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Health and Social Issues of online Gaming

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Health & Social Issues of Online Gaming

With the technology advancements improving the gaming experience, more people are playing online games. Starting from children, teenagers, adults, people of all ages are playing online games. People that are addicted to online games have the tendency to lose interest in many hobbies, activities they enjoyed doing. They have little face-to-face interaction with their friends and family, assuming they are spending more than 4 hours a day playing online games. However, some studies show that people addicted to online games are constantly involved in social interaction because the games encourage it. "Online multiplayer games typically encourage interaction between players: some go even as far as demanding it. Collaboration with other players may be a prerequisite for making progress in a game, or a game may be based on competition between players" (ScienceDaily par. 4). Games like World of Warcraft (WoW) and Assassin's Creed are the typical types of games that include features where you are required to interact with the other players to progress in the game. Interacting is in the game and outside of the game, starting from the chat rooms, different forums, social media, etc.

In role-player online games you are either collaborating with someone or fighting against them. I believe this is where most of the addiction comes from. People get addicted to role-playing online games because they may not be satisfied with the real world they are living and so much enjoy the feeling they get in this virtual world. These people may not be satisfied with their physical appearance; role-playing games provide just that - a character that you can design however you want and they find comfort in that. Reputation is very important for all ages, especially for children/teenagers that lack self-confidence and are being mocked all the time. In role-player online games your reputation is built by how good you play, so people that lack self-confidence and perform well in these games, they get a great deal of reputation. That is, I believe, where people really get attached to the game.

"Gaming stimulates the brain's "reward centers" which stimulates the same high a drug addict or alcoholic feels. While most people associate addiction with substances, such as drugs or alcohol, doctors recognize online gaming addictive behaviors as well" (Online Gaming Addiction par. 2). Not satisfied with the reality, they find comfort and joy in these virtual words which lead them to addiction.

Considering the fact that people of all ages play online games, online gaming addiction is a serious issue due to the negative impacts it can have. There have been many cases where addicts show sign of anger and violence. "...there's the couple whose infant expired as they played games in an Internet cafe; there is the



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