Video games, often known as gaming, are played by 164 million Americans, or half of the population. Contrary to common opinion, video games aren’t exclusively for teenagers. Only 21% of gamers were under the age of 18 according to a recent poll. While gaming may be a pleasant diversion or hobby (and is even becoming a competitive sport on many college campuses), excessive gaming has health hazards. What are these dangers? We’ll dive deep into this today.
Negative Effects of Video Games on Emotions
The amygdala becomes activated when we experience fear, anxiety, humiliation, or other unpleasant emotions. The amygdala, a region of the brain, is in charge of unpleasant emotions. It’s also important for our learning circuitry since it connects to the hippocampus, our brain’s learning center.
However, fMRI studies have revealed that playing video games when our amygdala is engaged causes it to calm down. Alexithymia is a condition caused by the constant suppression of unpleasant emotions. If someone is alexithymic, it implies they have difficulty determining their own emotional state.
Negative Effects of Video Games on Relationships
Relationship problems caused by too much video games are a typical occurrence among gamers and their families. When people become overly engrossed in video games, they overlook other aspects of their lives. Healthy and supportive connections with family, friends, and loved ones are the first to disappear.
Maintaining relationships requires effort. They are similar to plants in that if they are neglected for a long period of time, they will wither and die. Relationships need to be nurtured on a daily basis in order to flourish or simply stay alive. When a person spends the majority of their time playing video games, however, there is practically no time left in the day to communicate with friends and family, much alone explore romantic connections.
Negative Effects of Video Games on Social Isolation
In the gaming world, social isolation is a serious issue. This is one of the most often discussed harmful impacts of video games. Despite the fact that we play multiplayer games, we seldom connect with the other players. Some communities are better than others for genuine human connection. Those, however, are the exceptions. Isolation has been shown to be harmful to one’s mental health. Human beings were not created to be solitary animals. We flourish in communities where we can provide each other assistance.
In a 2009 Iranian study of second-grade kids, it was shown that those hooked to video games had worse social skills than those who were not. Social interaction is a talent that will decrease if you spend most of your time alone in your room, playing video games, and not engaging with other people in real life. This can cause social anxiety, which exacerbates the condition.
Gaming in moderation
Moderation is the key, as it is with many other hobbies that have potential advantages and drawbacks. Most of the negative effects of gaming may be reduced, if not eliminated, by limiting the amount of time spent in front of the screen and participating in healthy activities such as exercising or socializing in the real world rather than the virtual game world.