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1689130cookie-checkTwo sides of video gaming: hobby or addiction?
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11 March 2022

Two sides of video gaming: hobby or addiction?

Like it or not, video games are a genuine way to unwind in your free time. These days, gaming is the most popular pastime activity in the world! Speaking in numbers, over 3 billion people worldwide enjoy playing video games on a regular basis. Several things influenced this burly number of active players: the availability of remote devices and the internet, coronavirus lockdowns, and overall, technological advancements coupled with new gaming trends.

Like everything else that attracts a lot of attention, video games are also a target for critics. Typically, gaming has been presented as something that can trigger and/or cause violence, anxiety, and a variety of social adaptation and mental health problems. Is there any truth to these claims? 

The Dark Side of Video Games

Anything that is used excessively can have negative effects on people, including playing video games. The most important thing is to know when it’s time to quit a game or take a break, to have self-control, to know your limits. It can be pretty dangerous for both your emotional and physical health to lose track of time while gaming. The following have been reported as potential outcomes of excessive gaming:

  • Addiction. Probably the most dangerous side-effect of excessive video games consumption. This problem is so prevalent that it has been recognized and acknowledged as pathology by the World Health Organization.
  • Aggression and violence. Not yet medically cleared, but some experts claim that there exists a link between excessive gaming and underage aggression in certain groups of minors.
  • Problems with concentration. When you are too focused or emotionally dependent on a source of dopamine, you have problems concentrating on other things happening in your life. Video games demand attention and concentration from the player, giving rewards in return which encourages reward and pleasure-based seeking behavior. After a while, the brain focuses only on resolving problems in the game and advancing further to obtain more rewards: reaching new levels, earning bonuses. This prevents adequate functioning in everyday life, which mostly comprises of chores and tasks that do not provide immediate gratification.
  • Living in an unreal world. When you engage in a virtual game, you are stepping into another world which is often far more fun than real life. Spending too much time in that unreal video universe will make the real world disappointing and your willingness to engage with it will significantly decrease. This problem can go so far that players can persuade themselves that they are the characters from the game: superheroes or villains.

Video Games Advantages

There are always two sides of a coin. Yes, when used excessively, games can be quite dangerous, but if the players understand and exercise boundaries, gaming can even be beneficial. Several studies show the following advantages of entertaining video releases :

  • Gaming Communities. The iGaming critics would disapprove of this fact, but the studies have shown that video gaming is a social activity. Yes, at first glance video games do seem like a passive activity: sitting alone, just you and the game. But, if you are not a player yourself, you don’t know how huge the iGaming community is. Thousands of players worldwide, sharing their strategies and ideas while building a strong community that sticks together.
  • New Skills. It’s not easy to play a game, especially modern releases that require a lot of thinking  , fast decisions, and quick reactions. Each title is a puzzle that needs a solution; depending on the genre, players must put in a lot of logical and tactical , hand-to-eye coordination, planning, organization of strategy, critical points of view, and finally- speed in every way.

Conclusion

The smart thing to do here is to understand that games are meant to be fun. Just that; an activity that can help you relax, unwind, distance from problems for an hour or so. If you let yourself get dragged into a virtual world, you will need a lot of time and energy to find your wait out. At all times remember: video games can be addictive. Play responsibly!

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