There are plenty of great things about gaming and spending time online, but being mindful of how much time you spend and how you spend it is important. Here is a list of some of the negative aspects of gaming I have encountered over the years.
As much as I hate throwing the term around, toxicity is something people have begun to expect online. Since it's so easy to remain anonymous, having heated and often rude words being exchanged is common in competitive gaming. Some would consider this casual banter, but some do want to cause the other players grief.
It's never easy to deal with, even as someone who enjoys the banter. But if you can ignore the bad and take away any of the legitimate criticisms people might have with you, this won't be much of a problem. However, it still promotes a somewhat awful atmosphere for players to be in and generally creates more negative behavior down the line.
Either you can distance yourself from the community and look for a group of players with a similar mindset. Or you can not engage with the game at all. For your own good, it is sometimes better to simply leave a toxic environment. You will be happier, deal with less stress, and enjoy your gaming experience, which is what games are meant to be about in the first place!
Being addicted to gaming is not much different than any other addiction. As games are becoming more immersive and social, we become more engaged with them. It's not always a bad thing to want to spend time playing games with your friends, but it is when that's all you want to do.
Slipping into addiction can lead to it consuming your regular life and taking away from your real-life goals and relationships. More often than not, putting off important stuff to get an hour or two extra in your game can be a sign that you might be taking it too far. Especially when you put it off again after those two hours are up.
Being addicted isn't something to be ashamed of either. The level of quality and immersion in games is only getting better and more enjoyable. Why wouldn't you want to spend more time in a world that's full of adventure and good times? If you happen to find yourself spending your time gaming too much, try cutting back on it little by little. Spend that time doing a chore or something you've been meaning to do instead. And you might be surprised at how good it feels to be productive in real life.
Online gaming is always improving on how we connect and engage with each other. The goal has always been to make meeting and making new friends online easier. While this a great way to connect with people from around the world, it might end up taking away from your real-life social circles.
Developing a social reliance on online gaming might be a bit risky. The friends you make might one day decide to stop playing the game you have in common. They might move on to other things in life or possibly other games you might not be interested in.
It's always a good idea to keep in contact with your real-life friends as well as your new online ones. Because while the ones you meet online might be amazing people, you still need to have friends to spend time with in real life.
You might find yourself playing games and having little to no time for other things. A serious issue with how games are being made nowadays is that they try to draw things out as much as possible. Meaning if you are enjoying your game and want to stop after you reach your next personal milestone in-game, that might take hours.
Be mindful of the time you spend in games because it's easy to lose chunks of your day with each session. It isn't easy to discipline yourself, but you will need to be able to step away when you've hit your maximum amount of hours per day. Otherwise, you could find yourself feeling unproductive and depressed about not getting anything done that day.
Investing a lot of time into online games can be very rewarding on a personal level. But we have little to show for this investment after the game is no longer part of our lives. Growing and improving on yourself is very important. You need to spend some time invested in yourself too.
While this only scratches the surface of some of the drawbacks we might face when playing games, it gives us a good idea of what to look out for. If gaming has taken up more of your life than you'd like it to, it's a good idea to spend some time reflecting on how much of an impact it's having on your life.
As always, keep things in moderation.
If you haven't seen the first part of this article, you can find it here on HubPages: How Gaming Can Be More Than Playing Games