Last Updated on March 7, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
Video games have become a staple in our modern, technologically driven culture. While kids have been crazy about these for decades, the introduction of smartphones and mobile gaming systems has pushed them to new heights.
Often based on fantasy, they also reflect both history and current events. But whether it’s a good or bad thing is up for debate. Even though video games are a household name today, they were born in the research labs of scientists.
Table of Contents
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Video Games
- Advantages of Video Games
- Disadvantages of Video Games
- To Conclude
Advantages and Disadvantages of Video Games
It all started in 1952 when British professor A.S. Douglas created OXO, better known as tic-tac-toe at the University of Cambridge. Then Spacewar! came out in 1962, which was the first video game that could be played on multiple computer installations.
In 1972, Atari introduced Pong, the first truly successful commercial arcade video game. Since then, video games have evolved from arcade systems to home consoles, handheld consoles, and mobile devices. Today, video games make up a massive $100 billion global industry.
Video games are often at the forefront of computer technology and they have been a part of our culture since the past few decades. But let’s face it, they have their share of Pros and Cons. Let’s take a further look at the pros and cons of video games.
Advantages of Video Games
Even though video games are demonized by most non-players, many scientists and psychologists find that video games can have many benefits. Some of them are explained below.
1. Improved Vision
Studies suggest that video game players may get an unexpected benefit from them; better vision. They have been shown to increase players’ ability to distinguish subtle differences in shades of gray.
They may also help players increase their ability to visually detect the direction of movement. It was found that gamers spotted targets on a cluttered screen 80% of the time, while non-gamers managed this only 30% of the time.
2. Brain Booster
Playing video games directly impacts regions of the brain responsible for memory, spatial orientation, information organizations, and fine motor skills. As people age, the importance of playing games tends to increase.
It could improve decision-making skills; compared to non-players, gamers who spend time daily with fast-paced games can react to questions or situations up to 25% faster.
3. Improved Life Skills
Video games involve taking risks, and the ability to strategize. It teaches patience, perseverance, and the right judgment. It also helps people find new friends and social connections. Besides, gamers become better at critical analysis and learn to concentrate on tasks at hand to completion.
4. May Ease Anxiety and Depression
It has been found that people are more confident, energetic and emotionally positive when they play video games, which is exactly the opposite of what depression brings about.
People who feel depressed lack physical energy, find it difficult to carry out daily tasks and are generally pessimistic. Thus, playing can reduce the risks for depression, help with arthritis, and even be a therapeutic option for aphasia.
According to a study from the American Pain Society, video games, and more specifically 3D ones, could help reduce the brain’s response to physical pain.
Playing an attention-grabbing video game may distract one away from a painful activity and help them with chronic pain conditions, especially children.
Disadvantages of Video Games
Video games can teach us high-level thinking skills, but too much of anything can be bad. Some consequences of playing these games are listed below.
Video games are designed to be addictive, so it is essential to have some self-control. Especially people with poor impulse control or who have a hard time fitting in are most vulnerable to game addiction.
It could be because people tend to play games to fill the void that real-world problems leave behind. It is better to watch out for this form of addiction because it might eventually end up costing you a lot.
2. Social Replacement
Video games often act as a replacement for real-time human connections. People who find themselves playing hours upon hours of video games may find themselves losing touch with the relationships they’ve built with other people.
People argue that with internet-connected games, they can easily hang out with friends and families without ever leaving home, but this type of virtual get together is no replacement for actual face-to-face interaction.
New studies show that the risk of being overweight increases with every hour people spend on virtual play. Lack of motion and overplaying lead to muscle pain as well. Moreover, the addiction to these games leads to sleep deprivation which contributes to obesity.
Video game addiction could lead to other levels of psychological stress as well. Gamers may suffer from low self-esteem, have social anxieties, or even suffer from depression.
Excessive gaming can also inspire feelings of guilt and shame. It is possible that uncontrolled gaming could enhance the signs and symptoms of other mental disorders.
5. Could Limit Academic Process
Although video games can improve the strategic thinking decision-making process, they can also deteriorate them.
Students who use their free time to play video games can struggle to keep up with school/college. Most gamers have been seen to procrastinate on their studying, or they simply ignore a deadline just to play their favorite game.
Often, children playing violent video games depict a lack of self-control and an increase in emotional arousal. While violent video games could have different effects on different people, they are all concerning. So, it is better to choose games you feel are appropriate for both you and your children.
Video games aren’t bad for you as long as you aren’t overdoing. So, enjoy your downtime and relax with your games but get out there and keep your life as diverse as possible as well, because eventually, you have got to win the game of life.