Is Gaming Really Good For You?

Sara Illahi
3 min readJun 11, 2024

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The gaming industry is booming. By 2026, it will be worth $321 billion. The US alone employed 268K employees within the industry in 2023. A game developer can earn up to $120K annually, on an average, which roughly makes 124K Swedish Krona.

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Not only that, gaming YouTubers like Ninja, who has a net worth of $40 million, have huge fan bases today. They are an inspiration for millions of gaming enthusiasts worldwide. This tells one thing. Gone are the days when parents would think twice before getting their children a gaming console. Today, studies encourage parents to play video games with their children.

Playing video games is said to have multiple benefits. It improves hand-eye coordination, and problem solving and decision-making skills. It also stimulates creativity, focus and visual memory. Yet, at the same time, many have complained that gaming has a negative impact on their mental and physical health.

So, which part is true? For all we know, in 2016, a Guardian article exposed the billion-dollar breakfast industry by debunking the widely-believed myth of breakfast being the most important meal of the day. Is the gaming industry similar? Are there things that gaming industry leaders might not be telling us? Let’s dig in and see what we can find out.

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As per an article published by Forbes in 2022, playing video games has a myriad of benefits. And it can also cause mental health issues such as low-self esteem, depression, lack of motivation and anxiety. Yet it is not as simple as you think.

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Such problems emerge when an individual gets addicted to playing video games. This means skipping social activities and physical exercise, and not socializing at the expense of playing video games. But where does this addiction come from and what drives it?

Research shows that the activity of playing video games releases dopamine, the chemical responsible for happiness and excitement, and elevates a person’s mood. The more a person plays, the happier and livelier they feel. Over time, playing video games becomes a strong source of happiness for them. And this is what causes addiction.

With that said, video game addiction is not a mental disorder. However, such a behavior has a scientific term called Pathological Gaming. But the real question is; should people stop playing video games? No, it doesn’t mean that.

All it shows is that playing video games is not inherently bad because it also offers benefits like improved cognitive skills and career opportunities. But, at the same time, it hints at responsible gaming. While playing video games can make you happy or increase your creativity, it is important to strike a balance.

Balance is important in everything. Excessive consumption of water can also harm you. This is why video game enthusiasts should always maintain healthy social connections, and set a time limit for gaming. This will ensure a healthy relationship with this popular form of entertainment and who knows, in the next few years, we might end up having someone even bigger than Ninja.

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Sara Illahi

BSc. (Hons.) Social Development and Policy @ Habib University’23 I Researcher I Freelance Writer I American University’18