Do you or someone you know spend hours at a go playing video games? Have you sometimes been so attracted to some game that you just did not have enough of it? Do you sometimes feel what starts off as only a break from mundane and straying into a video game stretches to endless hours till your eyes start watering and fingers start aching controlling the keys?
If you answered a yes to more than one question, you most certainly belong to a tribe of avid gamers whose adulation for video games is almost bordering an addiction.
Yes, you heard it right. Pathological addiction to video games is a definite reality in today’s world. the number of cases at the psychiatrist waiting room with similar symptoms gives us a fair idea that it is a widespread malaise.
Who is most affected?
While talking about the groups of people who are most affected are young teenagers and more men than women. Well, but not everything about video gaming is bleak. There are some positives as well when we talk about video games.
The positive benefits of gaming:
It helps our mental cognition:
- Puzzle/solving games:
When we play mind games like puzzles like the digital anagram or Tetris, we ask ourselves questions which we involuntarily solve while playing the game. The method of challenging your own brain works very well. sometimes, we don’t play puzzle games for long enough but social scientists are of opinion that people whose brains are inclined to problem-solving will love to play puzzles and other solving games at least for a small part of their gaming time.
- Shooting and violence games:
Most men will love to play this genre of the game over the others. Even though there are more disadvantages in exposing such gory games to youngsters like teens and pre-teens, it is believed to improve visual-spatial capacity in older people. The part of the brain that deals with things in their environment need to constantly be stimulated and this is very well attempted by playing video games such as where the opponent has to be hunted out in a thicket or a kidnapped child has to be searched from a factory where there are stockpiles of cartons kept.
- The games that revolve around decision making:
According to researchers Han and Renshaw, the ability of the brain to solve problems that are time bound like searching for an object, hunting down an object, identifying colors and patterns and games which involve memory skills and picture pairing act as vitamins to the brain and propel the mental cognition of the player.
- Gaming improves dexterity:
The ability to use the hands as much as your thoughts and instincts are the skill called Dexterity. It is similar to improving dexterity in real life, for example, playing baseball or the violin. If the person is dexterous which he will be after continuous practice it will also improve his brain activity.
Drawbacks of playing the video game:
Your eyes take the toll:
Continuously blinking at the screen can take a toll on your eyes and they can start becoming strained or watery;
Dopamine and the brain activity connection:
Too much of screen watching is also linked to the secretion of dopamine in the body which can affect the concentration ability of the person. consequently, it can also affect the sleep pattern of the subject;
Too much video gaming can leave too little empathy:
A lot of people who play excessive games show a condition which is bereft of empathy. They seem to be not bothered about the situation in the society bordering on indifference as well;
It is also linked to aggressive behavior:
This especially in children and young adults, too much video gaming is associated with built up in aggressive behavior. They do not think two times before raising their hands.
Becoming less social:
Not meeting friends and socializing is sometimes output of too much of gaming. The subject feels cut out from the world and rather be by himself than go out and make friends! It also results in social awkwardness which is serious!
Moderation is the key
There is no totally good or totally bad about video games. As we understand it now, the key is in moderation. Play as much as to be entertained and not feel bored and stop when you think it is becoming a problem.