These both have been linked in a number of studies, though the results can vary significantly depending on the game and its content. For instance, some research has shown that playing certain types of games can reduce stress and serve as an outlet for players to cope with mental health issues.
On the other hand, there is also evidence that playing violent video games can increase aggression levels and disrupt sleep patterns. Additionally, online gaming addiction has been associated with depression and anxiety symptoms.
What Is A Video Game Addiction?
Video Game Addiction is defined by the world health organization as excessive or compulsive use of video games that interferes with a person’s daily life. It is characterized by an inability to control the amount of time spent playing, a preoccupation with gaming, and withdrawal symptoms when not playing.
Video game addiction has been found to have negative consequences on not only mental health but physical health too. Too much gaming can have negative consequences in real life more than most gamers would like to believe. The brain’s reward system is many times abused by video games and can get some people almost hooked on dopamine.
Internet gaming addiction can lead to other mental health issues such as depression, social isolation, poor academic performance, and low self-esteem. It is important to note that not all people who play video games excessively suffer from an addiction, but it can become a problem if it begins to interfere with the person’s daily life.
Those struggling with internet gaming disorder should seek help from a mental health professional in order to find healthy ways to manage their symptoms.
At the same time, it is important to remember that excessive video gaming can lead to problems like sleep deprivation, reduced physical activity, and withdrawal symptoms from prolonged periods of gameplay. Additionally, certain types of video games have been found to be associated with increased aggression levels in players.
Therefore, it is important for people to practice moderation when engaging in video game activities and be mindful of the potential risks associated with excessive gaming. Additionally, gamers should ensure that their gaming sessions are balanced with other activities such as exercise or socializing that can benefit mental health.
By taking precautions and being aware of our own habits and feelings while playing video games, we can ensure that gaming remains an enjoyable and beneficial activity for our mental health.
Why Play Video Games?
With all the talk about how bad video games are and how its “ruining the new generation” why even play them in the first place? Video game play has been a vital part of the culture in the last 20-30 years and there’s a reason for that.
Commercial video games have also been found to help with stress relief and mental well-being. Playing can improve your mental well-being by providing goals and objectives to reach. By reaching your goals when you play games, you can feel more fulfilled, which can improve your overall well-being. Playing games that award trophies or badges for specific achievements can boost your sense of accomplishment.
Striving for more achievements can help motivate you. Additionally, games can help with mental health recovery, regardless of the type. They can act as a way to distract from psychological distress and discomfort. Video games are also a great way to make money these days too.
But the biggest factor is simply just for the fun of it. Video games give the user a unique and immersive experience that no other medium can provide. It’s because of this entertainment value that people continue to come back to video games. With so many different games and ways to play, it gives the player a unique and dynamic experience every time.
With how popular some games are there are very large communities. Some can span into the millions and this is how some people can develop interpersonal relationships. There are many examples online of how using online platforms people have become real friends and shared other life interests. Or even meet them in real life.
Making Money Playing Video Games
Another benefit of playing video games is that some gamers can even make a living doing it. The esports industry has exploded in the last few years and some professional leagues are now offering large sums of money for competitive play. There are also other ways to make money like streaming on Twitch, Youtube, or other platforms. Even playing as a game tester is a lucrative option if you have the qualifications and skillset to do so. If you’re very good at a game or many games you could make a career posting videos of gameplay or just giving tips. Even if you’re just decent or bad at the game you can make different types of videos. You can make funny videos of you playing or messing around with friends on the game. Many people have used this method with their friends to make millions of dollars.
Gaming and Social Anxiety
Are you experiencing nervousness while playing online games? It is common for individuals with gaming addictions to experience social anxiety which may worsen when playing video games frequently. This can lead to decreased social interaction and increased fear of the outside world. Video games may provide comfort and socialization for those with social anxiety, similar to those suffering from depression, without significant risk.
Mental health professionals have found that “nearly 80% of gamers say video games provide them with mental stimulation, relaxation, and stress relief” according to a 2019 study. A 2021 study published in the journal JMIR Serious Games found that there may be mental health benefits to playing video games that address symptoms of depression and anxiety. Researchers of this study concluded that video games can serve as a promising resource to mitigate depressive and anxiolytic symptoms.
Lack of Motivation
Playing too many video games can lower motivation levels for some individuals. Some parents believe that excessive gaming can lead to laziness in children, not because of limited free time for other activities. Video games can fulfill various needs typically met through hobbies, including skill development and creativity. Additionally, video games offer a social outlet where individuals can connect and exchange ideas.
Can Playing Video Games Help Mental Health?
While there are potential risks associated with playing video games, studies have also shown that certain types of gaming can actually benefit mental health. For example, some research has found that playing puzzles or strategy games can improve problem-solving skills and increase creativity. Certain genres of video games such as role-playing games have been associated with enhanced emotional regulation and increased empathy towards characters in the game. Additionally, playing online multiplayer games can provide an avenue for socializing with others which may help reduce depression symptoms in players.
Overall, it is important to remember that not all video games are created equal and each person’s experience will vary based on the type of game they play. Therefore, it is important to find the right balance between entertainment and mental health when playing video games. By taking these considerations into account, gamers can ensure that their gaming experience remains enjoyable while reaping the potential mental health benefits of playing as well.
The ultimate goal is to find a balance that allows us to enjoy our favorite video games without compromising our mental health. By taking the proper precautions and being mindful of our own habits and feelings, we can ensure that gaming remains an enjoyable activity for us and our mental health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get rid of video game addictions?
Researchers are still investigating how video game addiction develops. Currently, there are no standardized treatments for gaming disorder, so it is often treated using psychobehavioral treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, similar to substance or gambling disorders. However, there are some encouraging medication options that can help reduce the strong desire to game and impulsive gaming tendencies.
Is video gaming addiction a mental illness?
Video gaming addiction can be considered a mental illness if it leads to significant distress and impairment in functioning. It is important to remember that not everyone who plays video games excessively is addicted; however, some people may develop an unhealthy pattern of use that could interfere with their daily life.
Can playing video games help reduce anxiety?
Yes, playing certain types of video games can help reduce anxiety. Research suggests that puzzle and strategy games can improve problem-solving skills and increase creativity while role-playing games have been associated with enhanced emotional regulation. Additionally, online multiplayer games provide an avenue for socializing which may help reduce depression symptoms in players.
Can playing video games cause depression?
Excessive gaming can lead to lower motivation levels and some parents believe this could result in laziness. Additionally, playing too many video games can lead to social isolation and symptoms of depression. It is important to find a balance between entertainment and mental health when playing video games.