With the emergence of maybe thousands of video games, more and more people from all ages and genders are getting hooked. Video games come in different kinds suited for different interests. From farm games, dressing up, fast food frenzies, building cities and conquering the enemy’s city, to pure fantasy and shooting zombies in the head, playing video games is a lot of fun. Unfortunately some people take it too far until it starts to take its toll on their health.
Here are six ways too much video games can hurt you:
1. Video Games can Negatively Impact Self-esteem
Video games are like anime shows. Both are full of characters with perfect bodies. Men have bulky muscles and a strong stance, while the women are big busted with slender waists.
Most people understand that they are made like that to catch the interest of the players, of course.
However, these perfect body images can have a negative effect on a real person’s own body image. A researcher conducted a study requiring the men to play WrestleMania while the women played DOA: Beach Volleyball. Both sexes experienced a decreased satisfaction with their looks, with men having lower satisfaction with their bodies.
2. Violent Video Games can Cause Stress
Playing video games bring out a lot of raw emotions, since players can get carried away. Scientists from Stockholm University attached heart monitors to teenage boys after dividing them into two groups.
The first group played violent video games while the other group played non-violent video games. Unsurprisingly, the first group showed a higher heart rate variability,or HRV after they stopped playing and lasted even during sleep.
Heart rate variability refers to the variation of the heart rate as controlled by the nervous system, particularly the brain, in reaction to your environment. Higher than normal HRV means your body is experiencing too much stress. Therefore,the constant playing of violent video games means more stress.
3. Video Games Are Addictive
A lot of kids, teens and adults get addicted to video games. Day and night, all they do is sit in front of the computer or hold joysticks in their hands with barely enough time to supply their bodies with the necessary nutrients and much-needed sleep.
It’s no wonder why many of them look like the zombies right out of their video games.
To better understand video games addiction, Stanford University conducted and published a study suggesting that playing and winning competitive video games makes men feel in control and dominant. They make men feel superior because it activates the reward section of the brain in men more than in women.
4. Video Games can Affect Social Skills
It’s pretty obvious that playing too many video games all day takes away most of your time on interacting with other people.
According to the psychiatrists from UCLA, spending most of your time facing a screen monitor can alter the way your brain processes information until it can even be difficult for you to recognize facial expressions.
Other effects of excessive video games are poor body language skills, feelings of discomfort when socializing, isolation and lack of interest in building interpersonal relationships.
On the other hand, people with social problems may turn to video games because they won’t experience rejection and bullying.
5. Video Games can Cause Health Issues
Playing video games requires you to sit in one place for a long time. This means you participate in less and less physical activities,which can lead to weight gain. Other health issues posed by playing too many video game are postural disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, or the inflammation of the tendons caused by repeating the same activities over and over again such as using keyboard and mouse.
6. Excessive Video Games can Hurt your Personal Relationships
Video games are a fun way to relieve stress after a hard day’s work. They also help relieve the pressure and aggression experienced at work.
But, just imagine this, every time you get home, and you rush to the computer after a rough day,which is likely to be every day rather than spend time with your partner or kids, you damage your personal relationships.
The more time you spend time away from them, the more you are creating a gap in between you. This can lead to conflicts and unfulfilled needs. While you may be joyfully tapping your keyboard, your loved ones are longing for your time and attention.
Too much video game time will do you no good, but when you do it in moderation, it can have positive effects such as:
- One key to achieving objectives in a game is to follow instructions religiously. This could be a good way to train yourself in receiving and executing commands.
- With the right video games, a person can learn how and where to allocate limited resources and to come up with plans and strategies to achieve a mission,which is applicable in real life.
- In video games, a lot of things can happen at the same time. You might be building a structure when an enemy attacks. This way you get to perform multiple tasks to improve your flexibility and strategizing.
- An action video game requires fast thinking and decision-making most of the time since the action never stops. This can enhance and analysis and encourage accurate decision-making.
- As a game progress, it gets more difficult with each level. This makes the player try harder to move on to the next level. Perseverance is an important trait to succeed.
- A video game can improve intellectual skills. In an action game where you have to defeat an enemy, you have to come up with various strategies to win. You’ll need a combination of weapons to win. If the previous combo does not work, you’ll have to try another one. It’s a good exercise in formulating strategies and coming up with perfect solutions.
- Most games offer multiplayer options. Achieving a goal together with a virtual team is a good way to practice teamwork.
Playing video games is a good form of recreation. They are fun and exciting; however, excessive playing of video games can seriously affect your mental and physical health.