The Danger of Video Games – Myth or Reality?

How dangerous truly are video games?

Children used to grow up watching cartoons, but in recent years many have switched to video games as the main source of entertainment. Immersive, exciting but also time-consuming and to some extent addictive, video games are now under scrutiny for being potentially dangerous. Comparisons are made with gambling, and some people associate the idea of downloading video games to searching for a website to play online roulette. Adults enjoy both forms of entertainment, and when this is done moderately, the benefits greatly outweigh the shortcomings.

The insidious threat of gaming addiction

One of the main arguments used by people who bash video games as dangerous is that they can easily lead to addiction. Many of the modern games are truly immersive, because of their compelling stories, great visuals and spectacular sound effects. They appeal to prospective players with their fine graphics and sounds while keeping them hooked with their gameplay and narrative.

Role-playing video games and MMORPGs are widely regarded as the most immersive games and the ones more likely to lead to some form of addiction. Multiplayer online battle arenas, first-person shooters and real-time strategy games also tend to keep players hooked. They are driven by different incentives, as these genres are at the cornerstone of esports and players are motivated to improve.

When it comes to video games, addiction can only be produced by an excessive motivation to excel. Whether they seek better items in-game, a superior position in the leaderboard or other ways of chasing status, players are driven by ambition. In the end, they either hit a skill ceiling or simply get bored with the daily grind and play less or even give up videogame altogether.

A potential threat to social life

Another reason for concern among people who claim that video games are dangerous is the lack of social interactions. They are concerned that by spending too much time in front of the computer or by gaming excessively on consoles and mobile devices, people have less time for social interactions. They are particularly worried about the negative effects on children, who are still in the process of developing a personality and social skills.

This myth has been debunked on several occasions, and the arguments against it are pretty solid. Modern video games encourage social interactions, and many of them depend on it for players to be successful. Communication is key in every competitive game, and it shines the brightest, particularly in the games, feared the most concerning gaming addiction. Role-playing video games and MMORPGs are built around the idea of players working together to overcome various challenges and encourage socializing.

When it comes to socializing, it is casual games that are less effective, because people spend less time playing. On the one hand, the perceived risk of addiction is mitigated by short gaming sessions; on the other, players have less time to know each other. Adults are more likely to prefer casual games, especially those that didn’t grow up playing video games and haven’t developed a preference for the genre.

Do everything with moderation

Playing video games is just like any other fun activity; if you keep the duration of gaming sessions short, you will enjoy the time playing and risk nothing. In most cases, even perceived addiction is the fact that people enjoy the games a lot, so they decide to spend more time in-game. Compared to other forms of recreation, video games are actually more likely to promote socializing, because they involve several players competing together.

The bottom line is that if you play moderately and don’t allow video games to distract you from other important activities, you are not in any danger. Finding something that you enjoy doing is actually a plus, and there’s nothing wrong with adults spending time playing video games.