Impacts of Online Games, Video Games, and Gamifications
A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules that result in quantifiable outcome (Barash, 2001). Though there were games in the pre –digital era, the emergence of digital technologies has further impacted more developments of digital games (Blumberg & Fisch, 2013). There are various ways that games intersect in my life. Nowadays, the dynamic changes in technology have influenced the changes in family and working life. The amount of money and leisure time has enhanced the intersection of games in life. In most cases, I often spend my leisure time on the internet, which enhances the habit of downloading gaming apps through the mobile phones, tablets and PC. On the other hand, gaming has emerged as a form of culture (Shih, Jheng, & Tseng, 2015). Individuals are fond of gaming in the name of preserving their culture. Furthermore, in both pre-digital and digital era, games have been used as a form of entertainment. Alternatively, games are sources of living for other people. Similarly, the gaming software developers depend on it as their lifetime work. Gaming has developed into businesses too; for instance, the play station center.
Games have a lot of influences on friends, partners, family, and several other social relationships. Some of the digital games, rather violent and game fantasies are important tools in solving problems faced by teenagers experiencing conflicting emotions (Barash, 2001). In this context, the violently themed games drive one with the power to stand against all odds that they might encounter in life. Gaming helps one to have a sense of discovery hence escalating the person to a higher level of performance and intrinsic transformation. On the contrary, other game themes are used to represent supernatural occult, virtual violence or demonic imagery in some of the games. This contest influences the gamer individual negatively. Games also promote business in such a way that an advert of a product can be themed in a certain game, and this will enable the gamers to patent the product. Product placement in social media passes messages to a broad range of mediums for the consumers (Chena & Haleyb, 2014).
Gamification is the use of game thinking in solving issues in different life contexts. Simplified gamification drives away the stress that may deter one from achieving a particular goal. With the introduction of fitness apps, I can exercise anywhere anytime with the application of gamification. Activity trackers like Withings, Fitbit and the Jawbone Up track and keep record of all the activities done on a daily routine. The devices show the results of my exercising goals so that I can compete further for bigger goals (Penko, & Barkley, 2010). Turning of the exercise activities into a game gives one the courage to put in more effort when he or she sees, for instance, the record of reducing weight as the fitness goal. Gamification influences one to be addictive to the exercise activities. Gamification makes an individual undertaking fitness exercises to transform from the gymnasium setting into the game keeping them interested and focused. As one undergoes daily progression, the system adjusts the difficulty levels by increasing weight, exercises, repetition or pace. The workout is made interesting and challenging; therefore, making one to work harder.
Games have both negative and positive impact on socialization. Socializing through games allows the players to interact through social platforms. Some social gaming conditions allow more interaction, for instance, some will make it impossible for one to progress without a social partner hence foster relationship. Games themed with giving, gifts, cooperation, favors and reciprocity aid good morals in real life relationship and point out the true traits of social relationships (Whitson & Doyle, 2008). Through social network games, I have realized that I have changed my living habits through motivation. Viral spread game helps gamers to share the game with their friend, thus, creating an extensive network of groups consisting of other individuals who are pulled together.
Through social games, micro- transactions are made for promoting and supporting various issues in the society (Chena & Haleyb, 2014). Through gaming, especially social games, social infrastructures are developed spontaneously. Gaming with one's social network fosters prosocial emotions, thus, strengthening the community ties. On the contrary on sociality, games have dire consequences on the society as well. As much as reciprocity is important, it is problematic as well on the extreme side. Much time is spent on gaming, thus reducing the time I could have spent to carry out important activities that are relevant to the society (Myra, 2008). Gaming results in weak family bonds of the gamer and the family since too much time is spent gaming instead of spending the time with family members.
Regular playing of games enhances the social fabric of others both in positive and negative perceptions. Since much time is spent on gaming, for instance, playing video games, social isolation is promoted (Myra, 2008). An individual playing games especially the digital ones has no time to socialize with other individuals in real life. Moreover, playing violent games may affect the behavior of the regular gamer to be aggressive. This may cut the person’s social links as others may be unwilling to socialize with him or her, hence weakening the social fabric of interconnectivity. Besides, games may confuse reality and fantasy; therefore, the regular gamer may desire to apply some of the worst game characters in the real life situations, which may potentially affect the social interaction.
On the other hand, I can ascertain that a regular gamer may be affected morally through some good-oriented games, hence fostering the social fabric with each other in real life. Ultimately, I will point out that games can be destructive, on the extreme side, and stress relievers on the positive side. On the destruction perspective, a game might affect an individual’s mind, especially explicit games. Destructive games may obstruct one from performing the required duties in a pious manner. A teenager who uses most of his time gaming may end up underperforming academically (Schmitt & Livingston, 2015). On the other side, games may as well give one the psyche to tackle hard emotions relieving stress as mentioned in Happ, Melzer & Steffgen (2013).
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