Gaming has become a popular activity for children and adults worldwide. Although video games are usually viewed as benign entertainment, psychologists are beginning to reveal their harmful effects.
Some researchers believe that excessive gaming causes depression and other psychological problems. In other cases, gaming is seen to promote aggressive behavior. Still others argue that it can help children develop higher-level thinking skills.
There are some benefits to playing video games, including improved health awareness and cognitive development. However, heavy gaming can negatively affect social development and physical health. Excessive use can also lead to a lack of motivation to participate in other activities.
According to one study, adolescents who play video games are at an increased risk of depressive symptoms. The study also found a correlation between violent video game playing and aggression. Generally, teens who played video games for longer than two hours a day were more likely to experience depressive symptoms.
Excessive video game use may also be associated with a lowered self-esteem. It can also be linked to poor psychological functioning and social anxiety.
Research shows that gamers who play for personal improvement report higher levels of positive affect. Those who reported playing for social interaction also reported lower self-esteem.
Researchers also found that gaming is associated with fewer offline friends. This might be a contributing factor to the problem of bullying.
One study showed that parents are often concerned about the ill effects of video games on their children. About 13% of these parents claim that video games have an adverse effect on their child’s development.