Essay: Computer and console gaming – addiction

According to many legitimate websites and books, computer and console gaming can change your life in many good and bad ways. When I was six years old my parents introduced me to the family computer, so that I could use the ‘paint’ program to draw and print my virtual works of art. It wasn’t until I was ten years old, that I discovered the game ‘Minecraft’ and many more games after that. From there we bought the PS3 then the Wii, and Wii U and I have formed a strong bond with these games I play using this technology. I started to get curious of what gaming was doing to my brain, and apparently the addictive properties about gaming affect one’s life both emotionally and academically.
Gaming can be extremely addictive. There are many different types of games, and and each type of game can be tweaked to be less or more addictive depending on the point and the creator of the game. Although, the game types that are most commonly addictive are these next listed. One of these is FPS or first person shooter games such as ‘Half Life: Counter Strike Source’ or ‘Doom’. Another is the MMO or fantasy role play games like ‘Tera’ ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ and ‘EQ or Everquest’. Also there are ‘Casual Games’ that you see on mobile devices including ‘Angry Birds’ ‘Candy Crush’ and ‘Bejeweled’ Though these games are most addictive types or genres of games, the top three most addicting games in themselves are ‘The Sims’ ‘World of Warcraft’ and at the top of the list, ‘Call of Duty’, says Cheat But even after all this, what keeps you coming to these games? Every time you accomplish something in a game your brain sends a rush of dopamine and you unconsciously crave it’ So you keep playing it to get that feel of dopamine but the receptors close after they get too much dopamine form your happiness of the games. So in turn you, come back so many times and play for so long to feel as happy as you felt the first few times you play the games. (Rawes, The Game Theorists, “Most Addictive Types of Video Games”)
Even though gaming is addictive, it can also affect your emotions. Some games can affect you emotionally for the better. For starters, just because first person shooters are some of the most addictive types of games, they can also benefit you. Basicly, just because some games are addictive, doesn’t mean they’re bad games, for instance math tile games can be addictive, yet they are healthy for your brain function. First person shooters can help you make better, and more in cognitive decisions about what you’re doing in the games. One other big thing that stares people right in the face is, games were meant to be a fun, and if you treat them like so, you can raise the, for a lack of better words, ‘happiness emotions’ in your brain. Another good thing gaming can bring to one’s emotions is new friends that completely share your interests, hence you meeting them in your favorite games. Friends like ones you meet in multiplayer games as well as in the ‘physical’ world always promises good emotions. Friends are people you talk to, relate with, help in their dark times. If you can incorporate these friends in your favorite games or gaming activities, it could really be something good for you and the way you feel. Also, some say games glue you to the screen because there addicting, others say that games do this because there motivating, motivating you to beat that last level or save that last innocent man in Call of Duty. Basically telling your brain ‘you can do this’. (Shapiro,Lowery)
Just because gaming has all these good impacts on your the way you feel, there are also bad effects that should not be overlooked. In some cases, violent games my shape violent personalities. Also, gaming may have other bad effects in your social activities, like spending more time on your computer and less time with physical friends. Not only that, but in some cases gaming can influence peer pressure, through competitive games. In other ways, during certain times in the year, like Christmas, developers put sales on games so you go out and buy them. But aside from this, some of the biggest problem is the way gaming can affect your mood, in two big punishing ways like, depression and anxiety. (Griffiths,”Psychological effects of games on individuals and society”, Lowery)
Gaming can be addictive and emotionally powerful, it can also impact one academically. Here are some ways gaming can affect you academically is first off better problem solving skills, nimble thinking, faster decision making like not having to stop and think while facing a resolution, and less thought towards determining what are good or bad decisions. Gaming can also help with multi tasking. One game, called WOW or ‘World or Warcraft’ may be able to help solve one of the worlds biggest economic problems, inflation, and this all set set into play when the game currency started to become easier to find in this game. Players have had to deal with ingame inflation just like the inflation in the real world, therefore finding strategies to deal with it. These strategies could be used to help with the real life problem. In other ways, there are lots of games built for educational value Sadly, the ways gaming can be bad in this case, has a lot bigger effect. In some cases gamers will decide that gaming is more important to them then studying, doing schoolwork, or homework. This would have a big impact on the way you perform on test, and in school classes. If this becomes a practice that can not be broken, the long term consequences can be as severe as affecting college, and job employment. Sometimes gaming can result in ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder. Poor concentration might also become a problem. Losing track of time is also common for gamers. (Lowery,The Game Theorists,”Do video games lower academic performance?”, Paturel, Barr)
Sometimes I wish I hadn’t gotten myself into gaming, like there was no point to it. But even after all of my time on the computer I still love it as if it was the first day I was introduced to it all those years ago. I dont know if thats good or bad, but it is what it is, and as long as I don’t let gaming put too much of an affect on my life, theres no stopping me from playing.

Source: Essay UK -

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