Video games are a kind of leisure activity that one can do in order to relax or have fun alone or with friends. Just as the name suggests it is a game with an electronic set up, that involves manipulation of images electronically and the images produced on a video display device such as a monitor or a T.V screen. The highest population of video game users is children of 10years and above, teenagers and college students. These age groups are mostly found in areas of video games as a result of the free time they tend to have on their hands and by so doing they become addicted to the video games.
The addiction can have serious effects on their personal social, education and even health aspects of their lives.
Key words: addiction, video games.
After a long day of work or classes most people tend to involve themselves in relaxation activities and to some people video games seem as a good leisure activity.
Majority of the population that is mostly interested in video games are children of 10years and above, teenagers and college students who have a lot of free time on their hands. The video game is an electronic game that can be played by one or more people. The game involves a user interface interaction to generate a visual feedback that is relayed in 2 or 3 dimension video display device such as a computer monitor or T.V screen. Video games come in a variety of genres and platforms and as such the users have a number of options to choose from thus the urge to get hooked up to the video games. This later turns into an addiction which has dire effects on the user in terms of their social life, health as well as poor performance and productivity. As much as video games are meant to be a leisure activity, addiction to video games has far reaching effects on relationships, one’s performance and health.
As the popularity of video games has increased so as the interest of researchers on the effects it has to those addicted to it and the people around them. The effects of video games addiction whether negative or positive extend beyond the addicted individual to the people around them whether family, friends or the people they relate to in their day to day activities. For instance research has shown that video game addiction can interfere with one’s decision making ability (Andrews and Murphy, 2006, Kim et al., 2008) which can in the long run lead to relationship problems. It can also lead to negligence of some family activities thus leading to arguments in the family set up. In addition, playing violent games can make one to be violent to the people around them.( Anderson, C. 2004).
Secondly, addiction to video games can lead to a number of health problems. The addiction to video games has been classified as a distinct behavioral addiction characterized by compulsive or excessive use of video games which in the long run interfere with one’s everyday activities and life. One of the health problems is insomnia, this phenomenon is found to occur to people who tend to lack sleep. Gaming addicts tend to experience this often because they spend most of their time gaming and this may progress too late in the night. This is mostly accompanied by migraines due to eye strain or the intense concentration for a long time. Moreover, gaming addicts tend to experience fatigue most of the time. Poor hygiene and feeding can also lead to a number of health problems as most of the gaming addicts spend most of their time playing video games and end up neglecting themselves. ( Breeze, Mez , 2013)
Lastly, poor performance can also result from addiction to video games. When one is addicted to video games they tend to have difficulty in thinking of other activities apart from gaming and this interferes with their social, school, personal, mental health and work performance. The child tends to be pre occupied and is not willing to participate in any extracurricular activities or interest other than playing video games. When it comes to school work the negligence of school work is reflected in the poor grades attained the student due to lack of dedication to their school work. In addition lack of sleep at night due to the fact that the student was gaming till late makes them to experience fatigue and lack of concentration in class and this leads to poor performance in their classwork.In conclusion.
As much as they are meant to entertain or undertaken as a leisure activity, video games have negative and positive impacts on the players as well as the people around them. Their negative effects have a diverse impact on the social, mental, personal hygiene, health and school work of the individual. This is a clear indicator that parents should be cautious about video games when it comes to their children as its impacts are serious and dangerous to their children’s wellbeing and may in the long run affect their future. Anything taken or done in excess tends to become harmful rather than beneficial to the user and when anything is done or used in excess it is taken to be an addiction to that particular thing and so it tends to be harmful rather than being beneficial to the user.