In the world of video games, there are always going to be positive and negative effects. There are so many factors that contribute to both sides. And that’s just the reality of the video game community today. Video games can positively reinforce mental health, but they can also produce negative emotions and behaviors.
When you think about it, most video games are used as a means to escape from the real world for a little bit. Being able to immerse yourself in a creative world and go through challenges can be extremely stimulating for the developing mind. One positive aspect of gaming is the community of friends that you can build. Creating and contributing to a more positive and encouraging environment can greatly impact one’s overall mood and behavior.
On the other hand, playing video games excessively and becoming addicted can create more anxiety and depression, especially among women. Usually, a toxic gaming environment can cause feelings of low self-esteem and confidence in women, making room for anxiety and depression to seep in. If someone is being judged online by another player, they are usually judging them for internal things like their performance, personality traits, etc. This causes significant harm to their mental health and starts to affect how they interact with people in real life and hinders their desire to explore the real world. Over time, anxiety and depression build.
For both men and women (but more so women) playing video games addictively can sometimes be a response to avoiding negative emotions. The video games themselves aren’t always necessarily the root cause of depression but can be a gateway to it. By not addressing emotions, those feelings of unhappiness, anger, restlessness, and depression are pushed further under the surface, leaving one feeling stuck in this pattern in life.
So video games don’t always negatively impact the gamer. There are so many positive outcomes of playing video games. The difference between negative and positive mental health effects is the amount of time that is spent playing, the gamer’s environment, and who they are sharing the environment with online. We believe that video games should be played in moderation and with positive attitudes to ensure a more healthy, progressive lifestyle.
The Street Cred Team