In recent years, there has been an increase in the consumption of playing games and their addictive nature, especially to young people. However, can playing games extensively be bad for you or is there a limit that we can adhere to?
Whilst games can be helpful to the psyche, they can also be harmful if we play too much. Some of these harmful elements can increase anxiety, depression, and sleeping disorders. It is recommended to not play games for more than 30 – 60 mins per day.
Since there is some healthy benefits when it comes to gaming, there are also negative side effects if games are played for too long. There have been many studies investigating this issue, which will be discussed in this blog post.
Is Gaming Really That Bad?
Gaming is known to make you relaxed or allow you to just get away from the stress of the world. There is a misconception that gaming is always bad for you and we tend to disregard some of the benefits that gaming can provide.
Gaming is only bad when you’re excessive with it, if you play games for a long period of time (2-10 hours pd) then it’ll not be good for your physical and mental health.
It is also known that if you’re excessively playing video games then you’ll develop a gaming disorder. According to the Journal of Health Psychology, gaming disorders can lead to negative social outcomes such as stress, sleeping disorders, and greater levels of loneliness. These are all negative aspects when you exceed the limit.
On the other hand, a moderate level of playing games can have increased health benefits. Studies have shown that moderate gaming can be linked to relaxation and a decrease in stress. Furthermore, competitive gaming with peers can significantly decrease the stress levels of a person.
The key takeaway on this is the idea of balance and being able to control oneself when gaming and knowing the limit. This is crucial for any gamers because it will ensure that they are moderate and also have the ability to do other things outside of gaming all day.
Is gaming a waste of time?
Whether playing a gaming PC or console, too much of it is not good for you. So from my personal experiences, it will be a waste of time if you play longer than 2-4 hours a day. This is because you’ll feel the negative aspects of gaming because you are so consumed with it.
The level of attention and time given to video games can make you isolated and disconnected from mainstream society as well as your family.
I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where a sibling or friend came into your room whilst you were playing and they broke your concentration and my guess you got angry or semi-aggressive. These types of behavior can push the people who are nearest to you if you don’t have the correct balance.
This is not to say gaming is bad per se. However, if gaming is taking you away from your work, studies, family & friends, and social life then it is a waste of time and this will increase in gaming disorders. I would recommend you to read our other article on if gaming is a valid hobby.
Does gaming make you aggressive or violent?
It is needless to say that if you play violent/aggressive related games then it is just a matter of time when you develop those habits yourself.
The American Psychological Association studies show that playing these types of games will ensure that the feelings and behavior will blossom into actual life. Playing these games is very interactive and absorbing one’s attention and energy causes the person to manifest the scenery and apply that in real life (if consumed excessively).
Depending on the games as well as the time consumed playing the game can make you somewhat aggressive or not. It is also interesting to say that young people who are generally aggressive in their personality may be more vulnerable to these enhancing effects of exposure to violence.
Are video games bad for kids?
We spoke a lot about whether gaming is bad and how easy it is to develop gaming disorder by playing too much of it. We also spoke about the aspect of having a healthy balance and how it can help you in to relax when the games/hours played is not too much.
These were all targeted for adult/young people but your mostly likely wondering the healthy balance for kids.
Excessive levels of video games is too much for all. Without physical activity for kids this can have negative toll on your children if they are indoors and consumed by technology and playing games which can cause to negative causes namely obesity.
The same negative consequences that can occur for adults can be even worst for younger children simply because at those ages they are in need of outdoor playing and building up of their social skills. Reducing the amount of technology consumption and playing games would ensure they have healthier lifestyle in the future.
Recommended hours of playing games
Most studies have found that between 30 – 60 mins should be the goal a day. Anything above 2 hours is classed as excessive.
It is recommended that no more than 7-8 hours per week of gaming is acceptable. In accordance to the American Academy of Pediatrics state that video games should be only one hour per day. This would ensure that it will prevent any potential gaming disorders as well as any addictive nature to come to play because of the time played.
For younger children, they should only play during the weekend and leave the weekdays for their studies and family time to ensure they have the best possible balance whilst their growing up.
In this post, we have spoken largely around whether gaming is bad for you and looked at some of the consequences when users play too much and the recommendation of daily consumption of games for both adults and young children.
We have even looked at a growing body of academic literature discussing some of the nature of gaming as well as some of the dangers that come when playing games for long hours. We also noted that playing games can be very healthy and causes you to relax and reduce stress significantly when balanced correctly.