The Psychological Effects Of Online Gaming

The Psychological Effects of Gaming In the Cloud

Recently, I composed an article on the advantages and pitfalls of children and cloud gaming. Given that children have traditionally been the target for video games, the examination of how video gaming in general, and cloud gaming in specific, can affect different aspects of childhood development is an important action before allowing children to play them.

Recent studies, however, show that the current average age for video gamers is thirty-four years old. No longer are video games the primary purview of youngsters, with better graphics, more intense gameplay and new technology all serving to make these adventures more attractive to older people.

So what exactly are the psychological effects of online and cloud gaming on adults? Several key areas do exist where this question is most applicable, including:

Immersion

I have long been a contender that one of the keys of a successful cloud-gaming experience is immersion. Also known by experts as spacial presence, immersion is loosely defined as being real enough that the player subconsciously places themselves into the virtual world and makes choices based on what would be common in the virtual setting, as opposed to real life.

So what exactly are the psychological effects of being immersed in a fully virtual world? The clearest answer comes in the word escapism, which basically means a mental action that diverts attention from real life. This can be more serious if the person already has difficulty interacting with the outside world.

Antisocial Behavior

For those of you who have ever played on online or cloud game, you are undoubtedly familiar with the colorful, negative chatter that is so common in them. Names that will not be repeated here, will usually fly furiously between teammates and opponents alike.

So is this simply one of the fun aspects of online gaming? One study shows that no, this actually could be a manifestation of antisocial behavior brought on primarily by the anonymity found on the internet. This study showed that when an anonymous player and one that is identified are compared, the anonymous one will have a much-increased chance of antisocial behavior, which, in fact, spills over into everyday life.

Brain Flexibility

Fortunately, not all of the psychological affects of video games are negative. In fact, research shows that strategic video games actually increase the flexibility of of the brain, which is considered a cornerstone of actual intelligence.

This principle holds even more true with games in the cloud. Single player games played against the computer allow for as much time as you want to make your decisions. Cloud games, on the other hand, are played in real time, causing the amount of time available in the decision-making process to be much less.

Slower Aging

Studies have shown that playing video games for at least two hours each day can actually slow the degradation of mental acuity associated with advanced age. This does not necessarily extend to all types of games, applying primarily to “brain teasers.”

Do you have an opinion on the psychological effects of gamin in the cloud? Let us know in the Comments section below!

By Joe Pellicone

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