Playing video games is a great way to relax and interact with your online friends after a long day. It was assumed that teenagers play video games more often than adults but recent studies have shown that adults are fond of gaming as much as the teenagers are.
We have always been presented with the monstrous side of gaming but as there are always two sides of a story, there are pros and cons involved with video gaming too. It is very important to know about the affects gaming has on our cognition and behaviors.
Video gaming as you know can be very addicting. It is usually associated with mental health issues. Video game addiction or Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) according to the American Psychological Association is a condition when you have been experiencing at least five of the below mentioned conditions for about 12 months;
- Loss of relationships
- Downplaying use
- Low levels of tolerance
- Use of gaming to relieve and escape anxiety
- Loss of interest in other activities
- Impaired control
- Loss of career opportunities
- Continued gaming despite noticing psychosocial problems
- Loss of educational opportunities
Effects on human brain
Dopamine is a chemical substance in the human brain which is responsible for brain functions like understanding, concentration and learning. It is also released in the brain when a person does drugs such as cocaine.
Researchers say that spending a lot of time daily in front of screen while playing video games can develop gaming disorders.
A number of studies show that video gaming affects human brain and causes a lot of changes in different regions of a human brain. There are parts of brain which tends to the visuospatial skills.
Science claims that video games increase the size and competence of these parts of the brain. This activity can make a human brain more active and responsive towards its surroundings.
World Health Organization (WHO) defines a gaming disorder as a behavior when a person develops an impaired control over video gaming and gives preference to it till the extent that gaming takes precedence on all of the other daily tasks.
Moreover, the person addicted to gaming starts being careless of the negative consequences coming forth because of this behavior.
Behavioral and personality changes
Many studies explain how people who play too many video games develop several behavioral changes. Most of these changes are negative behavioral and personality changes which include;
- Increased aggression
- Social isolation
- Decline in academic record
If you notice any of these traits in yourself or any of your loved ones, consult your psychologist as soon as you can.