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Games do not necessarily determine how people behave in society, however, they can have a significant influence on attitudes and behavior both within and outside the game world. Playing games can have both positive and negative effects on people’s behavior depends on various factors. It is important to be aware of some possible risks and benefits of playing games to maintain a balanced and healthy approach to it. Especially children and teenagers, playing games can be fun and enjoyable activity, but there are still several risks involving in excessive gaming or inappropriate game content. Gaming addiction is a recognized disorder which lead to lose control over gaming and neglect of other important activities. Moreover, some games may contain violent, sexual, or disturbing content that are not appropriate for certain age groups or individuals. Desensitization, anxiety, and many negative effects might occur after approaching those risks in games.

Researching on the relation of playing games and increased aggression is still ongoing. Some studies agree that there is a correlation between playing games and increased aggression, while others find no relationship. The American Psychological Association also noted that the link between those two is not conclusive and that more search is needed. On the other hand, some studies suggest that playing games can have positive effects on cognitive development, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving skills. The impact of games on behavior is complex and depended on various factors such as player’s age, personality, and cultural background.

Here are some possible effects of playing game on player’s behavior

1. Cognitive development

Many games require players to think strategically and make quick decision which can promote the development of cognitive skills. Playing games can also improve working memory, which is the ability to hold and manipulate information in the mind over short time period. Games especially those involving in problem solving and critical thinking can enhance player’s cognitive skills such as memory, attention, and spatial reasoning.

2. Socialization

Playing games can provide opportunities for socialization and connection with other players, especially in multiplayer games or online communities. Players can form friendships, participate in team activities, and engage in social interactions that can enhance their social skills. In contrast, some argue that playing game can lead to social isolation and reduce face-to-face interaction with others. This is a particular concern for individuals who prioritize gaming over other social activities.

3. Aggression

According to some studies, playing violent games can increase aggression and desensitization to violence, especially among children and teenagers. However, the impact of playing violent games to the real-world violence is still controversial. One theory is that playing games can lead to an increase in aggression because they involve competition, frustration, and arousal, all of which can heighten the likelihood of aggressive behavior. In contrast, other studies suggest that playing games can actually serve as a relief outlet for aggression which allows players to release their frustrations in safe and controlled environment. Therefore, parents should also monitor their children’s gaming habits and be aware of the content and context of the games they are playing.

4. Addiction

Game addiction can lead to several negative consequences such as decreased academic or occupational performances, neglect of personal relationships and responsibilities, and both physical and mental health problems, for example, playing games for a long periods of time can lead to health problems such as eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and obesity.

5. Moods and emotions

Games can affect people’s mood and emotion depending on game’s content, difficulty, and success. Many people play games as a way to relieve stress and improve their mood, while others may find that gaming can actually increase their stress levels or trigger their negative emotions. Winning a game can boost player’s confidence and self-esteem by releasing dopamine to create a sense of pleasure and satisfaction, while losing can cause them anger and frustration.

Does game really shape how people behave in the society?

Indeed! games can definitely shape how people behave in society. Games are a form of entertainment that involves the rules, challenges, and rewards in games. When people play games, they may adopt certain behaviors or values that are reinforced by the game’s mechanics or the social dynamics of the players which can influence how they think and act. To clarify, cooperation and teamwork games can promote prosocial behavior such as helping and sharing, while games that emphasize competition and individual achievement may encourage more aggressive or self-centered behavior. On the other hand, violent video games may lead to increased aggression. In addition, games can also serve as a reflection of societal values and norms. The themes and storylines of games can reinforce certain cultural values and expectations, moreover, the way that characters are portrayed can reinforce stereotypes or challenge them. Playing game can cause effect to us in many ways including emotionally, mentally, and physically, which is essential to limit the time we spent on games and to choose games that align with our values and goals. The following are some examples of games that might cause a significant impact on us :

  • Life stimulation game

Games like The Sims and Animal Crossing can shape our responsibility, time management, and social interactions which can also help us in developing empathy and emotional intelligence as we take care of the virtual characters in games.

  • Role-playing games

Skyrim or World of Warcraft can provide a sense of escape and immersion which allow us to temporarily leave our problems in reality behind and enjoy the imaginary life instead. These games can also encourage creativity and problem-solving skills as we must navigate complicated quests and challenges.

  • Action games

Call of Duty and Fortnite can effectively improve our reaction time and hand-eye coordination which will also providing sense of excitement and adrenaline of the players. However these games can be overstimulating and can potentially be addictive, so it is important to maintain a balanced and playing them moderately.

  • Educational games

Math Blaster or Typing Tutor can help players to learn and develop important skills in fun and engaging way, which can also keeping us to stay motivated and interested in learning, especially on subjects that may be more difficult and boring in a classroom setting.

“Games are an escape from reality, but they also give us a glimpse of what reality could be”

To summarized, playing games can be fun and enjoyable activity that provide entertainment and able to develop some particular skills of the players such as cognitive skills, socialization, and hand-eye coordination. The purpose of playing games are varied and depend individually, some might use game as a tool to relieve stress by leaving real life problem behind and start enjoying the imaginary world in games. Otherwise, they use game as a significant pathway to improve their skills through complex tasks or challenges in games and overcome their abilities. Playing games can bring benefits to the players, however, it can cause some negative impacts towards their behavior as well. Without any restriction or limitation of the amount of time spent on playing games, it can lead to many negative effects such as game addiction, anxiety, and mental and physical health problem. Additionally, online gaming can pose risks such as cyberbullying, identity theft, and exposure to predators. Finally, playing games containing both positive and negative effects on people’s behavior, depending on the context and individual factors. However, games are just one of many factors that can influence behavior, and their impact should not be overstated or used as a sole explanation for complex social phenomena. It is important for individuals, especially parents and caregivers of children, to be aware of these potential risks and take care step to mitigate them by setting time screen limitation, monitoring game content, and encouraging healthy habits such as physical activity and social interaction.