Super Mario or Sonic, which one is better? Who has never played these all time favorite games might be missing half of their lives. Does anyone know that along with Super Mario, Warcraft, Tetris and Pacman have been recognized as part of the Video Game Hall of Fame by the Strong National Museum of Play. These games were the icon of a blissfull childhood, a breakthrough of technology. They are the pioneers of today’s games industry. With the help of Science and Technology, games has opened up a revolutionary concept where long time ago these games were just a recreational entertainment but now known as a worldwide professional sport. As what they called, Esport.
In contrary to this revolution, it seemed ironic to mix up games with sports because gaming has never been considered to provide any health contributions to the player. It is even known notoriously to be health hazard because of how it is being played. Thus the never ending debate about games addiction continues, is gaming addiction going to be considered as a health disorder or not.
Gamers’ Unhealthy Practices
According to the American Psychological Association, video game addiction is not a mental disorder. It is fascinating that today gaming has been changing the course of human behavior in so many ways. Some say being competitive is healthy for the mental state but craving to win competitions and pass all levels to win more should be considered as addiction already, which is not healthy at all. Gaming addiction is definitely an alarming condition that needs to be attended seriously because this can do substantial damage to the well being of a person. Come to think of it, a person who is addicted to gaming would sit in one position for a long period of time just staring at the monitor with limited physical locomotive responses. The main goal is to practice, to enhance the skill and to master the best strategic tactics in winning all levels and missions. This involves the craving of winning because when winning releases a happy hormone, Serotonin which gives the urge to play more. The player might acquired mental skills such as analytical thinking and alertness but at the same time jeopardizing the physical health. The prolonged gaming activity will eventually lead to sleep deprivation, eyesight impairment and lack of social interaction. These will then manifest by the body in which affects the well being of the gamer, from mild carpal tunnel to postural deficits and some even end up dying . In 2005, a South Korean gamer died in an internet cafe after playing for 50 hours,barely eating and sleep. These unhealthy practices might also affect the emotion state of the gamer which lead to unstable mood, thinking and behavior and most of the time end up in violence. Playing violent games can also be a contributing factor that can cloud gamer’s judgement and rational thinking. In 2005, a Chinese man stabbed his fellow gamer just because of a virtual sword from the game Legend of Mir 3.
Leagues help but don’t prevent the abuse
There is no stopping the Technology revolution today. It even made gaming a significant portion in a person’s lifestyle. Online gaming can also be monetized in which a lot of gamers are motivated to play long hours just to farm rare collectibles to be able to do trade for money. Some to the extend of pursuing the dream of becoming a professional gamer. There are a lot of supporting organizations such as the Cyberathlete Professional League which also known as the pioneer in the gaming industry,they would organize and promote gaming sport tournaments worldwide. Somehow they are convinced to the relevance that gaming is comparable to the sport Chess because both uses strategic tactical method. Since gaming is already officially accepted as a sport, there should be sufficient teachings and guidelines to be impart such as regular physical therapy to the players so to avoid health hazard. Sadly, these helpful efforts are taken lightly just because lack of awareness.
Online Gaming is Here to Stay
This is a millenial era and Gaming is already part of the Technology essence. Just like Technology, there is no stopping the Online Gaming industry. According to Entertainment Software Association, there are several colleges and universities already offering video game courses and degree because it was foreseen that the video game industries offer a rewarding career path. It might be a positive angle to look at but main issue is how to increase the awareness of the health risk in gaming addiction. What will be an effective preventive and precaution measures to avoid the health consequences of gaming addiction. Perhaps the only evident way is when gaming addiction will be recognized as health disorder then there will be laws implemented to ensure limitation and control gaming activities because of it’s dangers.