Video Games: What are the pros and cons?

As the world has been constantly changing due to the advancements in technological developments, media and video games have become prevalent forms of entertainment. Studies have shown that as video games are becoming more accessible due to the introduction of smartphone gaming apps, several people are investing their time in playing these games.  

 As the coronavirus pandemic has forced people all around the world to stay home, as a result there has been an ever increasing demand for the video gaming industry. Video games have sprung into action to capture the attention  of people with new and innovative games.

Are you fond of  video games? Ever wondered what are the pros and cons of playing these games? There has been an ongoing research on the pros and cons of playing video games. However often times, these games are under the limelight for wrong reasons but in reality they do have some benefits.

Let us examine a few benefits:

• Enhances memory power- One of the advantages of playing video games, is it helps in enhancing both audial and visual memory power. The player is suppose to read and remember the rules of the game, this helps improve  memory power.

• Improves social skills- Some online games help in developing good social skills, as players are required to communicate with a larger group of people while playing. This communication results in the development of meaningful relationship. Through these games, people also meet new friends and even strengthen their bonds with their old friends.

• Increases brain’s function- Another vital benefit of playing video games is it enhances problem solving skills and also improves your brain’s functions. Video games also enhance hand-eye coordination and auditory perceptions.

• Might help ease stress and anxiety- Playing video games has been found to help with managing stress and anxiety. Some studies have shown that playing games relieves stress and instills a sense of happiness. Spending a few hours a day or week in playing video games has helped several people in developing some essential coping skills.

Now that we have seen some benefits of playing video games, let us also examine some negative effects of playing as well. While playing video games have been  promoted for their advantages, there have been some studies that also suggest playing on a regular basis over a period of time might be a threat to your mental as well as physical health.

• People tend to become more violent- Some studies have shown that particularly children who play video games on regular basis have less self-control and also there has been a significant increase in emotional arousal. There are some games that are more violent and aggressive, playing such games can have a lasting impact on mental wellness. One should avoid playing such violent games and also help your children choose the right games.

• Insomnia- One of the leading causes of insomnia is playing video games especially in the night. Research has shown that playing video games or watching TV late in the night may disrupt your sleep and as a result you are likely to  suffer from sleeping problems.

• Addiction- Playing video games once in a while is healthy but making it an addiction is not a good habit. When a person gets addicted to playing video games, maintaining a daily schedule becomes very difficult and also it hugely impacts their day to day tasks. Children who have poor control over their behavior and emotions are the one’s prone to video game addiction.

• Contributes to Childhood obesity- Another major problem in children who spend more time playing video games is they are prone to becoming obese. In some cases, children become so addicted to these games that they even skip sleep and food. In order to keep a tab on your child's weight and health, it is very essential to make them exercise or allow them to play outdoor sports. Studies have shown that adolescents who spent more than five hours a  day on digital gadgets either playing games, watching shows, were twice as likely to have a soft drinks like soda and other fruit flavored drinks every day. These set of adolescents do not indulge in any kind of physical activity and also sleep less.

• Vision dangers- Prolonged exposure to screen while playing video games can have a detrimental effect on vision. It leads to headache, dry eyes, and sometimes even fatigue in the neck and shoulder. In order to prevent eye strain, you should restrict your time spent on playing video games or even watching TV. You should take frequent breaks while playing and make sure to blink often.

-Akhila Kakarala
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