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The Good and Bad of Video Games on Your Health

This guest post is submitted by Ciara Kelly of BetterHelp.

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Good and Bad of Video Games on Your Health
Credit: Canva

Video games still get a terrible rap decades after they became a public staple. From parents thinking it will ruin their kids’ lives to politicians thinking it makes people violent, there’s still a bit of that hysteria in the public eye. 

The truth is that gaming can have both positive and negative effects, just like any other piece of media. Let’s find out some of the pros and cons of gaming below.

The Good of Video Games on Your Health

1. They Can Enhance Skills

Many people do not associate gaming with improving skills, but it’s true. Many games require hand-eye coordination and focus. Many games involve memory and having to make decisions ASAP. Plenty of puzzle games make you think quite a bit. These are all valuable skills that you may need for the future. Not to mention, if you’re streaming games or playing on a team, it may improve your social skills. 

2. It Can Improve Your Eyesight in Some Cases 

Some people may associate gaming with the opposite. After all, gamers tend to sit too close to the TV. However, gaming can help you to recognize more colors and improve your eyesight overall. You may be able to figure out shades of gray better or see movement.  

3. It Can Be Good for the Mind 

Video games can be great for the mind. As we said before, games can have problems and puzzles you have to solve. Since you’re using your brain a lot, it can improve the mind’s flexibility and help to reverse aging. Games involve having to enhance your skills quite a bit, and you may have to mix it up as well, keeping you fresh. 

Besides, gaming can be good for your mental health. It can lower your anxiety by giving you a distraction, and a good game can reduce your depression. It may help with anxiety disorders like PTSD as well. Obviously, results can vary, but you may find that it helps quite a bit. For example, some people love taking their frustrations out in  GTA5, and that’s okay. 

See Also: Why Do People Love to Play GTA 5 Game?

The Bad of Video Games on Your Health

There’s a lot of good news when it comes to playing games but playing it can have some disadvantages as well. Let’s look at them. 

1. Gaming Too Close to Bedtime 

Gamers may never sleep, but they probably should. When you’re gaming a little too close to bedtime, the blue light from your screen and all the excitement can make it harder to go to bed. It can lead to various mental health issues. Always stop gaming an hour or so before bedtime and unwind. 

Recommended: How Can Gamers Prevent Themselves from Sleep Deprivation?

2. They Can Be Addictive 

You can get addicted to anything, technically. However, it doesn’t change the fact that games can be quite addictive, and some people cannot control themselves. In favorable situations, it can involve playing too many games on the weekend. However, in extreme cases, it can be a severe problem. 

3. In Some Cases, They Can Make You Depressed and Anxious 

This is both a pro and a con of gaming because it all depends. Some people use games as a distraction and a way to feel better. However, other gamers find themselves depressed. Obviously, there are several factors that can make this so. Burnout from games, and other factors in life, can intensify depression and anxiety. 

4. What About Aggression? 

The relation between games and aggression is tricky, with studies supporting and opposing this idea throughout the Web. The idea is that playing violent video games can lead to aggressive thoughts and possible actions. 

This doesn’t mean that playing a shooter will turn you into a mass shooter, but it may make you a little more irritable. However, many people say that playing these types of games is like therapy. Age may play a part as well, with children who play a game not meant for their age range suffering from more aggressive thoughts. It seems like a chicken and egg situation. 

Gaming Lies in the Middle 

Just like many things in life, gaming can be good or bad. In moderation, playing games can improve skills, reduce stress, and make you feel better. However, they can be addictive as well. It’s on the player to be mindful and game in moderation. If you are having issues when you game, it’s vital for you.

Seek Help! 

If you are suffering from gaming addiction or another mental health problem, seeking help from a therapist or counselor is a wise move. Many people can curb their gaming usage by talking to a licensed therapist. Also, a therapist can improve other aspects of your life. With online therapy resources like BetterHelp, one can game and seek therapy. We hope you’re gaming happily and healthily. Good luck with your gaming adventure.

Ram Thakur, holds a BCA degree, is a digital marketing manager and website designer since 2016. Currently, he's working in a US-based digital marketing company. In his free time, he loves to write about technologies that are making a difference in our lives. He loves to ride bikes and wants to travel the world.

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