Are you a rookie when it comes to the vast world of gaming? You probably have an image of the word gaming and the people and the world that come with it … that it is done a lot, fanatics spend a lot of time on it, coming into contact with each other from the other side of the world, that there is really championships are in the field of gaming and that big money is involved. And what are the pros and cons of – a lot – of gaming?
What is gaming?
Gaming is playing digital games on electronic devices such as your PC, console, tablet or smartphone. Gamers can play alone, together or against others. Those other gamers can be in the same room, but – with online gaming – also be on the other side of the world. You have many kinds of genres; from single player games, multi player games, to simulation games, strategy games, role playing games, fighting and shooting games, adventure games, fantasy games. Think of a genre and it’s there. The nice thing is that there is something for everyone.
The pros of gaming
Sounds great, but what are the benefits of gaming? Is gaming actually good for you? You can imagine that something you spend so much time on will definitely do something to you.
- Fun and relaxation: Gaming is fun, challenging, competitive and sometimes offers a welcome escape from reality. You step into a different world, where you play a (yes, it is that easy) game with like-minded people.
- Social skills: While you can play games on your own, it is more fun to play with and against others. You do that online, you do it against people from all over the world. With these people you have at least one thing in common: a love for games. Endless talks about the latest betas, updates to existing games, consoles, skins, gliders, as well as strategic discussions must take place to determine how to take out the opponent together.
- Educational: The fact that you can also learn while gaming is a great bonus. Consider your language skills, mainly English, when speaking to your gaming friends from around the world. Because you play together and sometimes conduct solid strategy sessions in English, you can be assured that you will give your language skills a significant upgrade through online gaming. In addition, many games have a strategic component, which you have to think carefully about before and while playing the game. In this way you also develop this skill, which always comes in handy in life. In addition, you often have to remember things: where you can find certain content in the game, who you have already encountered and the best and fastest way to get somewhere. It is therefore also good for your memory. Gaming affects the brain. A selection of the ways in which: your concentration, attention, responsiveness, spatial insight, analytical skills, planning, problem solving, creativity, perseverance.
The cons of gaming
For most gamers, gaming is and remains a hobby. As you could read above, gaming even has quite a few advantages. Every advantage has its disadvantage, in other words: is gaming bad for you? It is not without reason that you will find the most information about gaming online on drug and addiction websites. Precisely because there are so many advantages to gaming, and you can easily lose time with it, it may be that you spend too much time gaming. You become addicted or display problematic gaming behavior. What are the risks of gaming? And what are the symptoms and consequences of too much gaming?
- Losing the balance between gaming and “everyday life”: For example, gaming is at the expense of school or work, because your performance at school or work decreases, you arrive late or sometimes even no longer show up for school or work at all. You may also see your offline friends and family less because you are mainly with your online friends. You may forget to eat, sleep, and exercise – that is, take good care of your body.
- Psychological complaint: Gaming can lead to an increase in your stress level, frustration and sometimes even depression.
- Physical complaints: Sleep problems arise if you game for nights on end or maybe don’t get to sleep after all the excitement about the game you just played. You can also suffer from RSI, headaches, neck and back pain due to incorrect posture and dry eyes. Because gaming is predominantly a sedentary hobby, gaming doesn’t exactly make you fitter.
How long a day is normal gaming?
How do you know what a good balance is between gaming and your other daily activities? So that you don’t become a “problematic gamer” or even a game addict? How many hours of gaming is normal?
When are you addicted to gaming? According to the World Health Organization, you are addicted if you lose control over your gaming behaviour (how much time you spend on it), you increasingly prioritise gaming (until gaming becomes more important to you than other daily activities), and your gaming behaviour escalates despite the negative consequences you experience (think of social, personal, physical consequences). This is often measured over a 12-month period, but the diagnosis of “game addiction” can be made earlier if you are clearly affected by all three symptoms.
You display problematic (hazardous) gaming behaviour if you run an increased risk of mental and / or physical problems due to gaming.
How many hours of gaming is normal? In general, it is believed that children up to the age of 12 should be allowed to game for a maximum of two hours a day. Children (and adults) from the age of 12 are allowed to game for a maximum of three hours per day. However, it is difficult to say the maximum number of hours you can game, because the number of hours you game in a day alone does not determine whether you display problematic or perhaps addicted gaming behaviour. So keep a close eye on the symptoms of addicted gaming behaviour to determine if you’re gaming risky. It is always good to determine in advance, possibly with the help of others (for example your parents), how many hours you are going and allowed to play in a day.
How to make money with gaming?
The gaming industry earns very well (in 2019 this was 98 billion euros worldwide). So you can imagine that there are ways in which you can also earn money with gaming. But what ways are there?
- Professional gaming: Games like Fortnite, League of Legends and FIFA organize official tournaments where the prize money can be up to USD 3 million. For this you need of course talent, good gear and a lot of time to develop your skills.
- Vlogging about gaming on YT: If you start vlogging about gaming on YouTube, you can earn good money from collaborations (advertising campaigns).
- Write games guides: Would you like to write an explanation or manual for a certain game? Then you can also earn money from it. You then earn a small amount per purchased (e-) book.
- Debugging games: Game developers need people who can go through and test a game to see if it still has bugs.
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