Ever since the advent of video games, there have been debates on the pros and cons of gaming. While there is no denial that gaming sharpens a number of skills of the child, it also stands for a fact that the addiction of gaming can have dire health consequences. Apart from health risks, an addiction to gaming also brings along a non-social temperament that leads to stalled emotional growth.
Here are some of the most common dangers and effects of game addiction:
An obvious fallout of game addiction is stress. Stress develops when the person gets so involved in the game that there is an inbuilt pressure on him or her to achieve goals and cross stages and levels of the game. It slowly converts the game from a source of entertainment and fun to a catalyst of stress buildup. Also, when a person realizes that his life is in a pitiable state because of excessive gaming, he or she develops more stress out of the fear of not being able to get back to normal.
2. Lack Of Sleep
A major portion of a person’s time is taken up by work and it has been found that many people sacrifice their precious time to play an extra game or two instead of sleeping to rest the body. Long term game addiction leads to a sleeping disorder called Insomnia that takes a huge toll on a person’s health.
3. Disregard For Personal Hygiene
Excess gaming leads to seclusion of the gamer from the outside world which eventually leads to little or no interaction with people. When the person realizes that there is nobody who may notice his lack of grooming, he feels less compelled to take care of his personal hygiene.
4. Seclusion And Isolation
Gaming addiction can lead to people developing a tendency of seclusion and isolation. They start isolating themselves from family and friends. The fact that they start ignoring their personal hygiene is just the beginning of his or her displacement from the social scene. Gaming starts taking precedence over other important chores such as interaction with friends and as this addiction intensifies, the subject may start becoming more and more stubborn and rude. All that a gaming addict wants to spend time on is games.
5. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome And Arthritis
Excess gaming can lead to these two physical disorders. Studies have revealed that years of excessive gaming can lead to serious issues with the person’s thumb as this area is most exercised in gaming and is prone to osteoarthritis too. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is a condition in which there exists an excessive pressure on a nerve in the wrist which is responsible for allowing certain hand movements. This syndrome is likely to surface in game addicts since they make a lot of repetitive hand and wrist movements while playing games.
6. Unhealthy Eating Habits
With excess gaming, one becomes oblivious to dietary routine because he or she is too busy thinking about what is next in the game for them. Most game addicts choose fast food and sugary sodas to accompany their gaming sessions which further leads to deterioration of health. They also prefer frozen food that does not take much time to cook and thus does not hinder their gaming spree. Such eating habits are a major cause of diabetes and obesity in adults.
It might be rare to know a gaming addict who realizes that he is slowly slipping into depression. Depression slowly makes its way to the addict’s brain as he or she gets more and more addicted to the game. The only time they realize that they are in a state of depression is when they pause for a moment to realize that they have made a mess of their lives by excess gaming and neglecting other necessities of life. What makes the matters worse is that the only recourse they find to get out of this depression is more gaming and this drags them deeper into the trouble creating a vicious cycle that declines to break until the person resolves to take back the control of his or her life.
It shall be wise to conclude that video games when played in moderation can promote good health. They improve motor skills and develop cognitive ability. It is recommended to address the issues of game addiction as soon as it is noticed lest it may take a heavy toll on health and personal life.