The Relationship Between Gaming And Mental Health: Can Gaming Be Beneficial For Mental Health?

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The Video gaming industry has shown rapid growth and is expected to grow in the near future. It helped many people to find jobs and generate income. In the gaming industry, not just developers, writers, or illustrators for video games, but there are professional gamers who participate in gaming competitions and earn money. Playing video games can be beneficial. For example, playing video games improves problem-solving skills. It stimulates the brain and enhances mental health. Video games encourage and promote social interaction between people. Players can make friends through online games. There are also disadvantages of gaming, like depression, and social & emotional disconnect. In this article, we will see how can gaming be beneficial for mental health, and its positive and negative effects on your mental health.

Advantages Of Video games

positive and negative effects of gaming

Gaming is beneficial for your mental health in many ways. Video games can help relieve stress and stimulate the mind. Some positive effects of gaming include the following:

Brain Stimulation

Video games frequently force you to think. When you play video games, nearly every area of your brain is engaged in achieving a solution for the current game. Players need to think and make strategies to win a game. Playing video games enhances cognitive development and critical thinking because the player needs to think to win a game.

Feeling Successful

In video games, you are given tasks. When you complete those tasks or goals you feel satisfied and happy, which contributes to the improvement in the player’s general well-being. This feeling of accomplishment is multiplied when the player is awarded badges in the game when he/she accomplishes specific benchmarks in the game. The happiness one gets after successfully completing the goal forces the player to strive for it.

Recovery From Mental Illness

Playing games can aid in the healing process after trauma. Playing video games can serve as a distraction from discomfort and psychological suffering. People suffering from mental illnesses like anxiety and depression can get relief by playing video games.

Social Interaction With The People

Video gaming plays a very important role in socialization among players. You can build a positive community of your choice by playing online games. Online and multi-player games promote virtual social contact. Games, where multi-players play games, encourage cooperation. People learn to play by interacting with different people. Players coordinate to complete a shared objective. And the risk is less when you are talking or establishing conversations with strangers and making friendships with strangers. You may meet people who have the same interests. You can connect and become friends. The latest games allow players to communicate through headphones or mics. Players can directly talk to each other using these accessories.

Mental Strength

You may get upset and frustrated when you lose in games or other situations. People can learn how to deal with failure and keep trying through video games. Video games teach Children to cope and the habit of keep trying until they win. It can be helpful for children in their upcoming life.

Playing video games improves mood and has long-lasting impacts. Gaming is a fantastic option, whether you use it to unwind with friends or relieve stress.

Cognitive Skill Development

People should try to play games that require strategies. Playing video games that need strategies improves the problem-solving skills of the player. There is some research about playing games that show violence. These researches show that these games are not good for mental health. But games that compel players for critical thinking is good for the improvement of their problem-solving skill of the player.

Disadvantages Of Playing Video Games

positive and negative effects of gaming
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Almost every kid wants to have a Gaming Pc as it has become a hobby for most of us. But most parents are concerned about the effects of video games on mental health. Gaming has many positive effects but they also have negative effects on mental health. If a person plays video games excessively then that person might neglect other areas of life, and if someone plays violent games it can have adverse effects on that person.

Habits of excessive or unhealthy gaming may lead to the worsening of existing mental health problems or the underlying causes of those disorders, including the following:

Depression

One of the most prominent mental health conditions that gamers struggle with is depression. Problems with depression are common among gamers who are already addicted to video games. This is especially true for those who have been gaming for a long time. As a result of engaging in unhealthy gaming behaviours, certain gamers have found themselves struggling with clinical depression. This happens because they pay no attention to other elements of their lives, such as maintaining healthy relationships with other people, being physically active, and eating a balanced diet. But, a significant number of people who are addicted to gaming have also experienced depression in the past. They found that playing video games made it easier for them to deal with the symptoms of depression.

In neither of these situations is playing video games directly responsible for the individual’s depressive symptoms. Yet, those who suffer from severe depression may develop harmful gaming habits that have negative effects on their lives.

Decreased Motivation

This is because they neglect all the other activities of their life, for instance, they don’t maintain a healthy relationships with the people around them. They become less active. They don’t feel motivated to do anything other than gaming, which further affects their mental health.

Social Disconnection

Social anxiety is another common problem experienced by game addicts. When you play video games excessively then it is obvious that you are spending more time on the computer and you will spend less time socially interacting with the people around you in real life which may lead to social anxiety.

On the other hand, one could say the same thing about depression and social anxiety at the same time. Since they suffer from social anxiety and have trouble maintaining friendships in the real world, many people escape into the realm of video games. They are able to take a break from their real lives and engage in risk-free social interaction with others through the medium of video games. And when they start doing that, they start neglecting the relationships they have in real life.

Poor Emotional Regulation

Researches show that people who excessively do gaming suffer from poor emotional regulation. They are mostly aggressive and depressed. It is because they have poor control of their emotions.

Ending Note

In short, there are both positive and negative effects of gaming. But gaming is beneficial for your mental health if played in moderation. Video games should be played without neglecting the responsibilities and activities in the real world. 

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