The flip side to 'gaming disorder': the positives to gaming culture
There’s no denying that gaming has earnt a negative reputation in some quarters.
We’re sure you’re all familiar with the headlines and the fears that video games can cause addiction, increase violence and distress. Or that recently, ‘Gaming Disorder’ was even listed as an official medical condition, used to describe persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour so severe that it takes "precedence over other life interests".
But that’s not the full story.
In fact, research conducted by the Oxford Internet Institute found that only 0.3% of all gamers might encounter problems controlling the time they spend playing video games.
In addition, any emotional changes that players encounter are short-lived, such as a spike of happiness when they win a game or annoyance if they lose.
For the majority of users, gaming can actually have a positive effect on their life - and be used to address and ignite conversations around positive mental health.
Take, for example, the 2015 game Life Is Strange. This game was created to promote important conversations around mental health, by addressing some deep themes such as suicide in the narrative. In addition, the game also made sure to include some numbers for users to call if they were affected by any issues in the game.
For some people, gaming can be a massive support system to users, giving them the chance to connect to and build communities with other like-minded players across the globe.
In most cases, games can be used to train your brain, giving you transferable mental skills that you can bring over to different aspects of your life. They are great for increasing your concentration, encouraging you to think and solve logical problems, improve your memory and give you a chance to test your reflexes and spatial awareness.
With the different ranges of games out there, there are plenty of ways to ensure that you stay sharp while having fun, giving you the perfect exercise for your brain while feeling like you’re not doing any work at all.
Fundamentally, gaming is designed to make you feel good about your life. It’s there to provide the fun and entertainment that you deserve after a hard days work.