There is always a limit in things people can do in life even if it is for leisure. A fine line exists between simply having fun as a pastime and having too much fun that results in unhealthiness; it must not be ignored! People of all ages consider their use of video games as recreation, but many don’t realize that they are slowly getting eaten up by video game addiction.
Being an extensive field, the video gaming industry and its tremendous advancements day by day are truly impressing and astounding both game developers and gamers. Graphics are getting more refined and trailblazing. Sounds are made more exciting and detailed. Characters are becoming more relatable and iconic. Levels and missions are improved into more challenging and interesting quests. User experience is absolutely emphasized and top-most valued. Indeed, these things, together with the thought of using mobile games as a form of entertainment, hook players and entice them to allot much of their time playing.
While it is alright to play video games, being fully aware of how long and how often you do it and how it affects your lifestyle is highly crucial. Why? Because if not, you may become at risk of developing video game addiction. The World Health Organization calls it “gaming disorder”. When playing digital games is no longer just for relaxation and bonding but already a heavy shackle to one’s life, the activity becomes dangerously life-changing. True story, many lives and futures have been destroyed and put to waste because of it.
Note that not all gamers become addicted to video games. Many play to relieve stress and not for their lives to be taken over by these amusements. It is essential to know how improper engagement to digital games can eventually lead to gaming disorder, so that you can be enlightened to play responsibly and mindfully.
To aid you in learning more about its regretful aftermaths, read this piece that tackles how video game addiction awfully ruins people’s lives. If you know someone who’s into too much unhealthy digital gaming, help them help themselves too.
1 – EXTREME PHYSICAL INACTIVITY
Undeniably, all the conveniences brought by technological innovations are to be grateful for. They have made human labors easier and more comfortable. Because of them, requirements from people’s efforts are not as taxing as before. The downside though is humans’ too much reliance and complacence lead to physical inactivity.
Video games bring you to the world inside digital screens. As you play, you feel thrilled that even your movements are affected. The feeling you have is like you are actually in the game’s grounds, so your body responds as well. While you may feel a bit tired after playing mobile games, the truth is you do not really exert much physical action. Well, that’s obvious, but just reiterating it because most addicted gamers do not realize that. Video game addiction causes extreme physical inactivity and obesity.
Working out does not become a priority at all. Instead of grabbing the exercise equipment, holding onto gadgets is what this addiction makes one prefer. Sitting and lying down all day becomes a hard-to-break routine. Short minutes of standing and walking feels terribly long when the mind and body are overly hooked to mobile games. The fingers move swiftly, but the big picture shows alarming physical inactivity.
2 – POOR PERSONAL HYGIENE
When you are in the insalubrious habit of playing digital games, it takes the first place among all your priorities. Unfortunately, it blinds you into overlooking the most vital aspects of your life including personal hygiene.
Taking a bath is set aside for one or more days just to catch up on real-time video games. If not, it becomes the last task for the whole day; that is so unhealthy because wetting your hands and eyes after spending very long hours in front of screens and keyboards can lead to spasms.
To a lesser degree, some video game addicts bathe themselves too quickly because they are in a hurry not to miss their games. Forgetting to brush their teeth and skipping some parts of the bath are fine for them too. Poor grooming can also be a result of this unwholesome obsession. It can be apparent through their appearance.
3 – GRAVE HEALTH CONDITIONS
Because video game addiction makes one ignore and forget about the body’s primary needs and state, it ruins lives through grave health conditions that can be acquired because of it.
Sitting down and lying down for a long time while playing digital games make the body stiff and immobile. You don’t even notice how you have been in the same position for hours already, and you’ll realize only when you feel pain in affected areas when you try to move. Always using improper furniture can result in posture errors and body pain.
More serious health problems from overplaying include obesity, hand injuries, numb hands, muscle and joint issues, gripping difficulties, poor eyesight, frequent headaches, eye strains, carpal tunnel syndrome and photosensitive seizures.
4 – NEGATIVE ATTITUDES
Video game addiction produces negative attitudes and unlikeable personality changes. This is one of the most headaching things that parents of young people addicted to playing digital games experience. Yes, this is very common among children, teenagers and young adults, but even older adults can be hard-headed too.
Because mobile game devotees are very much absorbed in their favorite activity, they hate it when somebody stops them from playing. Being disturbed from their games makes them annoyed and angry to the point of disrespecting their parents and elders. Sadly, some even threaten their parents to do something unagreeable if they are hindered. Whenever they are immersed in their games, they care more for their games and online playmates than their loved ones.
They get very irritated when people at home meddle with their business by telling them to quit their unhealthy fixation; that’s because they don’t claim that they have video game addiction. For them, it’s merely a harmless hobby because they enjoy it. Some also learn to lie a lot just to play secretly. Worse, the bad character is displayed even in front of non-family members, visitors and strangers.
5 – LACK OF CONCERN FOR STUDIES AND WORK
Some people sacrifice their future for the present pleasure from video games. Their enthusiasm for mobile games replaces their interest for studies and work.
Many students skip classes, exhibit poor performance and garner failing grades because of their warped love for video gaming. Instead of studying, they stay up all night to play games.
Adults are not exempted from this. Some are even too old to know what’s right and wrong, but video games are the only thing they have in mind. They don’t exert effort in looking for a job because they don’t want to work in the first place. They’d rather play than work their backsides off. This happens in real life regardless of one’s financial status.
6 – LOSING THEIR INTEREST AND PASSION ON THINGS THEY ENJOY
People extremely attached to playing video games have their eyes (literally) on their games only. They tend to lose interest and passion on the things they originally enjoy. In a way, the recreation becomes a distraction and a boulder on their way to success. Practicing and going back to their healthy hobbies seldom pass the mind because they are too busy on their video games.
7 – HAVING NO SENSE OF TIME
Video game addiction makes people lose their sense of time. When you’re playing, oftentimes, you don’t notice how long you have been doing it already. Even if you notice, who cares? Not you — if you are addicted to video games.
There are games where each round lasts for not less than 30 minutes. A lot of mobile games have endless levels and lives, and players are challenged to keep trying and trying until they are satisfied. If a player’s sight is fully fixed on the desire to win the round or to accomplish quests in the games, he/she will not even glance at the clock.
This is also why they shrug off even the most important things in life. The golden time won’t really matter for people who are mad about video gaming.
8 – UNHEALTHY AND BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS
Spending most of their time playing video games in their rooms or in gaming shops, video game addicts tend to isolate themselves from family and friends. There are several angles to this.
Relationships may be damaged when the game addicts push away their loved ones who care for them when they become obstacles to their hobby. Like what was mentioned before, some can even frighten family members if they are stopped from playing. Their rudeness and discourtesy creates disharmony.
Some players also develop unhealthy relationships among fellow gamers. This happens when they get hot-headed and argue during games. Instead of gaining friends, they make enemies.
The duration of someone’s gaming time in a day may be a bit long, but it’s not automatically an addiction, especially if it’s not everyday, if they can rest and stop without difficulty, and if they are still able to live a productive and disciplined life while having video games as leisure. However, if the above-mentioned points and more negative changes are manifesting through a gamer, then they could be indications of a gaming disorder.
Remember that entertainment is not bad as long as it is not being abused. In everything you do, including playing video games, being careful about its influences over your life is a must. You shall look not just at how playing mobile games can give you pleasure but also at how too much of it can taint your life. While they are not created to ruin people’s lives, they are supposed to be utilized with major self-control so that they really won’t.
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She also writes for Fitbiz Exercise Equipment, an excellent source of the ultimate fitness equipment collections in Australia. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.