Playing video games, or gaming has always had a checkered past. With the coming out of the classic Pong, there has been a lot said about it well and bad, including what its future will be, and it still continues to this day. Among the biggest concerns regarding the use of a machine to entertain yourselves is how it affects the body.
A lot of people have said that dependence can be bad, but aside from video games, others are dependent on other pieces of technology too, including the television and, currently, the internet. The difference between then and now is that there are studies conducted to find out how true or how false it is that video games adversely affect health. So how does gaming affect the body?
The health concern didn’t come out of anywhere as those who play the game, now known now as players, spend hour after hour in front of their screens. Currently, there are more than a million people in the United States alone who play video games, or more than half of those people clocking in at least two hours weekly. According to the industry facts published by ESA, the leading age group of gamers is adults 18 and over, while a significant chunk is those under the age of 18.
Interestingly, the facts sheet also mentions that most parents find it agreeable for their children to play video games. Some of them even play with them sometimes too. This may be because of some published studies that say video games have positive benefits, including improved hand-eye coordination and better concentration and motor skills.
Since playing video games is mainly done indoors, it is vastly preferred by parents because it helps keep children safe from harm and harmful activities. Furthermore, it keeps them entertained as well.
The advancement of technology has allowed the industry to come up with clearer graphics and more immersive gameplay. Some game scenes have been touted to look so authentic that they can be confused for real life. Thus, complaints of video games causing violence have been sparked anew. The World Health Organization’s addition of “gaming disorder” as a mental-health condition did not help either.
A study by the American Psychological Association finds a link between playing violent games and increased aggression. The study states that aggression pertains to increased aggressive thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that are felt at the height of an intense game. This goes for both genders and can be seen as short-term or long-term. However, the study does not say that it is directly linked to increased aggression or violence, but rather just a risk factor.
Gamers will know what the feeling of in-game aggression is especially if they are competitively playing with other people. The temporary increase in aggression may be a way to express exasperation over a loss either by neglect or unskillfulness. However, most of it goes away before the day ends or at least until the next gaming session.
Ability to Multitask:
Like many things, video games can be both a bad thing and a good thing. In this instance, it can teach a valuable skill, like multitasking, when gamers learn how to do many things all at once. Strategy games are a good example since some of their objectives may involve survival, defense, and attacking enemies. In order to do this, players should be able to manage different objectives and change tactics once they find the conditions unfavorable.
A Scientific American study confirms this as researchers have found that computer games help others focus. It was specifically tested on older people ages 60 to 85 who were found to be on the verge of cognitive decline. Video games help improve cognitive skills because they offer multitasking challenges that make use of working memory, attention, and more. This translates to improved skills in real life.
Sometimes, maintaining the same posture for hours and using your hands, wrists, and forearms to hold the controller or computer peripherals can take a toll on our physical health. In fact, Nintendonitis was coined due to the fact mentioned above with general neck discomforts since it requires players to use those areas in order to play the console. However, this can be easily countered with frequent breaks over the course of playing.
Memory, Pattern Recognition, and Situational Awareness:
Being able to know what’s happening in-game comes with the territory, and situational awareness is actually a skill you quickly develop as you become more and more aware. Internal logic in games allows players to develop the skill of being able to recognize patterns to anticipate some moves or events. Improved memory is, unsurprisingly, another benefit that gamers can get from playing competitive games.
Get Your Game On:
There are a variety of game genres nowadays, and they spread on different platforms. You are a mobile gamer if you play games predominantly on your phone. Console gamers are those who play on home entertainment systems like the XBoX and PlayStation. Meanwhile, PC gamers are those who play on specially designed or custom rigs.
It’s easy to acquire the gadgets needed for the first two since you only need to buy them plug and play. PC gamers can choose to buy prebuilt rigs or build their PC from scratch if they have special needs or preferences.
If you are interested in building your own PC, you definitely can. Most people choose this option because, apart from customization, they are able to save money by concentrating their budget on more important PC components.
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