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To Game, or not to Game

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watching a computer screen

 

With over 1.2 billion gamers around the world and close to £65 billion in sales every year – gaming is a massive industry. While these numbers are exciting for video game enthusiasts around the globe, and gaming companies of course, there is also great concern around it. The word out there is that young gamers could start confusing reality with fantasy, they may get addicted to it – and this can lead to obesity and social phobias. Worst of all, online gaming makes youngsters vulnerable to cyber predators. With all these dangers lurking in the gaming world, why is it such a huge industry? Is it just another addiction?

pc games gross chart

 

What the Scientists say

Depending on which studies you read, scientists have concluded that playing video games are both good and bad for you. Let’s take a closer look at the facts before deciding whether games are a menace – or more like medicine for the body and mind.

Playing Games is Braincercise, but Could Change Your Perspective

A study was conducted in which a group of people played Mario Brothers for half an hour a day for two months while another group did not play games at all. Both groups were hooked up to an MRI machine and it was discovered that the gamers had an improved brain structure. In another study it was concluded that playing games like Grand Theft Auto leads to young men being less compassionate towards women suffering from domestic violence.

Although it Makes you Smarter, it Could Also Incite Violence and Misogynysupermario

Strategy games like Starcraft, Minecraft and The Sims increase performance in cognitive flexibility tests and other metal dexterity tests. On the other hand, research has shown that violent first-person shooter games play a role in real life aggression and can even instigate crime. Car thief Devon Moore was detained in 2003 for car theft and Grand Theft Auto was blamed for it – the lawyer in the case even filed suit against Sony for it.

It Keeps you Younger for Longer

Playing games that involve logic puzzles and visual workouts have been proven to slow the mental decay that is part of the aging process. Conversely, what’s the point of staying young if you’re stuck behind a screen all day?

watching a computer screenGood or bad for Your Eyes?

Yes, shooting baddies in a game genuinely enhances your eyesight. This is because it improves something called ‘contrast sensitivity’, which is one of the first things that start to diminish with age. On the negative side – hours and hours of gaming causes undue eye strain which can result in blurry eye vision, light sensitivity and headaches.

 

 

It can Wreck or Save Your Relationship

Therapists will tell you that doing fun and exciting activities together is good for a relationship and strengthens the bonds of love. What could be more romantic than killing zombies together? Where the problem comes in is when only one person enjoys playing games and the other is left lacking attention.

The Score in the End

Whether you fancy yourself a racing car driver, an apocalyptic zombie hunter, or a short Italian with a moustache who likes collecting coins and hopping over turtles, playing games can either do you the world of good – or it can be very bad for you.

 

 

 
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William R. Feins , freelance journalist from London, UK; he received his B.A. degree in Economics and his Masters in Sociology. William has always been interested in the mechanics of business and the inspiration of original thinkers, and firmly believes that the former can’t succeed without the latter. In his spare time, he enjoys the ridiculous spectacle of watching table tennis on a big screen (preferably at a pub) and reading weighty tomes about World War II.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Games are a divisive issue but aside from a minority of extremely voilent or pejorative titles most studies seem to agree that games in general are good for you cognitively and in terms of brain health.

     
  2. playing games is quiet relaxing and cool and i don’t see any harm in it, but being too addictive makes it a real problem

     
  3. According to these studies it’s very difficult to assess the overall risks to gamers’ health and lifestyle. It’s probably old fashioned advice but it is hard to beat the adage ‘moderation in all things’.
    Like · Reply · 1 min

     
  4. Interesting Article- when I was younger the eye issues certainly affected me, and I did find if I spent too much time looking at the computer/television screen that I really struggled to sleep!

     
  5. Interesting article – I can definitely agree with the eye sensitivity. I remember playing games when younger and it really affected my ability to sleep after staring at the screen too long!

     
  6. Like all luxuries, games should be enjoyed in moderation.
    Just have to make sure that it doesn’t become too big of a part of your life.

     
  7. Just like anything else in life; moderation is key! In my opinion, there needs to be a lot more innovation within the gaming industry today. The big developer/publisher companies are sticking to the same formulae for the games we know today… There needs to be more innovation, creativity and passion behind the creation of new genres, I believe. That said, I do think gaming as a trend will only get bigger as time goes on.

    Great post!

     
  8. Everything what is made without moderation can harm!But for sure the games change your lifestyle and your perspective of life!So…dear players, please remember moderation must be in everything!Happy playing!

     

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