Much like chess, gaming is practically the skillset of how quickly your mind reacts to different situations at different levels. Having dealt with any form of successive failures can psychologically impact the mental health of gamers, especially those who tend to make their career out of it.
Moreover, knowing that a career in gaming is still not respected in Indian middle-class families, it becomes important to highlight the struggles faced by our domestic gamers who not only deal with regular cases of mental health issues in gaming but also face several stereotypes in narrow-minded societies.
Here is a detailed analysis of why it is important to discuss the mental health of gamers, with a special emphasis on Indian gamers.
Understanding the altitude of gaming worldwide
In the United States alone, an average young person plays for around 10,000 hours before he reaches the age of 21. Having said that, this is the same time an average middle school or high school goer gives to play games or compete in several tournaments.
In India, this number is even higher. As per the stats given by the renowned agency ‘Statista’, there were approximately 354 million online gamers in 2020 and this number is expected to rise to 510 million gamers in 2022. India ranks highest in terms of game downloads between the years 2016 and till present, which is logically golden for gaming in the history of humanity.
Contrary to popular assumptions, video games aren't solely for teenagers. Only 21% of gamers were under the age of 18 according to recent surveys. While gaming can be an enjoyable diversion or hobby (and is even becoming a competitive sport on many college campuses), excessive gaming has health dangers.
The negative impact of gaming on mental health
Video games can have negative consequences on your physical and mental health or both. It's important to remember that each person will have distinct symptoms, although gaming condition is known to cause a variety of symptoms, as outlined here.
Excessive usage of video games, like most addictions, is typically the cause of these symptoms. The more you play, the more you disregard other important elements of your life, such as your social life, profession, family, mental health, and physical fitness.
The negative physical effects and negative mental/emotional effects of playing hours and hours of video games every day can be divided into two categories.
Some players' video-game addiction is compared to gambling, according to Kyle Faust, a researcher at the University of Rhode Island.
"The origins of Internet gaming disease can be traced back to the earliest arcade games," adds Faust. "Because of increasingly engrossing and rewarding gaming formats, the problem has grown dramatically."
He goes on to say that sophisticated digital games, as well as the sheer number of individuals who play them, might put internet gaming disorder "on track to becoming a serious public health concern."
The positive impact of gaming on mental health
As per the research conducted by Oxford University in 2020, it was revealed that gaming actually had a positive impact on the state of mental health as it was claimed that the occurrence of several brain stimulation leads to the release of dopamine.
To put it another way, playing video games encourages players to deeply stimulate numerous distinct areas of their brain, resulting in the development of a vast number of different useful activities and aspects of thinking.
With the growth of streaming platforms and multi-player online experiences, a new type of socializing has emerged, in which users collaborate to solve problems. This can help people overcome feelings of isolation and feel like they're part of a true community.
People can learn to cope with stressful situations by playing video games. Gamers can improve their ability to deal with real-life hurdles and difficulties by learning how to conquer in-game trials.
People can reveal their actual selves through gaming and streaming. Streamers and gamers can find a safe haven on online streaming platforms, where they can be themselves in a friendly, close-knit community.
If you find this article interesting and want to understand more about the positive implications gaming has on mental health and regular brain functioning, you should definitely try reading this out!
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