Online gaming is often noted to have a negative effect on health, since many hobbyists spend considerable amounts of time sitting in a chair moving only their arms. It is true that some online games can be quite addicting, but there are also some benefits to be gained from online gaming.Brain StimulationScience has shown that elderly people who continue to learn and stimulate their brain are at less risk of developing memory problems or other illnesses related to the brain and thought processing. There are many ways to stimulate the brain and keep it healthy and alert, but video gaming is one of the best options. There are so many games available today, that you could play something different and give your brain a new challenge every single day for the rest of your life.The best one for brain stimulation are those that involve puzzles, trivia, or other forms that require concentration and deep thought. Matching games and puzzles that require you to think in creative ways can go a long way to keeping your brain young and witty.Enhanced Social SkillsThe best online games available today have a social element. From the many Facebook games that allow players to help one another reach new levels and skills to games that mimic real life interactions with others, there is a dynamic social world developing online. Many online gamers feel they are a part of an extended family, and so develop close personal relationships with those they routinely play with online.There is a lot to be learned about human interaction and communication skills from these. If you spend enough time playing, you will meet many other people from around the world. This gives a broader experience of the world, and teaches you how to communicate and get along with others in the real world.The best games for development and refinement of social skills are those that replicate real world interactions. One such would be Second Life. Players can actually earn money to be used in their offline lives if the open a business in the game and charge human paying customers for services or products given to their online identities.Children Safe at HomeThere are parents who complain that gaming online is making their children unhealthy, but many other parents want their children to play online games. They want their children to have a good time and grow up happy, but they know that there is a lot of trouble to be found out on the streets today. These parents would rather have their children take up online gaming than start roaming the streets and getting into trouble.These are just three of the benefits that can come from taking up online gaming as a hobby. There are far less productive things that could be considered hobbies, and valuable real life lessons can now be learned. Those in search of a safe, convenient way to fill their spare time can benefit from finding a few online games they enjoy.