Games can at times be useful. They can be used for educational purposes such as reading, math or science. Games can also be useful to de-stress. What could possible be wrong or concerning with games?
There are a few things to be aware of:
Content- Games contain everything imaginable. Including violence, adult content (not tznius), gore, etc..
Addictive nature of games
What Makes a Game Addictive?
Particularly in reference to video games, online communities formed by Role Playing Games (RPGs) such as the World of Warcraft or Runescape provide valuable communities for their players. Online games give anyone the opportunity to forge new identities and engage in activities in imaginary lands that will not judge them like the real world would.
In addition Games, can “feed the ego”. When playing a game like Risk or Monopoly, conquering another person’s land or collecting a massive amount of rent is largely thrilling and satisfying. It is a tangible reward that shows your success in the game. Successful games are therefore a strong system of toil and reward and boost the player’s ego to the extent that he or she wants to keep playing in order to get that feeling. It’s especially notable that many kids who do not get rewarded or do not receive this sort of self esteem boost outside of the game world are the ones who will come back for more because it is in the game world that they get this type of satisfaction.
Games that are successful, or in other words, games that are addictive have other equally intriguing qualities. Many games build up levels of complexity. The players acquire novel skills that they must apply to other situations in the game. Upon learning these skills, the game becomes even more complex, causing the player to want to complete increasingly difficult challenges, effectively hooking them onto the game. Professor of Computer Science, Maria Klavee o says that video games, in particular, “offer some real opportunities for puzzle solving, strategic and critical thinking.”
What’s happening in your brain?
Many researchers believe that there is a physiological component related to addictive video games, similar to the physiological state induced in drug addicts by their drug of choice. A study in 2005 found that dopamine (a feel-good hormone in the brain) levels doubled when people were playing video games, which means that addictive games are chemically addictive as well. The same neural pathways in the brain that reinforce dependence on substances can reinforce compulsive technology behaviors that are just as addictive and potentially destructive.”
Therefore the simplest formula to making an addictive game is to make it challenging, interesting, and rewarding. Any game can elicit a feel-good sensation for a short amount of time, but the games that can accurately be called addictive, though different for everyone, are those that you routinely go back to that keep you feeling good all the time!