Positive And Negative Mental Impacts Of Video Games


Worldwide, video games are amongst the top favorite activities of billions of people. With their constantly advancing improvements in graphics and variety in playability options, including online multiplayer access and story complexity, the gaming industry has seen a massive economic boom in recent years. However, for the more dedicated gamers, this hobby can turn into life on its own, as it constantly provides mental stimulation with both positive results and negative consequences to one's personal life.

Positive Effects

  • Situational and environmental perception.

As stated by Defense News, soldiers within the Army had their combat readiness awareness improved through the interaction with video games during their service. In particular, strategy-based games encouraged players to pay closer attention to abrupt changes in situations and environments, which required more flexibility.

  • Improved focus.

It was proven by the Appalachia Educational Laboratory that kids who live with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder had more satisfactory reading scores while engaged with the video game known as Dance Dance Revolution, according to studies.

  • Improves resource management capabilities.

Players become more skilled and make calculated choices regarding management and the practical applications of limited resources through video games such as Zoo Tycoon and Rollercoaster Tycoon. To increase the challenge even further, players can choose to be in control of the management of entire civilizations in similar simulation-style games such as Civilization and Age of Empires.

Negative Effects

  • Sleep quality is negatively impacted.

It's challenging for most dedicated gamers to stick to a proper sleep schedule, especially if it's done for hours at a time. It becomes increasingly difficult to manage the needs of day-to-day life, and more long-term responsibilities when you're sleep schedule takes a hit. Your career and academic commitments and performance will worsen due to a decreased attention span, which directly impacts motivation if your mind focuses more on gaming instead.

  • Increased risk for obesity, heart complications, and loss of muscle tone.

The well-known saying "A body in motion tends to stay in motion" couldn't be more accurate, and chronic video gaming is no exception. Constantly sitting idle in one position for several hours, with no breaks, can also wreak havoc on your joint health and promote poor posture. Physical health will also experience persistent adverse effects such as back and neck issues and ongoing headaches.

  • An increase in hostility.

Violent thoughts and behavior are not directly attributed to violent video games. However, our emotions tend to bottle inside during video game sessions due to decreased activity within the amygdala. As a result of prolonged exposure to video games, and even addiction, feelings of aggression and anxiousness can become apparent. In addition, this increase in aggression is also a symptom of video game withdrawal.

  • Video games encourage depression.

A connection was proven by research, such as in 2014 by Toronto et al., that depression is a response to video gaming. The onset of depressive symptoms also increased in gamers who played for over two hours daily.