Can Playing Video Games Kill Brain Cells?

You Brain Cells Interact with Everything You Do

Your brain will interact with anything your five senses come in contact with. Your senses are the eyes which through your brain sees the world.

Whatever you feed it will consume. While I don’t think playing video games actually killing brain cells, it is narrowing its usability towards something that is not so useful in the day to day life.

Gaming Can Restrict Your Brain Cells Learning

Gaming can work several different parts of your brain to train you specifically for things that are not likely to happen in daily life. Some examples:

  • Training your reflexes;
  • Mastering strategic thinking;
  • Logical decisions;

Of course gaming is going to boost key abilities. The caveat is that a lot of other activities can do the same. The advantage is that other action’s baggage can be employed in the real world.

Too Much Emphasis on What Does NOT Matter

Shooting games for example like CS Global offensive, Warface and Overwatch enhances:

  • Optimize your reflexes,
  • Your accuracy
  • Train your muscles to be kissed and made it with complex activities

But how often do you need that in real life?

Very little. I am not an anti-gaming proponent; I just think that gaming all day also has its downsides. The key here is balance, just like everything else in life.

Video Games Can Indirectly Damage Brain Cells

Now that we talked about the general usefulness of gaming towards real life, you need to understand that gaining too much will optimize your neurology for these tasks, as opposed to real life ones.

You need to realize that gaming is going to make some brain cells more effective than others. The brain accomplishes this while decreasing activity in other cells, and they might be the cells you need the most.

Playing May Disrupt Your Sleep

Gaming has a big potential of disrupting sleep, which is very important for your cognitive abilities and overall health. Looking at it this way, gaming can actually impair your brain physiology indirectly.

Gaming is a super stimulus, detaching from it in the heart off an epic battle or an interesting plot is very hard, sometimes causing you to game for several hours without noticing it.

Gaming Can Make You Prioritize the Wrong Things

Too much gaming, in my opinion, can lead to an addiction. Everything can become an addiction but there are several different levels.

Life is already hard as it is, but when you are having a gaming addiction, life becomes a lot harder Because you see gaming related perks as goals, so you forget about life goals instead.

Games May Create New Patterns of Thought

Gaming can twist some patterns of thought, causing irrational fears or weaken neural pathways there are optimal to live in a normal life.

Games Can Make You Create Irrational Fears

I remember I was playing Resident Evil 3 as a kid and it was frightening. I would have very bad nightmares about the game and eventually I created irrational fears of zombies, something that was not real. This aversion made things hard for me when I needed to walk in a dark place. I know it’s silly but it was true for me.

Gaming Could Kill Your Desire to Compete in the Real World

Go play League of legends, Call of Duty, CS GO.

It doesn’t matter, any competitive game is tremendously addictive. The ranking system they develop in those games are made by multimillionaire companies with the goal of hijacking your brain. That is why you love those games so much and sometimes choose them above anything else.

Gaming Does Affect the Brain

With all that being said, you now know that gaming behavior affects the brain little by little. Gaming can instill different mindsets. I am not saying they are negative, but they influence the way you act. Games change your brain physiology in some way.

Gaming Can Have Positive Effects on the Brain

All I talked about was negatives. Let us dive in a little bit on the positives, gaming can actually help us improve:

  • Attention span, that is severely impaired by internet usage in general;
  • They boost multitasking abilities;
  • Solve a lot of logical problems more efficiently;

This is not an opinion. Gaming really feature those benefits, but how useful are these in comparison with doing college or working at a startup. The gaming set of skills might overlap a bit, but the general benefits of the latter are much better.

Too Much Can Mess with Our Dopamine Balance

This is very sad, but a very critical point. Gaming can actually mess up our dopamine balance.

Dopamine is associated with motivation levels. Dopamine is a hormone that is released before the brain senses that something rewarding is going to happen.

Remember how I talked about the ranked systems?

Those systems hijack our dopamine circuits with the illusion of progress. That along with the competitiveness and the social aspect that games provides, makes them highly addictive.

Games Are Designed to Be Addictive

Games provides you experiences that life normally wouldn’t. Inside a gaming universe, you can drive your dream car or be a legend with a sick play. Games enables you to have your 15 seconds of fame within that specific match, so you feel special in the way.

Gaming Can Make You Avoid the Emptiness

Boredom, depression and sadness. All of those unpleasant feelings are sometimes triggers for us to play games sometimes. You don’t want to face your thoughts because they might hurt you:

  • Something you did in the past might be hunting you;
  • Your circumstances in life right are bad;

Every single one of these factors contribute to your overall feeling of emptiness. This specific condition is something that we tend to run away from. Gaming is a perfectly designed coping mechanism for that.

Depression as a Side Effect of Too Much Gaming

Gaming at unreasonable doses will drastically worsen your depression. Like I said multiple times, gaming makes us focus on things that do not advance our lives, professionally or socially. Unless you are a pro player which is probably not the case, gaming will make you feel stuck in a rut. A result of this is more depression.

Be Responsible and Enjoy Gaming

If you are able to enjoy gaming in moderation, then you should not stop by any means. Gaming can be a tremendously funny recreational activity, but always keep in mind that

  • Family;
  • Friends;
  • Romantic relationships;
  • Career;
  • Finances;
  • Spiritual life;
  • Health;

 Those always comes first.

Enjoy Your Gaming Time Responsibly

Enjoy your gaming time responsibly, realize that our time on earth is limited. Play in accordance play with the free time you have available.

Do not go overboard with your gaming until it starts consuming your life.

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