Video games are one of the most common free-time activities that children, pre-teens, and teens engage in. However, these video games create a habit and are the sources of worst addiction. It can result in depression, social phobias, and even poor academic performance. Cynthia Baron who holds many important positions at Northeastern University performed a study on this situation and she supposes that it may impact the ratings, sales, and popularity of video games.
When asked what makes games so addictive and if they are intentionally designed so, Cynthia says that ‘addiction’ is a negative word and that ‘replay ability’ is more suitable. It is because the main idea is the concept of engagement, where it becomes a challenge, a self-affirming reward, and complete distraction from regular activities.
On asking about the impact of her studies, she says that she does not expect any change to happen. She observes that in case of games there is no way of regarding them as more or less addictive unless you address them as more or less engaging. Therefore, even if the games are made illegal, there is less chance of their usage being reduced. She compares this to the percentage of vegetable consumption which did not increase in spite of pushing the population towards eating vegetables and making it the theme for almost twenty years.
On the other hand, Cynthia says that there can be positive impacts too. According to her, video games also offer a good learning experience in various fields like “completing a crossword puzzle, learning to skate backward or reaching the point in a new language where you can talk with a native”. It helps to acquire new information by interacting with players across countries. It accelerates the broadening of our minds and knowledge in order to understand the working of the world on multi-levels.