Impact of Video-Games

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, addiction means, “a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence.” Enjoying, also from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “to have for one’s use, benefit, or lot; to take pleasure or satisfaction in.” With these meanings, anything that harms the person mentally or physically is an addiction, but having fun with it is enjoyment. How long do you have to play on video games to become “addicted”?

What is the longest amount of time per day that you could safely play video games without getting hurt? Although there is no real boundary to how long you must play video games in a day to harm you, “heavy gamers” spend 2 hours or more a day on gaming, American Medical Association states. Only about 10-15% of all gamers reach this extreme but if you play for way too long, you risk your life. Four years ago, a man named Hsieh died in an internet cafe after playing video games for 72 hours straight. Chubbyemu, a youtuber known for telling the stories of medical emergencies that happened due to strange and odd circumstances, covered this story. He noted from the reports that Hsieh had not gotten up whatsoever, and a blood clot formed in his leg. When he stood up, the blood clot broke off and caused him his life as it blocked his heart from beating. Leading him into cardiac arrest, and to die soon after with no luck of paramedics restarting his heart. So yes, it is possible to die from playing video games too much.

On a similar note, your mental state changes when playing video games as a long time gamer. As an example, had mentioned in 2009 that there was a study done with 13 experienced gamers playing a violent video game while undergoing brain scanning. In comparison to low violence game experience, the violent game experienced men had a lot less of an output from the rostral anterior cingulate cortex, known for emotional responses. Dana had also mentioned that there are positive games that allow the brain and body to improve in areas. The true benefit to drawback ratio is truely up to the games; any game that has a drawback in one area might have a benefit in another.

As long as the benefits overrides the drawbacks in a video game, it is relatively “better” for you and your health. However, playing more violent games will cause a major drawback of becoming numb to violence, therefore more active and thinking games will allow you to expand your mind and body. As for the amount of time to spend on a video game:

  • Game about an hour a day or less. I know you might like your World of Warcraft, Fortnite, or Minecraft, but take a break! The game can wait!
  • Do gaming in short sessions. Long sessions will affect your body and mind in more negative ways than positive.
  • Try to avoid more violent games such as first person shooters. They can and will desensitize you to any violence.