Play, have fun, create ‘virtual community’ | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Play, have fun, create ‘virtual community’

TDT | Manama                   

The Daily Tribune –  

Staff Reporter

With the development of technology, a gaming phenomenon has sparked a global urge to play and interact with others online.

Video Gaming is one of the most profitable entertainment industries globally, and the gaming industry is tipped to maintain its recent rapid growth.

It is estimated to be worth $321 billion by 2026, according to the World Economic Forum. Gaming in the Middle East has been significantly growing over recent years and is now the world’s fastest growing gaming market by population, notes Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, millions of new players invested into new games and consoles and reported that gaming during the pandemic helped their mental health, World Economic Forum states.

During the pandemic, individuals were looking for other ways to obtain social interaction to counteract their boredom during lockdowns. According to the World Economic Forum, the market expanded by 26 percent between 2019 and 2021.

A study was conducted by Harvard Health Medical School, stating that there can be negatives to ‘too much gaming’; however, that it is fair to mention the benefits to users. The study notes that gaming can provide a way for individuals to interact with one another, and it creates a virtual community.

When players are gaming, they work together toward completing common tasks, and as our society suffers from an epidemic of loneliness, gaming can be a tool to connect with others, the study reports.

If not used excessively, young people can develop new tools and skills, and can then use the tools and skills learned within the real world. However, over usage of gaming can result in many negative impacts.

Gaming can be associated with obesity in teenagers, and if a teen is sitting in front of a screen for hours every day, whilst not exercising, this can result in health issues, Harvard Health Medical School stated.

Also, over usage can result in vision problems and eye strain, which can lead to headaches and poor concentration in players, according to Harvard Health Medical School. Essentially, gaming can be a positive tool in young people’s lives if used appropriately.

The key takeaway is developing a healthy balance of usage and developing skills whilst gaming, that can be used in the real world.