The Effects of Gaming on the Family

The term gaming actually has two distinct parts: the “playing” part and the “playing media” part. A computer game or video game is essentially an interactive computer program that entails interaction with a user interface (also called controllers) or other input device to generate virtual physical feedback to the gamer. Gamers often spend long periods of time playing a particular game, seeking not only to master its various systems and procedures but also in trying to improve on it. Video games may incorporate some aspects of real life, such as tools, skills, weapons, etc. The role of entertainment and games in our lives are increasingly becoming known and appreciated, so it’s interesting to learn about the way they developed and evolved from the very beginning.


Gaming as we know it today began its life as what is now commonly referred to as the “spiel” or “adventure simulator.” Early iterations of these video games featured text-based interfaces that limited the amount of interaction a player had while also limiting the ability for advanced features. This early form of gaming was largely focused on the concept of recreation and immersing oneself in an alternate reality. By the mid-1990s, however, advancements in technology allowed for improvements to video game hardware and software that enabled greater possibilities for players, as well as more detailed user interfaces, better graphics, and the integration of online games into actual video gaming.

Parents who have access to internet connections and home gaming consoles at the time that online gaming platforms began to become popular experienced a unique dilemma. On one hand, they were aware that their children were spending large amounts of time playing online. On the other hand, they did not want to completely remove parental controls so that they could be able to protect themselves from the potential harm of playing with dangerous devices. Over the past several years, a variety of parental control software programs have become available to the public. These software programs work by monitoring and controlling the activities that children may engage in online, as well as the devices they use to engage in those activities.

One of the first consoles to integrate gaming into its hardware was the Nintendo Wii. Considered the pioneer in the implementation of online gaming, this console has seen widespread success because of its motion-sensitive controllers and its capability to provide stunning graphics. With the introduction of the Wii remote, as well as various other remotes and motion-sensitive devices, Nintendo has expanded the range of devices that can be used to play games. The increased range of motion offered by the Wii also made it easier for parents to track the activity of their children who were playing.

In terms of video games and children, there is no escaping the connection between gaming and the development of problems such as social anxiety and depression. This is most apparent in the case of young adolescents who are commonly diagnosed with having Bipolar Disorder as an adult. Although this condition has no known medical cure, it has been proven that certain types of gaming can increase the occurrence of mood disorders. In fact, some specialists have linked social anxiety to the onset of video games, especially World of Warcraft.

Not all console gamers are male, but research has shown that the incidence of this disorder among this demographic is relatively high. Also, most multiplayer online games are played by men, most of whom suffer from Bipolar Disorder. While most multiplayer games require players to use microphones to communicate with each other, this requirement also increases the chance of developing communication problems that can lead to depression. For parents who want their children to develop healthy relationships, it is important to monitor the activities of their children who play games. Parents should be aware of the effects of gaming, especially when these games involve multiplayer or are involved with social interaction.