There is an ancient adage that goes – ‘Excess of everything is bad.’ And this age-old wisdom still holds water. The same medicine that cures us of a disease when taken according to the prescribed dosage, can spell doom if the dosage is exceeded. Celebrity dieticians and nutritionists opine that we should consume everything in proper potions, howsoever nutritious it might be; and go for a variety of food items, instead of sticking to one particular ‘healthy’ or ‘projected to be healthy’ eatable.
This universal truth applies to video and online gaming too. These modern diversions can have a plethora of blessings when played for a limited time each day. For instance, quicker and better decision-making abilities, better visual attention as also hand-eye coordination, multitasking, resource and time management skills, precision and relief from stress, to name a few.
There are certain games that enhance the performance of doctors, soldiers and pilots, if they play these games three hours a week. Rummy Online, the tech-savvy avatar of our traditional card game of skills, helps the players gain hold over a number of mathematical concepts, in addition to several other vital skills and is absolutely devoid of violence. Strange, isn’t it?
However, if overdone, even the very best of things in the world can have serious consequences. And video/online games too are a worldly entity only. Let us have a look at the repercussions of these recreational inventions of science and technology, when people get obsessed with them.
Violence and its Ramifications
This is the first and foremost dilemma of modern tech-savvy gaming. Most of the widely played games have violence as their essential element. When such games are played for long hours, they can have many a ramification. We become what we see or do. Indulging in violent games might cause the players to become short-tempered, violent and aggressive, which can further lead to issues like
- Involvement in road rage cases and frequent brawls.
- Use of foul and unparliamentary language with not just peers but also progenitors, teachers and everybody else.
- Lack of empathy towards those in pain; and absence of motivation and desire to help them.
- Inclination towards seeking revenge and committing crime, instead of trying to sort out matters through negotiations and other advisable nonviolent means; for violence is rewarded in most games.
- A lot many games portray the fair sex as weak and helpless. This might result in players losing respect for women.
Social Isolation and Mental Problems
Addiction to gaming can lead to the gamer being not interested in interacting with real people around. It can also give rise to higher risks of contracting mental ailments such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, PTSD and Alzheimer’s disease etc.
Disconnection with Real Life
Those who are hooked to gaming might tend to lose touch with the actual physical world around them. They start living in a make-believe virtual world.Excessive gaming might cause irreversible changes in the brain circuits of gamers. They might get so absorbed in a fantasy world that they find it difficult to face the real world and the challenges associated with it. That is just the opposite of what happens when one plays them within set norms.
Impact on Health
Barring some games such as Dance Dance Revolution and Xbox that involve physical activity, playing most other video/online games in excess implies sedentary lifestyle and constant staring at smart gadgets. This can cause health problems such as obesity and obesity related ailments, ruining of eyesight and posture, neck and back complications, video-induced seizuresand muscular and skeletal disorders etc.
Most video/online games require the players to think and act fast. This develops the brain to react to situations quickly. On one hand, it is an asset in the fast-paced world of nonce as it bestows one with quick decision-making ability; on the other hand, it deprives the gamers of the slow thinking prowess, which is necessary to understand emotions, reflect and introspect. Obsessive gamers might act impulsively in real life too.
While certain games help children suffering from ADHD to focus better, it is pertinent to mention that too much of gaming can ameliorate the ability to concentrate for shorter durations but hamper long-term concentration.
Neglect of Studies
Gaming addiction might make one disinterested in all other crucial aspects of life including studies and work. It might jeopardize not only the present but also the future of such gamers.
Vulnerability to Cyber Crime
This is especially true of kids, who are too naïve to understand that they must not reveal their personal info to strangers on the net. There are a lot of unscrupulous elements on the prowl in the online world and innocent kids are an easy prey. Eighty percent victims of cyber bullying are children.
When excess of even the very best of things in the world is bad, then how can we expect online gaming to be an exception? Playing these games in moderation can yield multifarious benefits, but of course, there is a flip side of the gaming coin too. Banning them or not playing them altogether is not a viable solution, for they are an essential element of today’s technology-oriented civilization. Familiarity with these games helps us in matching our pace with the advancing world. However, the need of the hour is to exercise discretion and play them for a limited and fixed time each day. Conquer your mind and conquer the world!