Playing video games is an activity most people of all ages enjoy. To a certain extent, video games are beneficial to us. However, when it becomes an addiction, it could cause several negative impacts on one’s body and mind. Let’s dive into what are the common negative effects caused by gaming:
Lack of social interaction
When gamers are addicted to the online world, they tend to stray away from establishing relationships with others in real life. When there are multiplayer options offered by online games, players are able to form a virtual friendship or relationship with others, even when they aren’t located in the same area or country. In a way, it is similar to making friends from all around the world, except they are all online relationships. This could cause isolation as players would think they already have friends online, why would they bother making friends in real life too? This could result in a common negative effect, which is social anxiety where gamers would lack social skills.
Emotional or verbal abuse
Gaming tends to get some players riled up, especially when it comes to competitive games. Online games usually come with an in-game chat where players are free to use and communicate with one another. In-game chats are extremely important so they could come up with a strategy in order to win the game. There are nasty players who will take advantage of the chat and hurl several abusive words to one another, which could result in someone being a victim of emotional or verbal abuse. Some of the most common forms of abuse would be gaming clan names that are made to insult other players, such as ‘Anti-LGBT Clan’ where a group of people are against homosexual individuals.
An increase of dopamine
Dopamine is a hormone that secretes from the brain. This hormone is released from your brain when you play video games, which causes happiness and joy that comes from the activity. Once you start playing video games regularly, you will slowly get used to the feeling of having constant dopamine excreted from your brain. Thus, if you perform an activity that doesn’t give you the same stimulation as video games, you’ll be bored to death. Dopamine addiction is something that can’t be easily cured. In short, this is how video game addiction forms as well.
Poor motivation and mental health conditions
People get addicted to video games due to the fact that they are able to overcome challenges and reach a certain goal, for example, getting to the next level in the game. Similar to real life, we feel good if we are able to achieve a goal or status. Hence, gamers will turn to online games in order to feel satisfaction and motivation that comes from the games, without having the need to achieve them in real life, which is in conjunction to our next point. This can also result in poor mental health conditions such as depression, low self-esteem and negative emotions. The reason being, if you can’t achieve these goals offered on the online games, you’ll feel demotivated, sad and depressed in real life.
Virtual world Vs Real life
Gamers tend to be so immersed in the virtual world that they neglect their real life as a whole. One may want to escape reality by constantly playing online games and form friendships in the virtual world. When responsibilities and workload get overwhelming, it can be easy to escape them by diving into the online world and playing games excessively. In the virtual world, nobody really knows how you look or who you really are, unlike in real life, which is why some people would be able to be themselves without the fear of getting judged by others.
Exposed to potential health risks and injuries
Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) is one of the most popular injuries that occur with all gamers. This is also known as repetitive motions performed using their wrists or hands. When this happens, your hands or wrists could be inflamed. A few of the common injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, trigger finger and gamer’s thumb. Aside from injuries, there are several health risks as well including eyestrain, caused when you spend too many hours staring at the screen. You might even have to wear glasses if your vision gets affected.