Today we will talk about such a phenomenon as the impact of gaming on college education. A huge number of both amateur articles and scientific research have already been written about how such online hobbies as gaming affect both cognitive abilities, socialization, and all aspects of student life. There is no way to re-read it all, so here we would like to summarize the main ideas, both positive and negative, for you. The main idea that we want to convey today is that gaming, like absolutely any legal activity, can have both positive and negative effects. It all depends on how you use this tool, how much time you spend on it. Let’s go a little deeper and talk about things like attention span, academic performance, socialization and other issues.

Let’s get it straight — no matter what we say later about how gaming is good or bad, or can be controlled, or should be avoided, we all know that most of the college students play and don’t want to stop. So if you need some extra time to sleep or finish some side quest, address SmartWritingService – essay writing service for help with papers no matter the topic of the research. There are experts for hire, someone you can pay to get all of your academic problems forgotten. Rely on quality, get professional papers written on time.  

What Do You Call Gaming? Let’s Dig

Firstly, let’s talk about what to call gaming. Is it possible to consider a gamer, a person who spends 15 – 20 minutes a day playing Candy Crush from his phone. And if he spends 2 hours a day, but only when he goes home from school. Is it possible to consider a gamer a person who plays, but this does not seem to affect his life and studies. Or gaming is everything that people play for a long time and professionally in companies and online. There is no single definition of gaming, so today we will rather talk about the activity of any online and offline computer games, to which a person devotes enough time to notice it, because it impacts other aspects of his life. Therefore, if you play some non-intrusive online game for 15–20 minutes a day, we will not classify you as a gamer. But, if almost every day, when you come to campus after a lecture, you sit down and relax by playing Counter Strike for a couple of hours, then by our definition you are a gamer.

Attention Span. Does It Get That Bad?

Since the nineties, there has been a lot of talk about the fact that the attention span of people, especially children and students, is noticeably reduced, and this is a huge problem, because people cannot remember and reproduce more complex concepts. Any study needs to be made gamified and simplified in order to adapt to these learning abilities. Video programs, TV, series, YouTube videos, and, of course, gaming are to blame. We are rather skeptical about this for several reasons. First, any gamer will tell you that attention is one of the first things to train if you want not to be killed in some online game. Second, it’s important to keep in mind that there aren’t many claims of a decreasing attention span. Yes, we perceive information now a little differently. And some gamification of information helps us learn better, but that does not mean that if gamification had been proposed 100 years ago, it would not have had such a positive effect on education. There is some kind of opinion that people used to study better than they do now, but this is not so. Obviously, the general level of education and the speed with which people grasp new concepts is now higher.

Socialization. Is It What We Really Want?

If you ask a gamer if he is socialized enough, he will tell you that he is socialized very well, he has teams all around the world, he communicates in several languages, even using several words, with different people of different ages and different professions. And perhaps he is even more socialized than some adults who just go to work to the office, buy groceries and then watch TV. But, if you ask the mothers of gamers, or teachers of gamers, then you can hear a completely different story, because despite all the online communication the gamer has, it is a completely different socialization. And just this socialization is very important for his mental health. We call it the socialization of personal eye-to-eye contact. During the pandemic period, mental illnesses and diseases associated with neurodivergent care have become very aggravated in people. They show that the sufficiency of social contact is still very significant, even if these social contacts are not deep, such as, for example, meeting friends, but just going to the store, going to some event, taking the subway and asking for directions, and so on. And people who spend a lot of time on gaming are even less socialized than students in general, even those who are introverts, and do not really want to participate in social life. In this, the risk of gaming is quite large, because it develops a habit, and the further you go, the more frightening it is to go out into the real world.

Validation Problem and Anxiety

It follows from the previous paragraph that even if a person is successful in the gaming environment, in some basic games that he has chosen for himself, then it is far from a fact that he will be successful in real life outside the computer monitor or phone screen. And here, in our opinion, we come to the main problem of gaming. It doesn’t make people dumb, and it doesn’t affect their attention or cognitive abilities that much. But gaming creates an online bubble in which the student is often successful. There are clear rules of the game: how to earn the respect of other players, and how to become important in some social group. But the more a teenager spends time in this environment, the more difficult it is for him, and the more afraid he is to do the same in the real world, where the rules and laws are more complex and not so certain. You can’t get people’s trust and respect, and just good grades, by doing a set of very simple actions that are programmed. Therefore, you need to be much more creative, empathic, able to build relationships, and be able to deal with real conflict situations. Of course, if in a game you can solve a conflict situation simply by closing the computer lid, then in real life everything is much more complicated.