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Beware of the impacts of gaming addiction

Muzamil Arif

Technology has become an essential aspect of modern life, everything having something to do with it in one way or the other. However what is most popular particularly among youth and teens is video games. They involve human interaction especially teenagers and many researches have been done on the effects of video games on human mind and body that show both positive and negative impacts. As we know not all video games contain violent contents, but most of them are violent and mentally exhausting. Some researches admit that violent games may cause adolescents to become violent in behavior while some other studies show that video games increase psychological awakening,

Excessive gaming that largely deals with violent content could also increase aggressive behavior and insistence among the youth and trigger a certain type of emotions and thoughts in them leading them to finally let lose the sense of balance and social bonding. It’s true that video games that have violent content attract more adolescents and some such games even reward players for doing violent actions.

A study on two groups showed that the group that plays violent games were generally more inclined to think that using marijuana and drinking alcohol was normal and legal besides considering cheating in many ways as a means of reaching to the top. Contrary to this, other studies found positive effects related to video games in several youth.

Development of electronic and computer games are a great threat for youth and adolescents and can lead to psychological disorders and depression in these groups. In previous times, kids were involved playing with other children, but children of today spend most of their time on computer games as soon as they understand and acquainted with them, while these games cannot create any emotional and human relationship.

Excessive gaming repeatedly over long periods can potentially cause physical strain and even some studies indicated REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY (RSI) among Children and young people who play games for extended periods. Stiffness, aches, pain and numbness are signs to watch out for. Eye strain is also common if you look at screens for long periods without taking breaks while as screen glare can also affect vision in the long run. Headaches and migraines may also be related to physical causes such as eye strain, bad posture or dehydration. Or they may be related to mental health issues – including anxiety and depression. Young gamers who get regular headaches should definitely see a doctor.

Lack of physical activity due to playing sedentary games for long periods can mean that people miss out on exercise. The World Health Organisation recommends that children and young people, aged 5 to 17, do at least 60 minutes of activity per day. This life style is also a big cause of poor nutrition or self-care as, when gaming addiction takes over, children and young people may skip meals, rely on junk food, taking less toilet breaks thus ensuring poor hygiene.

Poor posture is a big issue with people who are addicted to vidreo gaming. If you’re slouching in a chair or you’re hunched over your mobile, then it’s time to take a break. Whilst these positions won’t harm most children immediately, they can lead to serious problems in adulthood. Playing stimulating games for many hours at a stretch, particularly late at night, will make it harder to get to sleep.

Mental disorders are general and exist in every country.  According to  Fowlerr,  Tompsett, and  Braciszewski (2009),  a relationship  between depression and violent content in video games is possible. This implies that adults and children tend to be exposed to violence in real-life, whether as witnesses or victims. They also have poor mental health outcomes, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. WHO recently recognized gaming disorder as a mental health condition and added it to the international medical list.

Playing online games incessantly is not enough to be recognized as a disease. Instead, mental illness always arises when the players play online games for an extended period to the extent that it affects their daily lives. Therefore,  gaming  disorder is a “pattern  of chronic or repetitive gaming activity,” which causes the players to lose control of their gaming actions; they  start  considering gaming  as a priority  over all  other interests  and behaviour’s, leading to continued playing even though they may suffer from its negative consequences. Such consequences  may  include  disabilities  in  social  life  as  well  as  in  education  and  family relationships.

Further, if a parent interrupts a gaming session or broadband connection is down, what is the reaction of the player? If children or young people respond with anger or rage – including shouting, screaming or physical attacks, then this is something worth noting. Compulsivity is a strong sense of urgency to get back to gaming and if children and young people are compulsive in playing, it can manifest in playing late at night or secretively.

Pertinent to note that loneliness is a global issue faced by many people to some degree in their lives. It is a negative experience that people go through and is unfortunately very evident among aggressive gamers who spend long periods of time playing games by themselves which reduces interaction with family, relatives and friends in real life.

Many studies show that this sort of addiction can finally lead a person to depression initially cauing sadness or lethargy which could be signs of depressive symptoms. Video games are correlated with increased depression and anxiety. However, correlation does not necessarily imply causation — people who are unhappy or depressed are drawn to video games because they help to suppress negative emotions. They develop a gaming habit that causes them to get stuck in life. Naturally, they end up being unhappy.

The writer is BSc Student From Govt. Degree College Bhaderwah  Email:- [email protected]

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