#makeITsafePH - A perspective on Online Gaming Addiction

Some of the games I played in the past.
The debate as to whether video games are good or bad for us has been going since the creation of games itself. Recently, there has been a lot of research on how online gaming affects health; some show the positive side of gaming, while others focus on its negative side.

I find myself in a weird and funny situation wherein when I was a child, my Mom used to scream and shout at me to stop playing games. But today, the roles are reversed. It is me who is shouting at my mom to stop playing games as I can smell something burning; which was probably something she was cooking and left unattended.

Gaming Addiction

There was always the question of addiction; if you could turn on, play one game and slip away from the real world, why would you ever come back? You would play games to escape reality, which would neglect your real-world responsibilities, which would make your problems worse, and the loop continues.

Escaping from daily life along with social interaction in a virtual world and its rewards are main factors influencing gaming behavior. Some point at it as escapism or boredom but for a child, it is but a new world to explore with its own set of social structure, rewards, punishments, and challenges.

It is not an unfounded concern as the problem is that some people believe all games would cause this to happen, regardless of the person. Although the WHO - World Health Organization has classified gaming addiction as a mental health condition, I also think that compulsive playing may be more helpfully seen as a symptom of larger issues, rather than the issue itself.

According to WHO: What is gaming disorder?

Gaming disorder is defined in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

This is similar to what I talk about in my social channels and speaking engagements with regards to making money. It is only a tool, and should not be something we obsess over as many people blindly pursue money while feeling empty inside. I always tell people that context matters.

I play games for fun, and sometimes to connect with friends who also play games. But the biggest risk factor for gaming seems to be playing games to escape from life itself. Also, individuals who play games to get away from their lives or to pretend to be other people seem to be those most at-risk for becoming part of a vicious cycle.

Context matters

I also think it doesn't hurt to ask someone who is playing games as to their goals in relation to gaming. This is because we live in an era of unprecedented abundance of opportunities. The esports scene has exploded since the past few years, it’s a growing industry and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon.

These competitive video gamers have received world-renown fame as well as superstar statuses in some countries, such as U.S., Europe, Korea, China and a growing audience in the Philippines. Now if you have no skill, others turn to gaming-commentary, reviews and create how-to's or let's play online content on youtube or facebook. Either way, it has also become a sort of profession as they technically make money from playing games or doing value-based activities related to the gaming industry.

Is gaming a bad thing?

Games is a different form of art, similar to books and film. It can remove the player from their immediate surroundings and take them someplace else. The rest of the world disappears when you're wrapped up in a good video/online/mmo game (which also has it's own stories and lore that is like a world in itself), which can be the best thing about the medium while also being one of the most dangerous.

Although most humans work, some of us get carried away and become workaholics, get sick and burnt out. I love bacon but if I eat too much, I may get some form of cardiovascular disease. Too much exercise may also strain one's body. My point is, the same is also true for gaming.

"Anything in excess is not good for the human being except good deeds."

Is online gaming addiction real? Definitely, as there was a point in my college life wherein I failed 2 subjects (Differential Calculus & Engineering Mechanics) and had to take it again because of playing too many games. But like everything in life, anything is good - In moderation. :)

About the #makeITsafePH campaign

Hootsuite, a US-based social media management platform, has released its “Digital in 2018” report of social media and digital trends around the world.  The report revealed that the Philippines now has 67 million Internet users, with all of them active on social media.  This widespread use of the internet gives rise to the emergence of internet-related crimes such as rape, theft,  bullying and piracy which made the public, especially the youth, very vulnerable.

Because of this, Globe Telecom, being a purveyor of digital lifestyle, came out with the #makeITsafePH cybersecurity and cyber-wellness campaign to educate consumers about online threats and what they can do to avoid becoming a victim.  The campaign also teaches the public proper online etiquette so that they would not become a source of such deplorable behavior.

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#makeITsafePH - A perspective on Online Gaming Addiction #makeITsafePH - A perspective on Online Gaming Addiction Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 Rating: 5

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