The introduction and advancement in technology and especially in the use of the Internet has contributed to numerous changes in the daily lives of people today. One amongst the many changes and impacts that the internet has brought is the rise and growth of the online gaming industry and culture. Several decades ago, there were only a few computers and thus, the limited and slow technology hindered such technologically driven industries. With this lack of capacity, no one would have conceived of the great springs that would have occurred in the online gaming field and make it as advanced as it is today. Today, the world of online gaming has changed marvelously with some almost real-life technologies of 3-D being created to make the gaming practice more enticing for its fans.
Online gaming happens to be even more enticing and realistic compared to offline gaming since it allows the gamers to challenge not just the computer, but also, other gamers regardless of their location on the globe. This gaming experience also offers ranking criteria amongst global gamers and championship awards, making the experience unforgettable and irresistible. An amazing fact about online gaming is that it has not just captured the minds of youngsters, but individuals of all ages. Some individuals have even gone further to invest heavily in the online gaming industry, while other individuals play online games as a means of earning their livelihoods.
Effects of online gaming on users
Unlike in offline gaming where an individual competes with the computer and in traditional video games, online gaming offers socially integrated gaming. This kind of gaming has positive effects such as earning livelihoods, and many negative effects, which may be psychological and even social. Online gaming creates greater negative effects on individuals in many aspects, whether health wise, gamers’ sleep, socialization and educational work.
Social Effects of Online Gaming
The instantaneous effects of online gaming on individuals are social and negative in most instances. This is because, once an individual begins to play online games, they often get addicted to the practice and consequently the gamer withdraws from their friends and family. The continuous spending of a lot of time on the computer encourages the withdrawal and the tendency to be a loner. Resultantly, their relationships begin annihilating because these gamers become too drawn to the virtual gaming world and does not attend social gatherings like normal people (Nichols 106-130). The gamer also starts to, skipping meetings with friends and family as he or she prefers to spend his time in the virtual gaming world.
In addition, some gamers opt to attend these public events with their relations, but, consciously or unconsciously, their antisocial nature, because they become irritable with real life people when they are away from the computer. This ends up causing further harm for the gamer socially. The antisocial nature of an online gamer is because of the numerous real life-like activities and levels that are incorporated in the game to make the gamer want to advance further and further. For instance, in one of the most famous online multiplayer game of “World of Warcraft”, the gamer is enticed by treasures, the gold earned, and search for special magic swords within the game levels in order to keep on playing to fulfill an individual’s curiosity. The antisocial nature of an online gamer is also caused by their addiction to the computer eventually, takes its toll even on family members, and can even cause irreparable damages such as leading to failed marriages.
Psychological Effects of Online Gaming
Negative psychological effects are also an eminent in a gamer because of inordinate use of a computer, which ends up taking an emotional toll on the individual. The excessive computer use by an individual makes one to withdraw into a virtual and artificial world, and some begin becoming emotional due to the events of a game more than the real life things. In addition, for an individual gamer who is used to having primary friends as the screen names of other virtual gamers are bound to experience many difficulties holding a face-to-face interpersonal communication in real life.
Physical Effects of Online Gaming
The addiction of an individual to online gaming makes some individuals so addicted that they rarely take breaks away from the computer seat. This is bound to cause damages physically to their bodies. For instance, the continuous use of a mouse and keyboard and sitting for many hours daily eventually leads to repetitive muscle and bone stress injuries to one’s body. Additionally, an individual will tend to experience relentless backache problems for spending a lot of time at computer desks. At the same time, eyestrains develop, as many gamers tend to move very close to the computer to have a better view and feel of the game they are playing. Addiction to online games takes a lot of the gamers’ time even their resting time. This sees many online gamers spending numerous late-nights, costing them the much-needed sleep time. Continuation of this sleep deprivation trend leads to drowsiness, and lack of concentration, consequently stressing the immune system (Nichols 106-130). In the end, the excessive use of the computer denies one time for exercising, causing them poor general condition physically, and uncalled for problems such as obesity.
Economic Effects of Online Gaming
As expected, the addiction to online games for the non-professional players consumes a lot of an individual’s time which they could be doing other more economically productive activities. In addition, the addiction, and the urge to play online games have no limits and could lure and individual to even play the games during office hours, thus causing problems at the workplace. The late-night usage of a computer to play video games causes an individual to dose off at the workplace, thus affecting their job performance negatively and even leading to job loss.
In due course, the effects of online gaming addiction continue to be seen throughout the life of the gamer. It has also been discovered that the online video gaming are not just precarious in forming addiction to the users, but they also cause social ineptness and reduction of social sensitivity. Apart from these, there are physical, social, psychological, and even economic adverse effects that are brought about by engaging oneself in online gaming. Thus, one thing ought to be strengthened and understood by both the online gamers and the non-gamers. They all should realize that, even though advancement in technologies, such as the Internet will continue to be experienced worldwide, and that they will be one of the tools used to entertain us, people should never allow these technologies to become more pleasurable to them than the real life.
Article Analysis: Glued to Games
The gaming industry, especially the video games and the online games have continued to be very lucrative, making billions of sales every day all over the world; and seeing the growth of big companies and factories that cater for the needs of gamers of all ages. Consequently, there have been numerous apprehensive concerns on the long-term results, especially the negative effects of users engaging in online gaming growing louder by the day. For this reason, many individuals including authors have contributed to the interminable debate through criticizing the issue of effects or by giving their views on the various concerns. Amongst the hundreds of writers on this matter, are Dr. Scott Rigby and Dr. Richard M. Ryan who authored the book, “Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound” in their effort to bring a new thing to the continuing discussion.
“Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound” is a nine chaptered book that has a total of 173 pages and which gives the reader a first truly equilibrated research-based scrutiny on the issue of online games and online gamers. The book has also addressed both the undesirable and constructive aspects of habitual online gaming by portraying findings of substantial recent research studies and instituting a motivational theory on the same. Glued to Games content is deeply rooted to the real gaming world and this is evident through the numerous examples cited from popular online games and the real-life experiences of online gamers themselves. Through this, the book enters the practical details of psychological and emotional glamour of online gaming, the gains that accompany the practice as well as the dangers of online gaming.
In “Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound”, Dr. Scott Rigby and Dr. Richard M. Ryan attempt to give every individual, whether directly linked to online gaming such as the gamers; or indirectly linked, such as the researchers and the relatives of online gamers a indistinct understanding of the psychology of online gaming. The authors also attempt to propose some recommendations that could foster healthier, more gratifying online games and experiences of online gaming. Dr. Scott Rigby and Dr. Richard M. Ryan efforts and work on this good job, even when compared to many other books of the same category, is very commendable.
Unlike many books on the same issue, Glued to Games is very considerate and encompassing as it makes even a reader who is not an online gamer to feel included. The book achieves this through its explanations of items that are considered gaming-specific, thus, it ensures that the reader is not left feeling clueless. Even for an individual with scant knowledge on this particular topic prior to reading this book, or even for an individual with very limited amount of time the book is very educative on the matter of gaming. Depending on the mindset of the reader, this book could leave one wanting to put video games in the category of things they may never want to do, it may also make some want to give up the habit, but also may make other individuals pick up this practice.
Glued to Games has gone to further extents of the gaming world and has reported on the great evolution of the practice since the early days, showing the changes that have been occurring in the minds of the game developers and the players quest for more realistic games. Beyond what the non-online gamers typically know, Glued to Games has also reported on other benefits that are offered by gaming and the downsides of the same. In this light, the authors also explain the reasons as to why gaming is such an absorbing practice for many people, and why many gaming addicts leave in denial about game content. Additionally, the authors note that at times, the non-gamers may tend to exaggerate the negative effects of gaming due to misinformation.