ideas and helps you think outside the box. Creativity causes you to develop your ideas into actual things rather than just words on a notepad, and because of that, creativity can help you develop confidence as you are more willing to try new things and make errors and mistakes.

QUOTE: “Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing. If you have ideas, but don’t act on them, you are imaginative, but not creative.”

Not only is creativity the top skill that employers look for in a candidate, but it will also be needed to solve some of the biggest challenges that we’re facing like climate change or poverty.

Oh and being creative can also help with stress relief. So have a look at 101 ways you can reduce your stress by clicking on button below.

Resilience

Games can be tough and have an ever-increasing challenge, but powering through a game without quitting and having temper-losing urges will help players to build their resilience – another key skill needed to be successful in life.

But this trial and error way of playing can be super useful in the gaming world because it boosts your confidence and allows you to know when you are wasting your time, or progressing with instant feedback.

Playing games helps develop both our patience and determination skills, which combined with resilience, are incredibly important in life because it helps us to develop coping mechanisms to stressful situations that could otherwise be overwhelming. 

It is known that gamers spend roughly 80% of their time failing, so through repetitive trialing (e.g. respawning in games such as Call of Duty), or moments where you finally lose a game after playing for hours, gamers are developing positive qualities that will help them to build back stronger and better.

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Communication

Everyone who plays games knows that communication is key if you want to complete a mission with your teammates, finish last in a battle-royale or win a 5v5 match, and this skill is also vital to being more successful and happier in life. For introverts, gaming is a helpful way to develop social and communication skills that feel awkward and challenging in real life.

And as we found out in the pandemic, gaming allowed us to develop new friendships with people all over the world. It didn’t just allow us to spend time doing fun things with one another (which itself is an important part of developing friendships), but gave us opportunities to talk about and process important issues that happen everyday, including the pandemic and our mental health.

Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important life skills to learn. There are three types of communication that can be used inside a game:

  • Verbal: your voice on voice comms
  • Visual: sharing images, graphs and maps
  • Written: using in-game chat

Each of these can be practiced within many different games, allowing yourself and others to understand information easily and quickly (which is extremely important in both school and work). Great communication can also improve cooperation in teams, develop better friendships and finish your work faster.

For some people, communication takes a lifetime to master. But with the help of gaming, this skill is being practiced everyday.

Teamwork

They say teamwork makes the dream work, but in life, how useful is being a team-player?

Teamwork is an important part of most games out today, and will help players to improve their own gameplay. Just like we mentioned with communication, playing well with the rest of your team is going to help you win more games, complete them faster and unlock more items.

There are almost no situations in which teamwork is not important in life. Be it at work, in relationships, families, sport or most hobbies. Teamwork has proven to boost productivity and collaboration in areas outside of gameplay such as home, school and work. It’s said that teamwork will make you happier, more efficient, and more innovative.

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Problem solving

Playing a game typically forces you to quickly analyse situations and decisions, or alternatively plan long-term strategic decisions. This, coupled with the under-pressure nature of gaming, allows players to try out different things and test new ideas to see what works best. As already mentioned, gamers are out-of-the-box problem solvers, but these skills will actually help you to solve real-world problems faster too!

Strong skills in problem solving allow you to empower yourself in both your personal and professional life, with gamers experts in overcoming challenges with a problem-solving mindset.

Video games provide players with a safe space to try new and different ways to solve problems. Because a video game gives instant feedback, it can be a much quicker way to try multiple solutions to solve puzzles, decisions and problems without the risk of a mistake. Being able to adjust to these mistakes is a life-skill that, like resilience, will help you become a mentally-stronger person.

Gaming can help improve the brain cells connected to memory, critical thinking, retention and learning. It is often recommended as a way to help older people keep their brains healthy so it’s gotta be a good thing to do!


There are many other ways gaming can be beneficial to ‘real life’ and we aren’t alone in thinking that. In a survey in the United States, it was even revealed that 42% of respondents felt like they’ve learned more life skills through video games than in school.

And if you are not into video games themselves, you can still get the same benefits from playing puzzles, board games, card games and more. Playing games in general is known to be both relaxing and a challenge simultaneously, allowing your brain to switch off and feel motivated at the same time.

———

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Starting anything new can be overwhelming to say the least. A new game or console can present a huge amount of fun and opportunity, but it can also be daunting as to where to start. To help you get that gaming confidence, we’ve got a list of top tips to help you get the most out of the world of gaming.

Find your Game

From car racing, adventure games to character led stories and world building, how do you know which game is right for you? There are thousands of options to choose from and just because everyone loves one particular game, doesn’t mean you have to play it too. 

It can be useful to start with what topics and stories interest you the most, and see where your searching takes you. Sometimes watching gameplay and trailers or reading a review might spark an interest in a game. In the wonderful world of gaming, there’s options for everyone!

Follow creators

There are thousands of creators who love to share their gaming experience with the world. Live streams, first-looks and walkthrough videos are all across the internet for you to decide which game is the right one for you. Start with creators you know and like, and see who they follow and collaborate with. Finding new creators might get you to discover games that would have passed you by!

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Start easy

You might be a seasoned pro or a complete noob at the game, if so, it is sometimes best to start easy and up the difficulty as you go. Starting a game at a low difficulty level, so you get to experience the story and build up your confidence with the game before getting too frustrated is a much more fun experience with a brand new game. If you find yourself stuck on a certain level for too long, watch YouTube videos, join a Discord group or ask the forums/chats for help.

Read the forums

Contribute to a positive Game Community; See what people are saying about the game you’re playing. Forum support is a great way to see what hints and tips people are giving away. You’ll be able to see what areas people are getting stuck on, and help each other overcome problems at various stages. You could also watch some gameplay on twitch and see how people are playing the game. If you’re unsure what game you want to start with, maybe ask the community what they would suggest.

Where to look? The list is endless, here’s a few: GameFAQs, IGN, GameSpot, Reddit, The Verge, VGR. With loads of online communities to choose from. For more on how other gamers start conversation in online forums view ours

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Find friends

Are there chat rooms in the community or in the game? Start by introducing yourself and talking about your interests. If you’re stuck on a tricky level, see if other people have had the same experience too, and ask how they got around it. Make sure to use direct questions like ‘Why does my PC keep crashing?’, ‘How can I win against this boss?’.

You’ll find that building relationships with fellow gamers can make a huge positive difference on your gaming experience.

Finding friends who are nice and not toxic helps to build confidence and boost each others’ self-esteem. You will all get better the more you play, so you can help each other through the different levels in the game. However, if you find yourself being bullied online, here’s our guide to the do’s and don’ts of how to deal with it here

Please remember to keep safe on all forums and chats, for advice on safety and how to stay safe whilst gaming click the button below:


For more information and support for gaming and gamers, check out the our Unite Gaming hub here:

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Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if someone is just having a bit of banter with us, or if they have a more insidious motive. Bullying in an online game is a lot more common than you might think, and knowing what to do about it can be difficult. So what are the signs of it, and how do you deal with it when it happens?

Signs of in-game abuse 

We know from our research that 7 in 10 young people experience cyberbullying before turning 18. A little known way in which this can happen is in an online game. Here are some of the key signs:

  • They call you names in chats or over headsets
  • They regularly kill you in FPS games
  • They encourage others in the game to gang up on you 
  • They bully you about your ability 
  • They make remarks about your gender, race, or other traits 
  • They harass you consistently
  • They might make fun of you in real life, if you know them offline as well
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What can you do about it? 

Responding to online harassment and bullying in a game can be a difficult thing to do. It can feel like there is no real way of solving it when you don’t actually know who is behind the screen name. But there are plenty of things you can do to put a stop to it and seek support. 

  1. Keep a record

If you can, try to keep screen shots or screen recordings of when the abuse happens. This will give you some solid proof if it comes down to it. Also make sure you know their screen name as this is the only way you’ll be able to report them. Keeping a record means you have evidence when speaking to moderators. 

  1. Report it 

You might feel like you don’t want to, or wonder what good it will do, but reporting abuse to the moderators and administrators of the game or game publisher is the best way to get this stopped. Every game will have its own reporting feature so familiarize yourself with this, and have your proof on hand when you do. It is worth doing as you don’t know who else this person is harassing.  

  1. Don’t seek revenge 

It can be tempting to give as good as you get, but this will make you vulnerable to being reported as well. Try to keep calm. Take a break from the game if you need to whilst moderators are dealing with the problem. 

  1. Tell someone in your life about it 

The game and gaming is your hobby and you care about it. Feeling like you can’t play it because of how someone is treating you is bound to have an effect on you, so make sure you include someone supportive in your life in what you are going through. 


We are always here to help, if you would like a confidential chat click here, or join our lovely community below.


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One of the best things about online gaming is being able to do it with people all over the world. Meeting people through games can be really rewarding, as there is a guarantee you have at least a few things in common with them, and it’s good to have people to play with that you’ve gotten to know in that space.

However, sometimes, not everyone is what they seem behind the screen. With online gaming, you never get the opportunity to actually see them, or really tell if what they are telling you is true. So we’ve put this together to help you identify some of the red flags of a catfish, or even a predator. 

Ask yourself:

  • Do they try to get personal information out of you, like how old you are, what your real name is, where you live and who you live with? 
  • Have they ever said anything to you that made you feel awkward or uneasy?
  • Does something not quite add up in their stories they tell you?
  • Do they refuse to speak over a headset, even though you and others have been using one?
  • Are they weirdly somehow ALWAYS online when you log on? 
  • Have they ever pressured you to send pictures, or meet up in person? 
  • Are they sending you gifts for no reason?
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If you are unsure:

  • Talk to a trusted adult – whether it be a parent, older sibling or close friend. Talking about how you feel can really help make sense of your emotions and a situation.
  • Ask the person why they need to know your personal information.
  • Make your profile private, and deny friend requests from people you don’t know.
  • If they become persistent, block them on your chat platform. Even if it’s only for a few days, give yourself time to reflect on what they are saying/asking.
  • Trust your instincts, you don’t have to say anything you don’t want to. If something doesn’t feel right to you, you don’t have to reply.
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How to protect yourself:

  • Never give out personal information.
  • Ensure your screen name does not contain personal information like your name or birthday.
  • You could even come up with a cool name to use in games that’s completely different to your real name.
  • Keep a record of anything they do that makes you uncomfortable, you might need it in the future to report them.
  • Report them as soon as you suspect they have bad intentions, you can find out how and where in loads of the most popular games here.

For more information and support for gaming and gamers, check out the our Unite Gaming hub here.

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If you are being abused when you are playing Fortnite, please click here on how to report it.

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One of the main things you probably hear from your parents when you turn on your console or computer is that you should “go out and see your friends”. This is because one of the biggest misconceptions of gaming is that it is not a social activity, but you aren’t spending the time alone, you’re playing with those exact same friends online.

We all had to do this during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, so we’ve become pretty used to it now.

It probably causes a few discussions and arguments in your house, so we’ve put together some of the biggest bonuses gaming can have for your social skills.

It helps you learn to lose well

Ever got so mad at your sibling when you lose to them at Monopoly that you thought you would never play again? Maybe chucked a controller halfway across the room? Yeah, that happens. But gaming regularly helps you learn to lose well, and there is nothing quite like a sore loser.

It helps you build team working skills 

Working in a team in an online game helps you build skills you need in life. Things like working in a team for a common goal, and sharing the glory when you win are things you will always need throughout your life.

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It builds your confidence 

Games challenge us and make us solve problems in different ways, you know that hard level it took you AGES to complete? Didn’t finally completing it make you feel amazing and that you could tackle the rest of the game?

The better we get at gaming, the more confidence we have in ourselves and our abilities. This new found confidence can help us outside of gaming in so many areas – meeting new people, trying out new things and even applying for jobs.

You can meet lots of new people in online games

Meeting new people is one of the most important things about online gaming and the social skills it builds. The best thing about that as well is that you are guaranteed to have at least a couple of things in common given you met doing the same hobby. However, if you are concerned that any of your online friends might not be who they seem, read this about how to stay safe online.

And watching Twitch streams 

Twitch and YouTube live streaming is another great way to chat to new people about online gaming. You can meet and talk to new people in the chats and even have the opportunity to speak with your favourite gamers on the platforms. You can ask them questions about their game play to improve your own and generally have a space to enjoy your hobby in a different format, in a group setting.

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And that’s all only when you play alone in your house

All of these are just when you play online but you’re still sitting playing alone. Of course, it doesn’t include when you have all your mates over for a tournament, or even just one or two for a bit of casual game-playing after school. It’s a great way to bond over something you have a shared love of, and even have the opportunity to talk about some important things in life. Many conversations can become a lot easier when you are occupied doing something else at the same time.

There’s also gaming events!

You’re playing games, loving life and finding your people in the online community. There’s also hundreds of events you can visit as a spectator or a player.

Gaming competitions, conventions and launch events allow people to meet in real life and share their love of gaming. You get to experience new places celebrating something you really love, with people that do too.


If you want to find out what gaming can do for your mental health, [read this], and if you’d like somewhere to talk about your love of gaming then join our community!


Want to learn more?

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No one likes to lose. From screaming and stamping your feet when you are little kid to maybe getting a little bit too upset and the games controller magically somehow flying across the room by itself, losing can really bring out a weird and quite angry side of most of us. Plus, we can’t even keep track of how many ‘sore loser’ moments have caused a big family feud around the Monopoly board at Christmas time. So, we think it might finally be time to nip this bad behaviour in the bud and make sure you can lose as gracefully as Jonathan Van Ness is on ice skates. 

1) Don’t get angry or aggressive 

We know – this is easier said than done right? When you are feeling fired up, it seems like the only solution is to shout about it. Actually though, getting angry is more than likely going to end up losing you access to online games if your anger becomes something more toxic, such as swearing or getting aggressive to other players. If you’re playing sphere is away from the console, then it might end up losing you some playing buddies as well. 

Try a quick technique for dispelling that feeling of anger bubbling up – the Naam Yoga Hand Trick. Using your fingertips, apply pressure to the space between the knuckles of your index and middle fingers. This creates a sense of immediate relaxation by activating a nerve that loosens the area around your heart (don’t worry, it’s not as life-threatening as it sounds). Whilst you are doing it, breathe in through your nose for three seconds, and out for three seconds. If only the Incredible Hulk knew this one. 

 

2) Try not to get too upset

Sometimes, you just can’t help it. The sting of defeat quickly becomes that familiar feeling of stinging behind your eyes like when your brother beat you at Connect 4 for the first time when you were a kid. 

The important thing to remember is that it is ok to feel upset about things, and often ignoring it will eventually make it worse. But, if this is part of a pattern of behaviour after losing every game you ever play even as you get older, there may be something that you need to have a think about addressing. 

When you start to feel like you feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sense of defeat, try a quick mindfulness technique. Breathing deeply and slowly, think about five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste around you.

Taking a moment to concentrate on something other than how upset or angry you are feeling and instead focus on your body should help to keep you calm and relaxed.

 

3) Don’t take it out on other players 

This a sure-fire way to lose any chance of playing again. Alienating other players by getting aggressive, rude or even harassing them could not only lose you friends, but it could also get you banned from playing long term – especially true if you are an online gamer or a tournament player in games like Magic the Gathering or Warhammer. 

If you are in an online game and you feel like another player has done you dirty through breaking the rules, or have been targeting you, report them. If it is Fortnite specifically, check out our guide to reporting in the game here

 

4) Don’t quit 

It can be super tempting when you are losing, to bow out of the game altogether.  Not only will this not solve anything, but it has the potential to ruin everyone else’s experience.

Instead of quitting, get back up and keep trying – the more you play any game, the better you will get. Use it as a learning opportunity, a chance to see what better players than you do and steal their skills for next time. You never know, when the next game rolls around, you could be one coming out on top because you stayed in the losing battle.

 

Check out our article on 7 Steps to Being a Better Gamer for more ideas on how to improve your online gameplay!

5) Remember – it’s only a game 

No matter if it’s a football match or FIFA, a battle royale in Tilted Towers or a battle for Mayfair in Monopoly, it is important to remember that it is only a game. Whilst yes, they are designed to be competitive, they are also designed to be fun.

If you find the game is stressing you out, take a step back from it and take a break from playing for a while. When you go back, you might find you enjoy it more, and you won’t have lost friends or respect like you might have done had you done some of the other stuff written above. We call that a win.

 


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The internet is pretty sweet right? We can all agree on that. But for people who are dealing with online hate, it can be a really rubbish place to spend time. The comments section on most articles, photos, YouTube videos and and celebrity Instagram’s are pretty much a minefield of tough to read insults or outright lies, and when that is directed at you, it can feel overwhelming and pretty damn lonely.

The most important thing to remember if you are going through online abuse is that you are not alone. We’ve got your back and that’s why we’ve created a toolkit of how to deal with online hate.

1) Breathe 

Getting angry after receiving some nasty comments is pretty unsurprising, especially when a lot of them are written just to upset you. Using breathing techniques will help get your emotions under control and give you a minute to think about what you want to do next.

Try following the GIF below – breathe in as the circle expands and breathe out as it gets smaller, and repeat. It might not have you feeling completely chill, but it should help to take the edge off and clear your mind a little. 

 

2) Think 

Being a keyboard warrior can be a good thing when it comes to saving the planet, or fighting injustice, but not so much when it comes to dealing with online hate. It’s natural to want to jump on your phone and start tapping away a reply that is both hilarious and devastating, but you might find yourself quickly stuck in a feud that even a drama channel would probably stay out of.

So, instead of insulting them back, think about what you really want to happen as a result of this – the chances are, a long drawn out argument in your DM’s is probably not the one. 

3) Report it 

Everyone should have a pretty basic understanding of when and where to report stuff online and on different platforms. You can find a super quick guide to where you can do it on the big 3 (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in our Ultimate Guide to Cyberbullying here.

You can also report it to us here if you have already tried reporting to social media sites with no luck and we will get it taken down for you. Basically, we’ve done all the work for you so you can just get it sorted!

4) Take a Break

If it’s on social media, take a break from it. We know it’s often easier said than done, when friends are organising their boss weekend plans in IG DM’s, but it will be pretty crucial to you feeling better. It can feel really overwhelming when you are dealing with online hate, but taking a break from where it is happening will help you realise that your world is much bigger than your inbox. 

Try leaving your phone at home when you hang out with your pals or put it somewhere safe and out of sight when you are chilling with the family, an turn off your social media notifications. Trust us, a little bit of distance from it will make the world of difference.

If you have a big following who expect to see some new pictures uploaded every day, try using a scheduling service so you can still take your much-needed break without your audience getting rowdy for their avocado toast pic.

4) Take Care of You 

Dealing with online hate can be really stressful. Try some stress management techniques to make sure you are looking after yourself through it all. This epic list of 101 Ways to Chill Out and Reduce Stress will give you some super speedy suggestions for getting on top of it, and you can also read our Ultimate Guide to Stress to understand a bit more about it. 

A bit of self-care goes a long way when you are dealing with online hate. Make sure you take a bit of time for yourself to do something you love or that you find relaxing that doesn’t involve being glued to your phone.

Why not try taking a long walk, practising a new makeup look or hairstyle, invite a friend out for a kick about or watch your fave movie complete with a gigantic bowl of popcorn. Doing what you love will help you focus on yourself rather than the situation and remind you that you are so much more than the hate you’re getting. 

6) Talk to Someone 

Getting online abuse can make you really angry but it can also make you feel pretty lonely. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone in this, and we’re certainly here if you wanna get it off your chest. Click here to join our community and get advice from real people like you and our trained mentors. 

Otherwise, talking to a trusted friend, parent, teacher, or colleague will help you have an outlet for what is going on and ensures you will have someone to support you through it.


Want to learn more?

This article is part of our #GamersUnite series. Visit the hub for more advice, tips and ways to support other gamers.

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Probably everyone at some point has thought about the possibility of making money from gaming at some point in their life. Maybe it was when you were 10 and mastering your Game Boy, or maybe you are deep watching Twitch streams every day after class now.

If you game frequently though, you know there are always ways to get better. That’s why we have put together a little list of tips for making the fastest improvements to your gaming.

1) Team work makes the dream work

It may be a very obvious thing to day, but if you’re game of choice is a team game, communication is the key to success. Always make sure you are updating others on your location, planning tactics or calling for the ball (#RocketLeagueForever) as well as letting the rest of your team know what the opposition are up to.

Just make sure you are staying on the right side of the rule book – Fortnite publishers Epic are anti-teaming in a solo game of Battle Royale and have said they will be cracking down on those who take on the 100 in illegal teams so make sure you are playing by the rules before creating a squad.

2) Play by the rules 

There has been a lot of talk recently about the level of cheating in online gaming. Whilst it might seem tempting as a quick way to rise through the ranks of your online opponents, cheating is a big risk. Apex Legends just banned 350,000 players for cheating in the game, and publishers Respawn can track hardware ID to ensure you can’t just start a new account with a new email.

Plus, it’s not just them – other publishers are cracking down on the use of cheating apps and tactics. Basically, don’t do it – or you’ll get banned at some point. And you can’t improve on your gaming with no game to do it in. 

3) Take it from the pros

It’s true in any sport ever – you learn from people who are better than you at the game. So put the controller down and hit up Twitch, YouTube, and Reddit. If your pals are better, take some pointers from them after they have had a particularly good run. It all adds up!

Also, if you can, get yourself down to a gaming expo or convention – these events are full of brands, publishers, developers and pro gamers who are literally waiting to share their advice, challenge you to tournaments and let you try new games. All of this experience is sure to add to your gameplay. 

4) Replay Replay Replay

If someone has owned you with a kill only Shroud could dream of, don’t take it personally. In fact, watch the action replays of how they managed it. That was you can see what you did wrong and what they did right so that you aren’t making the same mistakes twice, and steal their tactics for next time. You’ll soon have a streak to die for (not you though – you are too good to die now).

5) Cut the toxicity 

We’ve all heard a lot about toxic gaming lately. But it is true that cutting some of this behaviour, or removing yourself from a match that is full of it, will definitely help to improve your game play. Insulting, abusive language, cheating, blaming every bad move on other players – if you are filling up your game time with all of this then how are you ever going to get better?

Plus, if you are around it all the time, the game quickly becomes way less fun than before. So cut out the toxic behaviour from your gaming, whether it is you or others who are doing it, and start focussing on other things. 

6) Explore

It might sound obvious, but remember to have fun whilst you are playing. Explore new maps, worm out those elusive Easter Eggs you heard about on Twitter, play a round just with your buddies for the LOLs.

Taking it all too seriously is a sure fire way to get worked up, and anger never helped anyone to win a game of Battle Royale. This is a great way to reset any toxic behaviour and get your gaming back to having fun. Remember – if it’s fun, the hours you spend getting better will go by in no time. 

For daily inspiration, influencer takeovers, cute pics and loads more, follow us on Instagram @ditchthelabel

7) Take regular breaks

We’ve all had days where it just feels right, you are hitting your shots, getting lucky and everyone is playing like a dream. But sometimes we need to break up the days by moving our bodies, getting some fresh air and stretching.

This will help you get even better at gaming as it is proven that a break can improve attention spans, drinking water can improve your reaction times and sitting in a good posture will help your brain focus on the game more.

Find more ways to help you balance your gaming / life balance:


If you or someone you know is experiencing cyberbullying or just wants to talk about gaming, join the Ditch the Label community here and we can help.

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    Hope everyone is happy, and feeling good! If not then remember how incredibly brave and strong you are! Sending my love 💓
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What is trolling?

“Trolling” in an online game is most commonly used to described when players go out of their way to annoy everyone and make other players rage. The acts of trolling can range anywhere from committing friendly fire to just telling other players that they suck, repeatedly. Now, while this seems like harmless fun on the surface, it can have some really bad effects for those on the receiving end. Not only is the game ruined for everyone else but in some cases, the consequences can be way more severe than just a broken controller. 😡

So, what’s the problem?

Phrases like, “there’s no real harm” get thrown out a lot. This infuriates me because the point of trolling is to cause harm and effects of trolling are mostly all negative. One form of trolling is spamming game chats so that players reading it will be distracted and depending what kind of game you’re playing, the effects will vary. For example; in an FPS, the reader will likely die… (in game) this could ruin their hard work and KD ratio.

Another example would be if you’re playing online and the game chat is being spammed, half of the player’s screens are blocked. This prevents them from being able to score or defend. When people are trolling servers, it makes other players more likely to rage quit. This ruins games for everyone else because in most cases they will be replaced with a bot and who wants to play an online game filled with AI?!

Need to talk?

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Dear Trolls…

You might think “…but making them angry is the point?!” Well, my response is this… where’s the fun in that? What is the point in going out of your way to make someone that you can’t even see angry? In most cases it won’t affect their day, however in some, it can have a more serious effect. Trolling can have deeper impacts than you might think. For example, when taken too far, trolling can lead to paranoia and can affect sleep. I know this because of my own personal experiences online.

What games are doing to combat trolling

Aside from your usual timeouts or server bans, developers are taking steps to combat the trolls and prevent trolling. A prime example of this is Blizzard. Blizzard are the creators of the popular online shooter, Overwatch. What they have done is, when common trolling phrases are used such as “GG EZ” the text will automatically be changed into a randomly generated phrase by Blizzard. This can be anything from polite gestures to self-deprecating insults. Some examples include:


“Well played. I salute you all.”

“Gee whiz! That was fun. Good playing!”

“It’s past my bedtime. Please don’t tell my mommy.”

“I’m wrestling with some insecurity issues in my life but thank you all for playing with me.”

This was a wonderful idea from Blizzard and has had an overall positive effect to their online game chats. Hopefully, this will become commonplace amongst all Blizzard titles moving forward.

But wait… there’s more

In hardcore modes of Call Of Duty, players that team kill are kicked from the game. While this has been around for a while now, it is important to recognise the importance of the feature introduced all the way back in 2007. Simple things like this can be done to prevent trolling in online games.

It’s far from over

Despite developers best efforts, trolling is still a massive issue that continues to slow down the development of online gamers and gaming. Games are still being ruined by these unfunny people – we all have to do what we can to put an end to it. Not only must we block, mute and report them, but we have to do our best to make in game chats positive, safe spaces again for all gamers. As well as this, we have to let them know that they’re not affecting us, by not reacting to them at all. Don’t give people who troll the satisfaction of a response.🙄

Other than that, all we can really do is play on.

Have any experiences or thoughts on trolling? Disagree with me? Let us know in community. If you enjoyed this and want some more, click here for an article on some gaming terminology.

Want to learn more?

This article is part of our #GamersUnite series. Visit the hub for more advice, tips and ways to support other gamers.

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  • One sided friendship
    I've friend which I always have been considered as my bestie but my guts says he doesn't feel the same. I always defend him when needed but he never did the same ever, I always have my ears wide open for him but even if he listens it doesn't feel like he cares, I've had […]
  • Happy 4th of July!
    Hope everyone is happy, and feeling good! If not then remember how incredibly brave and strong you are! Sending my love 💓
  • Hi ^-^
    Hi everyone! I just wanted to introduce myself. 🙂 My name is Giuliana and my pronouns are she/her. I'm bi. I guess I'm just joining this community to find people to relate and talk to and share advice.
  • Nudes going around
    When I was bout 14 years old & it was somebody I liked…. And the snap said ha name & she said N4N so I sent mines first the whole time it was a dude 🤦‍♂️