4 Reasons to Get Out of the Video Game World and Into the Real World
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Ganking, pwned and ragequit…oh my.
Sound like a different language? Pretty much. It is the language of gamers and reflects how video games have become a world of their own. The question is, do you or your kids really want to be part of that world?
While some researchers found benefits to video games (such as developing quick problem-solving skills), those benefits vary widely depending on who is playing what game and when in their life. Read on to learn why not to play and what to do instead.
- Video games can be addictive. Exercise instead. The more people play video games, the more dopamine releases into the body, which makes it harder to stop playing. While a very small percentage of the population is clinically addicted to video games, the line can look blurry. If gaming starts to get in the way of work, family, school, or social life, it is a problem. One study on the National Library of Medicine website found high levels of video game play (more than 3 hours daily) correlates with low satisfaction in life and poor social skills. Exercise offers a great way to engage the part of your body that releases dopamine and makes you feel good without all the concerns of video games.
- Video games can isolate. Hang out instead. Social interactions are a basic human need. While an argument can be made for the interactive nature of some video games, nothing beats real life hangouts. A 2010 study on the National Library of Medicine website shows that video games may temporarily meet social needs but lead to poor social skills, social isolation and loneliness in the long run. Instead, seek social settings such as live action role play games.
- Video games negatively impact the brain. Go outside instead. In the book Your Brain on Nature, authors outline how screen time, including video games, can lead to chronic low-grade stress, decreased empathy, and diminished cognitive functioning. Ample research exists proving that spending time outdoors can reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. So, see how it feels to hike or play at a city park.
- Video games can desensitize you to violence. A 2011 study on the National Library of Medicine website found that chronic exposure to violence in video games can desensitize players to violence and cause an increase in aggressive behavior. This is one you might not want to replace with anything.
So, is visiting the video game world okay? Probably. Just be wary that it doesn't take you away from the real world for hours at a time.
Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.