The Psychology of Gaming How Games Impact Your Brain and Behavior 

The effect of games, especially video games on the functioning of your brain has perpetually remained an area of a prolonged and almost incessant debate. Some studies say that video games can help prospective individuals to develop their cognitive and motor skills amongst many other skills. However, there are still quite a few studies suggesting how playing games for long hours can consequently make players more violent or aggressive.  

Many studies reveal how playing an escape room game can help players build up their time management, fine motor skills, cognitive abilities, and others. Now, there is still a lot of grey area surrounding whether playing games can be truly beneficial for your brain activity. In this article, we will explore how playing games can impact your brain, both positively and negatively. So, check it out:  

What is the psychology of gaming? 

Video game creators are naturally conducive to designing games to be interactive and engaging for players. They are deliberately designed to be addictive for players to the extent that they cannot keep away from playing.  

The gaming industry is known for employing cognitive psychologists, renowned psychologists, and computer science and human behavioral scientists to design their user experiences. Consequently, they apply their expertise in attention, perception, memory, emotion, and learning principles to design engaging game designs.  

How does gaming impact your brain? 

There are several ways in which gaming can impact the brain and its overall functioning just like in escape rooms. While some of these changes are obvious and hard to overlook, there are still other minor changes that may happen. Here are some of the most common impacts of gaming on your brain functioning: 

  1. It activates the secretion of dopamine. 

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that forms an integral part of your brain’s reward system. Indulging in gaming for long hours can result in the secretion of this neurotransmitter. Whenever your brain is expecting some kind of reward for an activity it is doing, almost immediately, it starts secreting dopamine.  

Consequently, the secretion of dopamine makes the person feel good and motivates them to repeat the behavioral pattern in a tight cycle. However, when people can control their habit of playing games with healthy hobbies, the brain secretes small doses of dopamine. Hence, it makes the person feel happy and motivated.  

While this is a simple fact and may not seem altogether harmful or terrible, situations can get worse when one indulges in long and frequent hours of gaming sessions. It results in the secretion of large doses of dopamine in the brain until the brain shuts down the ability to secrete dopamine to balance the excess secretions.  

In response to this behavior, players may start playing even more often than usual, with the hopes of experiencing the rush and thrill. However, the brain only responds by shutting down any production of dopamine if at all. Eventually, it may lead to a condition where the brain does not secrete dopamine and becomes dopamine deficient. It is probably one of the most adverse effects of gaming on your brain functioning.  

  1. It can reverse the negative effects of brain aging.  

While the effects of gaming on your brain can be dangerous, there are still quite a few benefits of the same. Some studies by scientists at the University of California have luckily suggested how playing video games can improve cognitive functioning. It can also help reverse the negative effects of brain aging in some people.  

The research further asserts how a specifically designed three-dimensional video game can proficiently enhance brain performance in older adults. The participants who were involved as part of the study underwent twelve hours of training in the game and were allowed a month to play.  

The ultimate results of the test showed how players in the age group of 60 to 85 years showed enhanced cognitive functioning. They even surpassed the cognitive abilities of players in their 20s!  

  1. It can cause a fight-or-flight response.  

The natural fight-or-flight response system in our body is only designed to help people protect themselves from treacherous or threatening situations. Under such circumstances, the human body releases certain hormones which increase our heart and breathing rates.  

It also consequently makes our muscles respond to our earliest needs. In some cases, the fight-or-flight response system can act as a real lifesaver and help one react quickly to intense and dangerous situations.  

However, when players engage in playing violent or aggressive video games, this response system of the body can prove to be harmful. Prolonged exposure to these games can make the brain feel as if the threats and attacks happening in the game are real. It is then that the brain fails to distinguish between the real and the fictional world and causes acute problems. Often players react aggressively or angrily to different situations because of this effect.  

While we only looked at a few ways in which gaming can impact brain functioning and behavior, there are still many other effects of the same. So, before it is too late, ensure you do not play games for long hours, to remain fit and healthy!  

Master James
Master James
Master James, a versatile wordsmith, possesses an unparalleled ability to delve into the depths of the General Niche, exploring a myriad of topics with finesse. His literary prowess extends across the vast tapestry of the USA, crafting engaging narratives that captivate readers from coast to coast. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for knowledge, Master James weaves together insightful perspectives on a broad spectrum of subjects, creating a literary landscape that mirrors the rich diversity of the American experience.

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