Gamer or GameAholic?

The World of Video Gaming and Its Effects

Alayna Edblom, Writer

Video games have been a massive part of the entertainment industry for decades. Since the creation of Pong in 1972 to the spectacular games of today’s generation, video games have gripped the attention of the public. There’s no denying that the world is plugged into the gaming system.

Video games have also spread in popularity thanks to content creators on streaming services such as YouTube and Twitch that record videos of them playing a variety of games. Popular creators include Markiplier, PewDiePie, and Jacksepticeye who have all gained an extreme amount of views and made a career out of gaming.

The number of gamers have increased in the past few years due to this uprise of video creators. Many people enjoy staying inside and investing their time into playing video games. However, what is the separation between being a healthy gamer and being a GameAholic?

A survey posted around Central about this very subject was answered by 27 participants who spoke their minds. Keep in mind, however, that the survey only reflects about 1% of our student body. Gaming addiction could be a much bigger problem than we’re aware of, but we’ll focus on the following respondents for now. 85% of those who voted said that they do play video games. Out of that percentage, about 60% said that they play 50 hours or less of video games per month, while the other 39% said they play 50 or more hours per month.

This isn’t very many hours spent gaming; in fact, there are people who play hundreds of hours worth of video games per month. Based on the survey results, it seems that Central students and teachers are keeping a rather healthy amount of game time. No one seems to go into the category of addiction or obsession. 

Video games are also very expensive and people need to be careful about how much money they spend. Based on the survey results, about 22% said that they spend $80 or more on games or gaming content per month, while 78% said they spend less than $80 per month. This is a reasonable amount to spend on games, honestly. Games are pricey, but it looks like no one is wasting their money or overspending on gaming content.

When asked whether excessive gaming can have a negative effect on a person, the majority of the responses were yes. Most of the explanations discussed that prolonged gaming can lead to a lack of social interaction and have a negative impact on a person’s mental health. They explained that gamers need to think wisely about how much time and money they spend on games. 

One respondent was Instructional Assistant Amanda Hicks, who shared a very thorough explanation of her thoughts about what she considers excessive gaming and how it may impact others.

“I believe it depends on who you ask and what their schedule holds. I believe 2-3 hours a day of gaming is not excessive. I understand that some games have story plots that take 30 minutes just to get through. Games are meant to be entertaining just like someone reading a book – who sits down to read a book for just 30 minutes? Just like a book, games are meant to come back to – they are designed to hold our attention for long periods of time. I believe gaming can have a negative effect on a person when the gaming gets in the way of normal hygiene habits, sleeping habits, interfere with studying, and work – things of that nature. Games can be addicting, so prioritizing your time wisely is key to gaming responsibly,” Hicks said.

This is a perfect description of how games are a double-edged sword and that even though they are a source of entertainment, they can be harmful. It’s important for people to limit their pastimes to a standard amount.

The debate on whether or not they’re GameAholics was pretty interesting, though. 60% answered no, 30% answered yes, and 8% answered maybe. The majority are not excessive gamers and play a healthy amount. The others hopefully will be careful with how much time they spend on video games and make sure to take breaks from time to time.

At the end of the day, video games are a good interest and hobby to have as long as they are played rationally. It’s no wonder why people are so interested in video games due to all the factors that are involved in them such as music, art, acting, gameplay, etc. Video games are seen as a form of art to those who enjoy them and it’s good to show appreciation. Now if only people would stop arguing over PlayStation and Xbox.