Online Gaming is a major industry today. With the massive improvements in gaming technology and easy availability, the spectrum of online gaming is fast advancing. What is happening right now is that all aspects of the industry economy, like supply, demand, revenue, marketing etc are moving forward at a rapid pace. Every day new games are being released and there are a zillion websites that deal with online gaming in some way or other.
There are many different kinds of games. If one were to categorize them then an approximate classification would be as follows
– Puzzles or Strategy games
– Racing games
– FPS or First Person Shooter games
– Gambling/Adult games
– Massively multiplayer online games
There is also an ongoing debate about the impact online gaming has on people life, with the gaming community insisting that online gaming has multiple benefits and people who see it as a dangerous addiction shouting out the apparent damage that online gaming does to its users. Let us analyze certain characteristics of online gaming and see if the claims of either side hold up.
The biggest concern regarding people who play online games is the risk of them getting addicted to the games. It must be said that like many other activities, online games too have a potential to be addictive andits up to the user to control this aspect. However, with the evolution of the gaming industry, it is becoming clearer that more and more people are spending a large part of their lives playing games online and because it is such an engaging activity they do not even realize that they are getting addicted. News of people falling seriously sick because of abstaining from sleep or rest for a day at a stretch is not rare anymore.
Online games have proven themselves to be beneficial in developing quick thinking and decision making abilities. It is said that people who play strategy and shooter games regularly can react and make decision much faster than people who do not play such games. Puzzle games and games that involve lot of strategy do have benefits of increased activity in parts of the brain that are responsible for critical thinking. This has beneficial results in the long term in the same manner as that of people who play chess and memory games have minimized potential for acquiring memory diseases.
Social isolation is one of the most debated aspects of online gaming. While the majority opinion revolves around the belief that gamers tend to isolate themselves from any kind of real world contact and get stuck to playing games in a virtual environment all day long, the gaming community rebuffs the notion saying that online gamers in fact interact with a lot of people the world over, people they wouldn’t have met if not for the game. Whether you consider people in a virtual world as ‘society’ will decide if you go with the argument or not.
While it is true that brain stimulating games have certain advantages, it is also true that persistent gamers tend to lack any kind of physical activity in their lives and are on the path to obesity due to all the hours spent on the couch.
Aggressive, misogynist, violent behavior is a frequently quoted aspect of online gaming. There have been well documented concerns about the time spent in these unrealistic virtual worlds negatively affecting young adults. Certain game communities are notorious because of their bad behaviour even though there are steps being taken to bring in more civility to the gaming world.
Online games are a wonderful leisure activity and with a little precaution from the users themselves, it can also be as safe as its rewarding. For now, there seems to be no stopping the gaming industry and its patrons.