Table of Contents
Gaming Health Risk Basics
The Dangers of Not Paying Attention to the Risks
Sample Content Preview
Chapter 2: Addiction
Addiction may occur because of several reasons. It can be due to the use of some substances, such as alcohol and prohibited drugs, shopping, gambling, and even video games. No matter what it may be, addiction always has some adverse effects to the person who is involved. The same thing goes with those people who are in the state of a gaming addiction. Know more about gaming addictions in this chapter.
Gaming Becomes Addictive
Gaming addiction is characterized by a compulsive or excessive use of video games or computer games that interferes with the everyday life of a person. Online gaming addiction holds a negative picture since it became a public concern. Addiction might present compulsive game playing, mood swings, social isolation, diminished imagination, and hyper focus on in-game achievements to the prohibition of other life events.
Anybody who goes through it is fully aware that gaming addiction is real. Even though gaming addiction is not yet recognized officially as a diagnostic disorder by the American Medical Association, it is evident that there is an increasing number of people, particularly preteens and teens, who are facing extremely real and sometimes, serious consequences linked with compulsive utilization of computer and video games.
Video games become more and more detailed, complex, and attractive to the increasing number of the global audience of gamers. With more realistic characters, better graphics, and more complex tactical challenges, it is no longer surprising as to why some teens will rather play their favorite video games instead of hanging out with their peers, playing outdoor sports, or even watching some TV programs.
Of course, not all gamers are addicts. A lot of teens may play video games for a couple of hours per week, while effectively balancing their grades, school activities, family obligations, and friends. On the other hand, for some, gamers it can be an irrepressible compulsion. Some studies have estimated that 10% to 15% of players show symptoms that meet the criteria of the World Health Organization for addiction. Similar to gambling and some other forms of compulsive behaviors, teenagers may become very enchanted in their fantasy gaming world that they even neglect their families, friends, school and work.
What Makes Gaming Addictive
Games are consequently designed to be simply difficult enough to become really challenging, while enabling players to attain small achievements that encourage them to keep playing. In this manner, video games design is the same to the gambling design of casinos that will enable players to obtain small “wins” which compel them from playing. In addition, there are a number of hooks that are established into the games with the intention of making them addictive. These hooks include the following:
Whether you have tried out the latest edition of Temple Run or have not played an online game ever, achieving a high score is one of the commonly identifiable hooks. With the attempt to beat a high score (though a player simply tries to beat his very own score) may keep a player motivated to play for hours.
The hook is not utilized in role playing games online. However, it is observed in just about every gaming program. The desire to beat a game is being fed as the player goes to a higher level, or locates the following hidden hint.
Role playing games enable players to do more than just play. With role playing games, people get to actually produce the characters within the game and go on board with an adventure that is fairly unique to each character. As a result, there is some emotional attachment a player produces towards the character, making it feel much more difficult to put an end to playing the game.
Once again, this is another main online “hook”. Role playing games online enable people to build rapports with other players. For some children, the online community is the place in which they are most accepted and that encourages them to play over again.
The discovery of exploration strategies is most commonly utilized in role playing games. Among the most well known games as of now are the “World of Warcraft”. A huge part of this game is basically spent exploring imaginary worlds. Such excitement of discovery (even with places nonexistent in reality) can be very compelling.
MMORPGs or Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games can be particularly addictive since there is not an end to it. Different from other standard games such as the well known Super Mario Brothers in which you will win once you save the princess, no princess is to be rescued on an MMORPG.
Another important consideration is that some people are more prone to any form of addiction compared to other people. Children, who feel easily bored, hold poor rapports with their family, feel like an outcast at school, or tend to seek sensation, are more likely drawn into gaming addiction as it fills an empty void and satisfies requirements that are not met anywhere else.
Aside from psychological addiction, it is now believed that there might also be some physiological elements to addictive game playing. Some researchers have conducted certain studies about this concern. They have found that the levels of dopamine in the brains of players doubled as they play their games. Dopamine is the mood-regulating hormone that is linked with a sense of pleasure. The study’s findings show that gaming can really become chemically addictive.
Even though the debate continues on as to whether or not gaming addiction is a diagnosable condition, such behavior definitely exists. The mixture of purposeful programming of designers along with the predisposition of a few teens have towards addictive behavior simply means that it is a real concern that parents, friends, and teachers must be well aware of and perform precautionary action to put an end to.
Chapter 3: Aggression
Addiction to gaming may eventually lead to aggression. With continuous playing of fantasy games with aggressive situations and hostile characters, a player may increase his aggression level, which is never healthy to one’s emotional and cognitive health.
An Addict Becomes Aggressive
An increasing rate of aggression and violence among teenagers and children is among the most essential issues experienced by many parents these days. However, people hardly ever considered that entertainment media such as movies, TV and video games may be an essential contributing factor to the increasing development of violent behavior among these young people.
Perhaps, video games are the most considerable entertainment source for teenagers that were born after 1970. From then on, it has infused the world of kid’s entertainment and has become the subject of several researches and studies because of its alleged role in influencing child psychology and behavior.
The outcomes of several studies have highlighted that video gaming could have more intense negative effects on kids compared to that of movies and television. Video games require a player’s active participation and this can have far reaching impacts on a child psychology and behavior. While video games become more and more engaging naturally, children often actively participate in those games and also think of themselves as an aggressor. Aside from this, video games normally reward such violent activities that further put kids at risk for initiating aggressive behaviors and thoughts. Furthermore, children play the games over and over again and one of the vital keys to learning is repetition and participation. That is why video games can instill more aggressive behaviors among young children as compared to passive media such as movies and television.
Aggression and violence depicted among video games, when practiced within the real world, may lead to severe injuries and even death. Excessive playing of video game might lessen a child’s empathy or his/her desire and willingness to help other people around them.
Aside from this, excessive video game playing may have a negative impact on the child’s academic performance. As mentioned earlier, it may also lead to social isolation because children likely spend less time hanging out and interacting with friends and family members. Another essential harmful effect of video gaming is that it can affect the perception of the child about different gender roles, since women as normally represented as the weaker character or victim in several forms of these games.
Therefore, parents have an essential role to play when it comes to making sure that the harmful or negative effects provided by video games don’t actually outweigh the positive ones it can also provide. To be able to achieve this, they may limit the length of time for playing. In addition, they may also choose to participate in the game playing and get to discuss the adverse effects of aggression and violence and their inefficiency or inappropriateness in solving problems within the real world. Aside from this, teenagers and children must be encouraged to take part in other activities and games so that they do not become addicteded to playing video games.Other Details
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