By | 27 Aug 2022 at 10:56 AM

Online gaming is a fast-growing industry, with a global estimate of over 4 billion people. This means that the trend of playing video games online instead of with friends or family in person is becoming the norm.

There are some drawbacks to online gaming that you should know before signing up for membership at any virtual hangout. Online gaming has been proven to have several negative effects on a person’s mental health, social life, and overall well-being.

Social Anxiety in Online Gaming

Social anxiety is a very common condition and is experienced by many people in their lives. A person with a social anxiety disorder may have difficulty taking part in everyday activities including going to work, maintaining friendships, romantic relationships, or enjoying recreational activities.

In a study of 6,000 Chinese adolescents aged 11–19, researchers found that adolescents with social anxiety were more likely to play massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs, or MMOs) than adolescents without social anxiety. They also found that adolescents with social anxiety were more likely to show signs of addiction to MMOs compared to adolescents without social anxiety.

Overuse and Addiction

The WHO and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) have identified gaming disorder as a new mental health condition that deserves more research and attention in the medical field. People who have gaming disorder spend many hours each week playing video games, often to the point where their physical health, mental health, social life, and academic achievement are negatively affected.

Gaming disorder can be a symptom of another underlying condition, such as anxiety or depression. If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of gaming disorder, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. The earlier treatment is sought, the better the chances of a full recovery.

The Loneliness of Online Gaming

Many social media sites are promoting themselves as places for gamers to connect, but many people who play games online report feeling lonelier rather than less lonely. There have been over 100 studies on loneliness, and they all show that there are serious health risks attached.

People who feel isolated are at higher risk of depression, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. One study found that people who felt lonely while playing online games developed higher levels of social anxiety and lower self-compassion.

The research found that people who played online games had higher levels of isolation than people who played face-to-face games. When gamers play online, they play with strangers, which makes them vulnerable to cyberbullying and other negative experiences.

Lack of Physical Activity

While social-styled games are an excellent way for people to connect, many of these titles require very little physical movement. Users miss out on social interactions that would often include physical activity such as playing sports or games in person.

Virtual reality games can be very helpful in keeping in touch with friends, family, and colleagues, but they also make it easy to passively observe others without engaging in conversation or physical movement. They are an excellent resource for people who want to explore new hobbies or activities, but may not be the best way to meet up in person.

Other Types of Addiction in Gaming

Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is a pattern of excessive Internet use that is unrelated to work or education, resulting in an inability to fulfill daily responsibilities. This condition is characterized by persistent, recurring, and self-destructive behavior (also known as rage quitting).

Internet gaming disorder involves maladaptive behaviors that are often used as a coping mechanism to address negative feelings. Many individuals are at risk of developing IGD which is difficult to treat depending on the length of use.

Conclusion

Online gaming is a popular activity, but it has its drawbacks. These include social anxiety, loneliness, lack of physical activity, and other types of addiction. The solution to these drawbacks is simple: balance. Knowing what is important is part of maturing so playing slot games now and then won’t hurt as long as you don’t forget the world outside.

It’s imperative to spend time in nature, play with friends and family, and indulge in passions that don’t involve technology. If you are engaging in online gaming or any other activities that may cause you harm, take the time to step back and reevaluate your daily routine.

(Devdiscourse’s journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)