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From Fun to Addiction: The Psychological Impact of Online Gaming

Over the last two decades, the most attractive forms of entertainments in modern societies is online gaming which target people of different ages. This industry covers a major part of our lives certainly taking most of our time, thus making is avoid or rather ignore other events.

Those attracted to the computer games are not only children but also adults while both groups can face not just mental but also physical and social problems if addicted which is easily possible. while playing these games at a level of leisure and comfort, the factors like competitiveness and pleasures enables the teenagers to sink in so much that they completely become detach from their offline surroundings. Online games are full of challenges. When a players lose the game, they get anxious and when they win, they feel excited.


With the rapid growing technology via the internet, we have noticed a drastic change in a short span. Your home computers have been replaced with laptops, your mobile phones are mostly now the ipad and smartphone, making it convenient for game applications.

Mobile video games by the name itself one can understand that it means games played by either single or multi players via online platform. The attractive factor of these games is that you get the benefit to play them for free but in some cases, you need to pay for the extra feature.

The liberal offerings of gaming through the internet especially social media easily converts the habit into addiction. The youth and adolescents fail to see this as a great threat which causes psychological disorders like depression, anxiety and other health issues. Gone are the days when kids were seen playing at playgrounds or at the beach or even reading at the library.

Though most of them still do these activities but the major exercise you would find a kid involved in computer games. Unfortunately, these games fail to create any emotional bonding or human relationship, making it hard for the family or elderly to connect or create a strong bond.


Let us take a glance at the research and study conduced on the industry sector of online gaming. From an overall analysis, it is learned that the growth rate of mobile online game has reached 9.6% and adolescents are the main user group. Through an in-depth presentation, that those addicted to online gaming or video games are mostly teenagers and in recent times, even adults are the ones. But the teens have suffered a drastic effect on their mental health leading to emotional difficulties, social isolation and cognitive functioning.

The global industry is fairly promising and also rewarding with an offering of endless options to learn and earn, but the youths are more exposed to Internet-related addiction because of their convenience and evolving characteristics, the fingertip access to the Internet with a portable device offering specifically mobile gaming.

Understanding the research on a further level, the tricky characteristic of the online gaming has been defined as a spectacle in which users are stuck on the games and are mentally focused to them repeatedly investing most of their time. Previous studies say the addiction of online gaming was based on a desktop computer, while through recent study, there were only moderate correlations between the different forms of Internet addiction.

The major difference with online games is that it offers the features of portability, proximity, and accessibility leading to the risk of addictive behavioral patterns and, thus, troubled mental health.

a depressed man sitting in the middle of the city

Correlation of Mobile Game Addiction and Mental Health

It has come to light that unlike the old forms of sports or games, the internet games have created additive behavior patterns among all age groups. This has become an interesting factor for researchers to go in-depths of understanding the effects on mental health.

Many psychologists and mental health professionals have given importance in their talks about these hampering effects which include stimulating irritation and fierceness, obesity, epilepsy due to games, social isolation, and other physical and mental damages.

Online Gaming and Depression

It is indicated that not only just the online games but also the internet addiction may also lead to depression and loneliness. Students with Internet addiction faced 1.5 times higher depression than that of non-Internet addiction participants, after controlling for potential confounding variables.

Internet game addiction is categorized by mental and emotional shortfalls. It is a common occurrence that mobile gaming addition has led to depression. The symptoms are developed throughout the journey of getting addicted while playing the games repeatedly.

People find a way to combat emotional stress by playing online games, but the excessive use of online games for a long time may separate individuals from real-life relationships, thus causing severer mental health problems, such as depression.

Online Gaming and Loneliness

Loneliness is different from being or living alone. It is a sad experience or an unpleasant journey that makes a person feel lonely or alone despite of having family and friends. It is more to do with mental life which makes a person feel lack of network in social relationships. Research has proved that the consequence of mobile gaming addiction is loneliness.

Though you begin playing online games for an escape from negative feelings related to social life but that doesn’t solve the purpose of developing or maintaining healthy relationships. Loneliness here can be deterioration of the existing relations or bonds.

Online Gaming and Social Anxiety

The psychological adjustment during adolescence is relatively scarce, hence the addiction of playing video or online games is linked to anxiety which further leads to failure in social development among adolescents.

sad man thinking

Social anxiety means feeling panic or uncomfortable experienced in a social or public environment. This type of anxiety is faced by youngsters when their minds are severely hampered by other resources like the internet or online medium for instance- mobile gaming, thus converting into a disorder and creating the condition of stress and tension.

Individuals, especially adolescents with a stern interest for online gaming addiction have knowingly higher social anxiety levels than those who use mobile games normally. The results showcased that the value of social network may be weakened and the amount of social anxiety may increase if teenagers dedicate more time in online gaming.

Online Gaming and Gender Difference

Gender has been given major importance while understanding the influence and impact on mental health. Through research, the evidence drawn has proved that male have a preference toward activities that involve fiery events like battles, while females are enjoy more of social and communication focused activities.

Females weren’t given that much of liberty to use the internet in a manner that would convert into an addictive medium. Whereas males received less restrictions and this led to making them addicted to computer games. However recent studies show that more of females face physical health issues like obesity and sleep disturbance than that of men using internet or mobile games.

Significant gender difference was highlighted at the connection between family socialisation and Internet addiction among youngsters. Females showed more negative consequences with the rise of mobile game addition leading to mental health problems.

About The Author:

Ashley Riordan
Ashley Riordan
Gaming Expert
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Ashley Riordan, a seasoned gaming author with over 10 years of professional experience in the video gaming industry. Ashley has been an avid gamer since childhood and has turned his passion for gaming into a successful career as a writer and content creator.

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