Most people know that online gaming is a great way to make money, as they have seen people make millions from it. So, in most cases, people see it as a money-making venture. Take bingo as an example. When people review sites such as Betfair Bingo, they focus on the jackpots; they want to know what they can make through their wagers. But did you know that online gaming affects more than just your finances? We explore the social-psychological effects of online gaming on players:
So how does gaming affect you?
People use games for different things. Some play online games to pass the time, others want to have fun, while others do it for the money. But regardless of the reason, gaming will affect you in the following ways:
It helps players forge connections
As much as we live in a connected world, many people report feeling lonely and disconnected from other people. And this isolation can have adverse effects on their physical and mental well-being. But does online gaming help with this? Yes, it provides the following avenues through which players can meet other people as they would in actual gaming halls:
- Live chats. Online players can discuss the games and other topics with other players using live chats. And in most cases, gaming sites allow players to mute the conversations when they want to focus on the games. Many players join the games to get the chance to talk to other people.
- Social media pages. Almost everyone has a social presence in this digital age. And online gaming sites have also created such pages where like-minded players can interact and forge connections.
- Community forums. These resources are not only helpful to new players looking for gaming guidance, but they also cater to other social needs. Players who want to take a break from games can use these spaces to spark or even follow discussions with people who play similar or different games.
Do these forums make a difference? Studies have shown that gamers who frequently use these spaces enjoy the following benefits:
- They have a sense of community. Feeling isolated can negatively affect one’s self-esteem. Human beings naturally want to feel like they belong. And when a player finds their community, it boosts their self-worth, which trickles into other aspects of their lives. For example, a bingo player can match with other bingo players and get support from their group.
- They address feelings of loneliness. While time alone is great, it can also be harmful to one’s well-being. When people do not have others to talk to or share their lives with, they can feel dejected and battle a lot of anxiety. These social spaces allow people to meet others who may share their concerns and hobbies.
Moreover, these platforms allow players to make friends with others who share their interests. Because of global connectivity, they can make friends with people worldwide! These friendships are as real as any other friendships and allow people to break away from feelings of dejection and isolation.
It boosts cognitive skills
Playing online games might feel like a great way to pass the time and make friends while taking a break from work. But it does more than this. You develop your cognitive performance as you decide whether you should wager $5 or double down on your wager. This effect is so much so that people who play games exhibit the following qualities:
- They are better at making decisions. Whether you play slots or poker, there comes a time when you must make a tough decision. Let’s use poker as an example. This game of skill requires you to think about what moves other players will make and how you can counter this effect by making a good play. So, in the real world, you find it easy to make tough decisions because you have become accustomed to these hard choices. But will a slot game have such an effect? Of course! While it may be a game of chance, you must make many hard decisions, including what to wager, how long to play, and how to use a bonus. Generally, people who play games learn to make in-the-moment decisions and are likely to perform better in high-pressure situations.
- They have a better memory. As you play online games, you must remember certain things to help you inch closer to a win. Let’s assume you’re playing bingo. The game has a simple approach, but you must remember the rules for each bingo game. So, you start training your brain to remember and implement these rules, which, in turn, helps you boost your memory.
So, if you’ve been looking for a way to boost your brain’s performance, the key lies in playing more games.
It alleviates stress
How do you cope with stressful experiences? People have different ways of reducing their stress levels – some get massages, others go hiking, and others journal. But do you know what else you can do to deal with stress? You can play online games! So, how do they help?
- They help you escape reality. When you play online games, you take a break from your usual life. Say, for example, that your life revolves around balancing books of accounts and this leaves you feeling frustrated. When you play a bingo game, you forget that you even have an issue with the books and instead enjoy trying your luck to choose a winning combination.
- They have a dopamine effect. Playing games releases a feel-good hormone into your system, which can help you reduce your stress levels. For example, when you play slots and experience the graphics and sounds, you feel great even if you do not win the game. And the adrenaline that comes from playing online games is also integral to reduced stress levels.
Let’s not forget that winning games also makes you feel accomplished, which is great for your mental well-being.
Zuella Montemayor did her degree in psychology at the University of Toronto. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.